New Report Shows Growing Interest in Animal Welfare Among Food Companies in Asia

New Report Shows Growing Interest in Animal Welfare Among Food Companies in Asia

A survey conducted by NGO Sinergia Animal shows that 70% of companies are transitioning to cage-free egg supply chains

A new report just released by the international NGO Sinergia Animal has surveyed more than fifty food companies and highlights that 70% of them (thirty-five) are already phasing out the use of eggs produced in battery cages—a farming method that uses cages so small that animals can barely move. The report, called Cage-Free Tracker, features corporate policies from five Asian countries: India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Among the thirty-five companies, eight provided specific evidence for progress within the Asian market: Aramark, Kraft Heinz, Lotus’s, Marriott, Pizza Express, SaladStop!, Unilever, and Wyndham Destinations.

“Asia is the largest egg producer in the world. In this region, more than one billion eggs are laid by hens annually, and the majority are from conventional battery cages: a system that is considered so cruel that it has been banned across the EU, Canada, New Zealand, and nine states in the US. Fortunately, our results show that companies in Asia understand that battery cages must go and are changing to more animal friendly practices too”, says Phichamon Thamasook, Corporate Communications Manager – Asia of Sinergia Animal.

Battery cages confine each hen to a space smaller than an A4 sheet of paper for their entire lifespan. Hens, who are natural foragers, are unable to carry out the most basic behaviours such as perching, nesting, dust bathing, or stretching their wings completely. Companies that commit to a cage-free policy are pledging to only supply eggs from hens who live in cage-free systems, in which animals live more natural lives, can move around more freely, and can carry out the behaviours that are essential for their well-being.

Key findings

The report provides a visual tier system for concerned consumers, ranking companies that have committed and reporting those yet to publicly announce cage-free policies.

In the bottom tier, some companies are reported as having no cage-free commitment in Asia, even though many of these international brands—such as McDonald’s, Kewpie, and A&W—have commitments in other regions of the globe.

The initiative also aims to provide transparency and recognition to the progress companies are making towards making their supply chains cage-free. A total of thirty-two companies operating in Asia responded, with 16% reporting progress in sourcing cage-free eggs in Asia or nationally in Asian countries. These include Kraft Heinz, Pizza Express, and SaladStop!.

“We expect to see even more progress towards cage-free egg production in Asia in the coming years. Consumer concern about the origins of their food is increasing, causing companies to look to improve animal welfare standards,” says Thamasook.

A global trend in the corporate sector

In the last ten years, globally, more than 2,300 food companies have already committed to stopping sourcing eggs from farms that use battery cages. Now, Asia is quickly becoming an important territory for these policies. In 2021 alone, there were thirty-six new cage-free commitments in Asia and 23 global commitments that apply to the region.

Sinergia Animal plans to keep running its cage-free tracker every year with companies operating in Asia. “We hope that by shedding light on the progress, we can inspire more corporations to join this global movement that aims to produce more compassionate foods”, concludes Thamasook.

To read the full report and find more details on companies operating in Asia, visit [https://www.cagefreetracker.com/asia]

Viktor&Rolf Announces FKA twigs as the Face of New Fragrance GOOD FORTUNE

Viktor&Rolf Announces FKA twigs as the Face of New Fragrance GOOD FORTUNE

Viktor&Rolf is pleased to announce that acclaimed singer, dancer and actress FKA twigs will be the face of GOOD FORTUNE, the brand’s new fragrance.

FKA twigs for ViktorRolf by SeanSeng

Grounded firmly in the present moment as a visionary performer and artist with an engaging social presence, FKA twigs is a Grammy Award-nominated artist whose innovations across the fields of music, visual arts and dance represent future worlds and draw from past ones.

She debuted as a songwriter and singer in 2012 with EP1. Like her dancing, her music draws on a variety of styles, including electronic, R&B and trip hop. Her Mercury Prize nominated debut album, LP1, was released in August 2014. She directed four videos for her third EP, M3LL155X (read as Melissa), as well as Soundtrack 7, a dance film created and filmed at the Manchester International Festival. An appearance on the A$AP Rocky track Fukk Sleep, in 2018, was followed by her hit single Cellophane and the universally acclaimed album Magdalene. She has collaborated with Dua Lipa and The Weeknd and earlier this year released the mixtape Caprisongs.

“We’ve been fans of twigs for years,” say Viktor&Rolf designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, “and we’re happy to welcome her to the Viktor&Rolf family. Not only is she one of today’s biggest pop stars, she’s also hugely creative. She’s an icon and absolutely the right personality for GOOD FORTUNE.”

“I’ve always loved perfume,” says FKA twigs. “Scent has always been an integral part of my sensory world and being able to creatively collaborate with Viktor&Rolf on this project has been very fulfilling. I feel there’s this bond that unites us. Becoming part of their universe feels like magic, a dream come true.”

Following the ongoing success of FLOWERBOMB, launched in 2005, Viktor&Rolf unveils GOOD FORTUNE. With this major new statement, the brand has created a fragrance that expresses modern spirituality, resonating with those who are on an inner path to discover the essence of their being, sending out an invitation to women wanting to embrace their inner modern mystic, to follow their own path and to create their own destiny.

FKA twigs will feature in a mystical ‘new-genre’ campaign film directed by Andrew Thomas Huang, to be released later this month. Legendary fashion photographers Inez & Vinoodh created the campaign’s magnetic still photography.

The campaign’s soundtrack, “Killer” was tailor-made for the campaign by FKA twigs and will be officially unveiled in conjunction with the GOOD FORTUNE campaign.

L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science: The Winners of 2020 Working Towards a Greener Tomorrow

L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science: The Winners of 2020 Working Towards a Greener Tomorrow

The world has certainly made excellent progress over the past several years when it comes to women in science. However, with women representing just 33.3% of researchers globally, there’s still a way to go yet in giving them their rightful recognition. Of all the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in science, only 4% have been women and figures for Europe show that only 11% of senior research positions are held by women.

It is for these reasons that The Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO have formed a tireless alliance, working together for over two decades now to empower women scientists everywhere to step up and make a difference. Top 10 of Asia recently had the good fortune to sit down with, and uncover the stories of, the 2020 winners of the L’Oréal – UNESCO Fellowship for Women in Science – Young Talent Program. These brilliant women were each endowed with a RM30,000 grant to fund their ongoing projects in the battle against climate change. In an illuminating sit-down, they furnished us with some insight into their work, how they’ve utilised their grants, and the hidden obstacles to research largely unknown outside the halls of academia.

These women are:

Datin Dr Rozzeta Dolah, a Certified Engineer and a senior lecturer at Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia UTM, who is currently heading innovative nanotechnology research in biomass renewable energy and the production of an anti-pollution nano patch for fuel tanks.

Dr Goh Pei Sean, an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) whose project revolves around an integration of membrane filtration and microalgae photoreactors to separate CO2 gas from its source.

IR Dr Umi Fazara Md. Ali, an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering Technology, University Malaysia Perlis. Her innovative research revolves around a completely novel absorbent from agricultural waste for CO2 capture and utilization (CCU).

The first topic of the day touched on what they felt were the most important challenges to overcome in their research. The women were in unanimous agreement on a crucial undertaking – the importance of reaching the public with their findings and continuously finding ways to make the technical aspects of their research more palatable for the common man. “People nowadays, they don’t want to hear jargon. What sparks their interest is if they can understand things in a simple way.” said Dr Umi.

Datin Dr Rozzeta chooses to enlighten the public on her research through the manual that comes with her company’s product. “In marketing my product, I had personally put together the manual in the box that explains how it works, the science behind it. That’s one of the ways my company educates society in such a way that they can understand what nanotechnology is.”

Echoing the sentiments of her colleagues, Dr Goh added that it was important to inculcate an interest in the sciences in students at an early age. Speaking candidly, she reminisced on how she had come to personally develop the fascinations that would go on to shape her career. “My interest in science, particularly chemistry, was actually inspired by my teacher. She taught science in a lively manner, showing us the kind of experiments you wouldn’t find in a textbook. These experiments wowed us and made us want to discover more.” Now, as an educator herself, she carries with her the same inspirational spirit in disseminating information. On her occasional visits to schools, Dr Goh makes an effort to bring the technology from the lab along and uses it to prepare engaging visual demonstrations for the students.

Asked how they planned to use their grants, the women were all in agreement again that it would be of immense help with the minute details that often go into funding a research project – things like purchasing consumables, raw materials, patents, and hiring research assistants – the less glamorous aspects in the pursuit of innovation that are nonetheless imperative to its success. Dr Goh also mentioned how she had used some of her grant to fund the final year projects of her undergraduate students – a group typically constrained with regards to resources.

When the topic turned to the developments they were most excited about in their research, the enthusiasm was palpable. Dr Umi spoke about her excitement to dive further into the world of more sustainable forms of energy. “Right now, we’re really reliant on fossil fuels, I’m excited to know more about and expose myself to renewable energy – especially solar cells and microalgae.” For Datin Dr Rozzeta, she was most excited about the mushrooming startup culture the world over, “More startups! The more the better!” she said. Dr Goh for her part was excited about being able to fine-tune the fundamentals of her research saying “I will try to develop better and more functional material to improve the performance of existing products.”

Having had the opportunity to sit down with and pick the brilliant brains of these inspirational women, it is clear that the future of sustainable technology finds itself in good hands. Being exposed to some of the challenges these women face and the motivations they have to meet them head-on, one can’t help but feel encouraged – and to perhaps take a closer look at the little girl in the corner, with her eyes keenly studious and her nose pressed firmly in pages that speak of moles, molecules, and the machinations of the living world.

Applications for the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science 2022 have been extended to the 15th of June. https://www.forwomeninscience.com/challenge/show/47

 

 

 

A Glimpse Into Potential Futures

A Glimpse Into Potential Futures

Earlier this year, WGSN, a global authority on trend forecasting released a fascinating report on their top projected trends in consumer behaviour and product methodology for 2022. Casting its eye on more futuristic developments, WGSN shone a light on exciting concepts such as flying taxis and direct-to-avatar commerce. WGSN also backed some of the more current flavours including crypto rewards and baijiu – the world’s most consumed spirit – to retain their popularity and grow from strength to strength.

With a rigorous research methodology that allows them to analyse the present landscape, identify signals of change, and forecast the immediate and long-term future of industries, their reports are an invaluable resource to business owners looking to inform their strategy and the layperson burdened with an insatiable curiosity alike. WGSN’s Consultant Director of APAC, Helen Sac, spoke to Top 10 of Asia recently in an insightful interview touching on topics ranging from consumer demand to the values of the forthcoming generation.

1) Of the ten highlighted in WGSN’s report on the top trends for 2022 and beyond, which ones do you think will be most pertinent when it comes to Asia in particular?

Much of APAC leads the way when it comes to digital adoption and living online so it’s no surprise that the most relevant trends for Asia revolve around how we spend our time and the world(s) we immerse ourselves in.

We’re already seeing countless examples of brands and retailers leading and experimenting with meta marketing across Asia. Digital Influencers are becoming the norm alongside brands creating new digital playgrounds for consumers to experience and engage with brands and their products.

Anthropomorphic marketing is second nature to us in Asia, where we are fast to engage with our much-loved mascots. With the incoming mass adoption of this in the West, new developments in this arena will elevate character development and execution in new and exciting, yet to be seen ways. This in turn will open up more opportunities for the market to go deeper into this trend which is here to stay.

2) Can you give us a brief insight into WGSN’s research methodology and what sets it apart from other such predictive methods?

WGSN’s research methodology has grown so much over the 11+ years I’ve been in the industry. The acquisition of new technology and data trackers really sets us apart from our competitors. We’re also truly global, our reach spans 128 countries and with that the eyes and the expertise across the globe. We work with over 250 industry experts globally to map influencers, disruptors and changemakers to deliver clear and specific action points for brands and marketers.

Being physically tapped in and digitally plugged in, we can quite clearly identify the signals of change and evaluate, verify and forecast trends.

3) The pandemic has resulted in a shift in consumer behaviour, which in turn has affected marketing trends. How has this impacted existing marketing strategies and what kind of adjustments could we see being made in this regard?

Fuelled by the pandemic, consumer behaviour in Asia is focused on frictionless commerce and further pursuit of tech-enabled lifestyles. A sense of optimism is surfacing and people are aligning purchases with their values and seeking to deepen their connection with local culture. A recent survey by Charles Schwab reported that 24% of consumers are keen to splurge to “make up for lost time”.

It is now important for retailers to keep up with the always-on consumer who is looking for a hyper-relevant and seamless experience, by tapping into hyperlocal strategies to evolve physical retail to strengthen local ties, support creativity and build human connection.

4) How can marketers better position themselves to keep up with consumer demands that seem to be shifting more often now than ever before?

The marketing industry is rapidly changing amid new consumer priorities and immersive technologies. Immersive storytelling formats, relatable brands with personality and a new commitment to more sustainable media and purpose will define 2022.

With metaverse being the buzzword of the year, marketers have to go beyond simple entrance points to power communities and reward consumers. Marketers need to adapt to the fluid shopping journeys of consumers who expect seamless shopping experiences that adjust to the individual shopper journey, ensuring all customer touchpoints are connected whether in-store, in-app or online.

5) In which direction are consumers gravitating and what might the priorities of the forthcoming generation look like?

Sustainability concerns will begin to dominate marketing as brands and agencies address the climate crisis and consumers will start to demand transparency. Brands will prioritise sustainability across departments, including marketing and media, and marketing will be under the microscope as there will be little tolerance for any empty corporate promises.

Consumers are growing increasingly climate-conscious and they’re leaning on leaders and organisations to pave a clear path; 51% see governments, 43% see businesses and brands and 41% see the ad industry as most accountable for its decarbonisation. Moving forward to 2022 and beyond, brands and agencies must use climate terminology correctly, from carbon neutrality to net zero. There will also be wider industry efforts such as Ad Net Zero, which is a commitment to “reduce the carbon impact of developing, producing and running advertising to real net zero by end of 2030.

6) Which finding in the report are you most personally excited by?

The marketing paradox! This trend will really bring about unique and novel ways to experience products and brands, like a fresh dopamine hit. We are loving all of the stunning, inspiring new activations that are capturing the emotions and imaginations of the post-pandemic consumers.

Marketers are launching entertaining stunts that enable escapism and ignite emotional connection. We’re getting slightly addicted to these big hits and the less creative, poorly planned ones are falling by the wayside, setting the standards for a new generation of marketing fanfare.

The Final Pitch Launches ASEAN Edition, Seeks Investor-Judges in Singapore

The Final Pitch Launches ASEAN Edition, Seeks Investor-Judges in Singapore

The ASEAN’s version of Shark Tank envisions helping high-growth companies scale up and foster cross-border investment and collaboration across the region

Southeast Asia’s first business reality TV show designed to back and scale the region’s next unicorns, “The Final Pitch ASEAN (TFPA),” is searching for tycoons and business leaders to represent select Southeast Asian countries as investor-judges in the show. After seven successful season runs in the Philippines, TFPA expands to the rest of the region and will feature high-growth startups and strategic investors from Southeast Asia.

TFPA is looking for investor-judges who can make investments in scale-up startups that want to expand to their home countries. The business show is now on the lookout for representatives from Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam to be the face of their countries in the regionally aired show.

With regard to the criteria, John Aguilar, the creator and host of the show specified, “They have to be in a position to be able to invest in high-growth companies but at the same time will serve as strategic partners for the expansion of any scale-up that wants to enter their respective countries. They have to be successful diversified family conglomerates or seasoned investors looking at investing in mostly series A and up startups.”

Aguilar also mentioned the benefits of the investor-judges who will be selected for TFPA. Apart from gaining access to a pipeline of the best startups across the region, they will also have the opportunity to showcase their countries and respective businesses through the show.

“The show will serve as a platform for the investor-judges to be business ambassadors, and we will be bringing the startups who they are looking to invest in to their respective countries so the startups and the viewers see for themselves what they do, and what their mission is. The show will allow the startups and the investor-judges to reach out to a global audience, and will encourage cross-border investments and collaboration with their ASEAN neighbors,” he said.

The show will initially be selecting investor-judge candidates from each country within the next two months through a regional roadshow. To be considered as a TFPA investor-judge, interested parties may email admin@dragonsnest.co, contact the show at +639176569215 or visit the website at www.TheFinalPitchASEAN.com

Aguilar stated that the ASEAN version will follow the same format as the highly successful Philippine edition, the show’s proof of concept that has helped more than 100 startups and successfully funded millions of dollars into the Philippine startup ecosystem.

“The world is looking at Southeast Asia as an emerging tech region. There are so many challenges here but there are also many opportunities. And there are a growing number of future unicorns that are being born as we speak. We are looking at expediting their exponential growth across Southeast Asia with TFPA,” Aguilar said.

The principal filming of the show is scheduled to commence by the fourth quarter of 2022. Apart from the investor judges and scale-up companies, The Final Pitch ASEAN is also looking for brand and broadcast partners in the aforementioned countries.

Aguilar also shared that their plan for The Final Pitch ASEAN is to introduce the show’s format in the region as a stepping stone to their long-term goal to license the show across these different countries.