Food & Drink

Business Briefing— Global


The young guns taking the tea world by storm, mobile markets and an eco-friendly super-yacht.

Farming, Fast food, Jameel Lalani, Kenya, Tea


Market mover

The Netherlands [SUPERMARKET]

The last time we visited Marqt (see Issue 15), founded in Amsterdam in 2008 by entrepreneurs Quirijn Bolle and Meike Beeren, it was distinguishing itself through select partnerships with local producers, ranging from regional farmers to artisan bakers.

Products are still delivered directly and prices are determined by the producers, with Marqt receiving a percentage of the profits. The idea is to put the “market” back in supermarket, with a commitment to fresh and sustainably sourced…


Peggy Liu

Co-founder of JUCCCE


Liu, co-founder of JUCCCE, the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, organised the fourth China Energy Clean Technology Forum last year.

Is China serious about environmental change? With the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans for the nation, China has set firm targets for emissions and energy reductions. China is clearly not doing this in response to international pressures or simply climate change, but the growing reality that energy, water and food security are key to the future.

How are businesses reacting to the government’s push to become more sustainable? Hedging your bets and having insurance towards future fluctuations in energy, water and water prices and inputs just makes business sense in a country that is still the factory of the world. These input prices affect competitiveness, so local companies are paying attention.

What does this mean for the next wave of Chinese to join the urban middle classes? More than half a billion people were lifted out of poverty in China because of land redistribution reforms – but that is unreplicable today. China is about producing and selling goods. GDP is reliant on this. As they consider the future flow of growth, there is an overlap between poverty reduction and environmental stability.

How can the average person guarantee against these fluctuations? The next achievable miracle may come from the ability of farmers or anyone with a rooftop to generate and sell electricity on their own. This could be international: anyone with space, equipment and microfinance.

Are there already examples? In Germany, farmers are putting solar panels on fields and finding it doesn’t interfere with sunlight or affect crop yields.


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