Measures help peach farmers reduce losses from natural disasters and increase revenue per mu by RMB1,200
SHANGHAI, CHINA – Media OutReach Newswire – 12 December 2023 – Freshippo, Alibaba Group’s digital intelligence-powered new retail company, attended the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) and contributed a speech at the COP28 China Corner’s Side Event, showcasing its climate resilience measures and proactive actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Freshippo has been leveraging digital technology and its new retail capabilities to address the effects of climate change. The company has developed scenario-based approaches to tackle different agricultural challenges, such as types of seeds, agricultural technology, plant protection, harvesting and transportation. Furthermore, Freshippo has established three agricultural methodologies to support climate adaptation. Firstly, selecting suitable species based on climate conditions to help agricultural enterprises build climate resilience through contract farming. Secondly, through climate disaster adaptive procurement, providing rapid response and maximum assistance to farmers to minimize their losses. Finally, implementing climate disaster adaptive agriculture, which will support contract farmers to resume production following climate disasters.
Shen Li, Co-founder and Head of Sustainable Development at Freshippo, gave a speech at the COP28 China Corner’s Side Event and said, “Climate change is a shared global challenge, and enhancing climate resilience and the consensus in the agriculture, industrial and retail sectors is our collective responsibility. Agriculture will continue to be heavily impacted by climate change, making it the common mission of global agriculture practitioners to address climate resilience in agriculture. We have explored various ways to enhance the climate resilience of agriculture sector and industry through practical experience. Freshippo is committed to leveraging the advantages of a retail enterprise to promote better climate consensus among the public, using products as a vehicle for climate education and helping consumers develop climate awareness in their daily lives.”
Freshippo highlighted a number of cases of climate adaptation at the event. For example, several peach farms in Beijing were unexpectedly hit by a hailstorm in 2022, resulting in direct economic losses of over RMB6 million. In response, Freshippo graded visually damaged peaches as “hail-damaged peaches” and processed those peaches into freeze-dried peach crisps. This initiative helped farmers sell the hail-damaged peaches, reducing waste by 200 kilograms per mu. Additionally, it enabled peach farmers to increase their income by RMB1,200 per mu.
Freshippo has also been working to overcome the extreme effects of the hot climate by opening up a 200-mu Freshippo desert organic base in the Ulan Buh Desert in Inner Mongolia. Last year, it harvested 400,000 pumpkins, providing consumers with delicious and safe agricultural produce. The area of pumpkin fields has expanded to 1,000 mu this year. The growth of each pumpkin can help prevent water and soil erosion affecting about 43 square feet of surrounding soil, benefiting the local climate and environment.
Freshippo also showcased the zero-carbon elephant honey it began to produce with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in March this year. The project aims to train villagers in the Xishuangbanna region of Yunnan Province to keep bees and collect and sell their honey, thus reducing the impact on Asian elephants caused by farmers cutting rubber in the mountains, and minimizing conflict between human beings and the elephants. By using solar water heaters, installing photovoltaic systems, and planting eco-friendly economic crops, the carbon footprint of the honey production is also being fully offset. In addition, Freshippo will donate RMB10 from the sale of each bottle of honey to support the sustainable development of local communities.
Freshippo’s practices received positive feedback from many participants. Zhou Fei, Chief Programme Officer of WWF-China said, “The agriculture industry plays an important role in carbon reduction as it is the industry most affected by climate change. The cases shared by Freshippo have brought greater attention to the industry’s adaptability to climate change issues. The WWF was pleased to see Freshippo’s measures to address climate change and enhance agricultural climate resilience during the COP28 China Corner’s Side Event. Climate change is a shared challenge for all humanity, and we hope that more and more businesses will agree on this consensus.” Fu Xiaotian, China Food and Natural Resources Program Director of World Resources Institute said, “Climate change poses enormous challenges to global agriculture, and it is urgent that the food system is the sustainable transformed. Freshippo is also an important partner in our research into improving agricultural climate adaptation. We hope to work together with Freshippo to help agricultural practitioners worldwide explore agricultural climate adaptation.” Dr. Jimmiel Mandima, Vice President of Global Programs with IFAW said, “As the first zero-carbon honey produced in China for the conservation of wild Asian elephants, Freshippo is helping to connect elephants, local community members, and the whole society to address climate change. This initiative provides an innovative and sustainable solution, nurturing a sense of responsibility for climate change among individuals. The influence could go far beyond.”
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Freshippo is Alibaba Group’s digital intelligence-powered new retail company. Headquartered in Shanghai, Freshippo operates more than 350 stores across 28 cities in mainland China.