Roughly 21–37% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are attributable to our current food system, which includes conventional agriculture and land use according to the latest IPCC report.
With the global population rising and more mouths to feed, now is the time to reconsider how we can tap into our global resources to build a more sustainable food system.
This infographic from Billy Goat Brands (CSE: GOAT) (“GOAT”) explores how the ocean economy—also referred to as the blue economy—plays a vital role in our fight against climate change and other environmental challenges facing the world today.
The ocean economy is described as the sustainable use of the ocean and its resources for economic development and ocean ecosystem health.
The global economic output of the ocean economy is $1.5 trillion each year. Here is an example of some of the activities and sectors that make up the ocean economy today:
Financing ocean-related economic activities will ensure the future sustainability of this vital resource, and help combat threats that pose a risk to humanity, such as overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction.
However, some experts say that there is insufficient private and public investment in sustainable ocean economy activities.
Investors have a unique opportunity to drive change through companies innovating in the ocean economy and be part of the solution.
The potential for economic growth will only continue to grow, presenting investors and institutions with a chance to add value at this crucial stage of development while making a real and tangible impact.
In fact, investing $1 in key ocean activities can yield at least $5 in global benefits—a number that will continue to rise over the next 30 years according to a World Resources Institute report.
The report also states that investing between $2 trillion and $3.7 trillion globally across four crucial areas could generate between $8.2 trillion and $22.8 trillion in returns by 2050. These four areas are:
Plant-based alternatives will play an important role in alleviating the pressure on ocean resources, and technological innovation has been pivotal in creating imitation products for the consumer market.
GOAT provides diversified exposure to expansion-stage companies that contribute to the ocean economy through innovative food technologies, functional foods and plant-based alternatives.
“We believe that plant-based seafood alternatives should be available for everyone, everywhere. That’s why we spent years creating a seamless experience that’s nearly indistinguishable from their animal-based counterparts.”
—Mike Woodruff, CEO Sophie’s Kitchen
Sophie’s Kitchen is one of GOAT’s investee companies and a leading California-based manufacturer and distributor of disruptive plant-based seafood alternatives.
Go to billygoatbrands.com to learn more about investing in the ocean economy today.
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NFTs have grown to be a hot topic and frothy market, but what are they really? This graphic defines NFTs and explores the NFT ecosystem.
NFTs have been the hottest topic and frothiest market of 2021, with sales volumes increasing by 100x while also becoming a topic of discussion on evening talk shows.
It took crypto nearly a decade to really penetrate the mainstream, but NFTs only needed a couple of years to capture people’s attention. As brands like Budweiser, Visa, and Adidas have purchased NFTs and entered the space, it’s clear that NFTs are more than just another hot new trend.
This infographic sponsored by Next Decentrum defines NFTs and explores the flourishing ecosystem that has quickly grown around them. Discover what non-fungible means, where NFTs are being minted and traded, and what the future holds for this asset class.
NFTs are non-fungible tokens that have their history of ownership and current ownership cryptographically secured on a blockchain. These tokens can represent anything, whether it’s a piece of digital art in the form of a jpeg or a song as an mp3 file.
By storing transactions of these tokens on a blockchain, we can have digital proof of ownership and markets for these digital goods without the fear of double spending or the tampering of past transactions and ownership.
This all sounds pretty similar to cryptocurrencies, so what makes NFTs so special? Their non-fungibility. Unlike cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ethereum, non-fungible tokens represent goods or assets with unique properties and attributes, allowing them to have unique values even if they are part of the same collection.
Fungible: A good with interchangeable units that are indistinguishable in value. Examples: U.S. dollars, bitcoin, arcade tokens
Non-Fungible: A good with unique properties, giving it a unique value when compared to similar goods. Examples: real estate, paintings, NFTs
The most popular NFT collection, Cryptopunks, is a collection of 10,000 pixel art “punks”, with varying attributes like different hats, glasses, hairstyles, and more. The random combinations of attributes with differing scarcity results in each punk having a unique value.
Scarcity and subjective aesthetic preferences drive valuations for cryptopunks and other NFTs, with other factors like their historical significance, and even the blockchain they’re hosted on affecting their value.
There are many different blockchains that are able to mint and host NFTs, with Ethereum currently the largest and most used by market cap and transaction volume.
Ethereum uses the energy-intensive proof of work consensus method but the network is planning to transition to proof of stake next year which should reduce energy usage by about 99%.
As of Nov 29th, 2021
Along with concerns around its energy intensity, minting and transacting on the Ethereum blockchain incurs significantly higher fees compared to other blockchains.
The average Ethereum transaction fee varies between $30-80 (depending on the specific transaction) and the current NFT minting fee is ~$130, every other blockchain in the table above has transaction and minting fees that remain below $1.
While these high Ethereum fees have driven many users to explore other blockchains to mint NFTs, many secondary marketplaces help cover a portion, or even all gas fees, when minting on Ethereum.
Alongside the primary blockchain networks where NFTs are minted and hosted, there are a variety of secondary marketplaces for NFTs where the majority of NFT exchanges take place.
These marketplaces enable users to more easily mint, buy, and sell NFTs, with OpenSea having emerged as the leading secondary NFT marketplace. It’s estimated that OpenSea had $1.9 billion of traded volume in November 2021, making up over 95% of NFT trading volumes.
Source: The Block
Although some of the marketplaces (like OpenSea) allow anyone to easily mint and offer an NFT for sale, other platforms like SuperRare limit the art and artists on offer, resulting in a more curated marketplace. Similarly, some marketplaces like OpenSea host NFTs from multiple blockchains like Ethereum and Polygon, while other marketplaces like Hic et Nunc are faithful to one blockchain (Tezos).
While OpenSea currently dominates the secondary market, cryptocurrency exchanges are likely to offer some fresh competition soon. Coinbase is currently building out its own NFT marketplace, and FTX’s marketplace with Ethereum and Solana NFTs is up and running.
NFTs made a huge splash in 2021, giving creators digital and decentralized networks where they could host and exchange their work.
Currently, digital-first use-cases are at the forefront of NFT development, with ownership of in-game assets or goods in the metaverse two of the primary use-cases being explored. However, NFTs can be used to tokenize physical assets like real estate, physical artwork, and much more, opening up near endless possibilities for their application.
From removing the friction of paperwork and bureaucracy in today’s real estate exchanges to allowing for easy fractionalization of asset ownership, the tangible real-world use-cases of NFTs are just starting to be explored.
To learn more about NFTs, visit Next Decentrum.
Plant-based foods are gaining traction—and fast.
By 2030, the global plant-based food market is expected to reach $161.9 billion in value. That’s a 355% increase compared to 2021.
Interested in investing in this rapidly expanding industry? This graphic from The Very Good Food Company (VGFC) highlights what you should know on the future of the plant-based food market.
As plant-based foods grow in popularity and more product options become available, consumers have started to become more selective about the types of products they’re willing to purchase.
For many consumers, health is a key consideration when making purchasing decisions. A global survey revealed that, out of 8,500 respondents, over 50% were vegan for health reasons.
But not just any plant-based product will cut it. Consumers are starting to hold businesses to a higher standard, with an expectation that plant-based products have high nutritional value, low salt content, and good quality protein.
Consumers are also becoming more educated on environmental issues, and how plant-based diets can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the same survey as above, almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents were vegan for environmental and sustainability reasons.
Some experts believe this figure will only increase, as the impacts of climate change become more apparent across the globe.
With consumer demand growing and expectations for the plant-based food industry evolving, new technological advancements in this space are rapidly emerging.
For instance, the cell-cultured meat market is gaining traction fast. Cell-culture meat is meat that’s grown in a lab from the cells of animals. It’s biologically identical to traditional meat.
While cell-cultured meat has yet to hit the commercial market on a mass scale, several start-ups have gone public, such as MeaTech3D, Mosa Meat, and UPSIDE Foods. Recently, MeaTech announced its plans to start pre-production of cell-cultured chicken fat by 2022.
In the next 20 years, cell-cultured meat usage is expected to skyrocket. In fact, it could make up 35% of the global meat market by 2040, which would cause conventional meat’s market share to decrease drastically.
In addition to meat alternatives, other plant-based alternatives are gaining popularity as well, especially egg substitutes and spreads. In 2020, plant-based egg sales in the U.S. reached $27 million, a 167.8% increase compared to the year prior.
While egg substitutes and spreads are growing fast, plant-based milk remains the most popular product category when it comes to overall sales, making up 35% of the total plant-based foods market.
Retailers are starting to take note of the rising popularity of plant-based products, and are integrating plant-based foods into their offerings as a result.
For example, Tesco, the UK’s biggest grocery store brand, expects to see sales of plant-based products grow 300% by 2025. And Unilever, one of the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturers, expects to generate $1.2 billion from plant-based meat and dairy sales in the next five to seven years—around 5x more than their 2020 sales revenue for alternatives.
Since the market is booming, many plant-based food companies are experiencing significant growth. For instance, The Very Good Food Company, a Canadian plant-based food company, saw its revenue increase by 680% from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.
In that same timeframe, VGFC’s product sales increased by 77%, and its eCommerce sales increased by 1744%. More growth is on the horizon since the company recently closed a $70 million loan agreement with Waygar Capital and Ninepoint Partners to help expand operations.
Not everyone is transitioning to a fully plant-based lifestyle.
As the benefits of plant-based diets become more apparent, more people are starting to limit their meat intake, or have become flexitarians—people who primarily eat a plant-based diet, but occasionally eat meat or fish.
In fact, almost one-third of Americans have reduced their meat and dairy consumption, and consider themselves flexitarians.
Being a flexitarian is becoming easier than ever, as plant-based products become more accessible, and the taste of meat alternatives improves.
Because of consumer demand, restaurants are adjusting and creating more inclusive menus with diverse vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free options for their guests.
A&W, a popular Canadian fast-food chain, launched its plant-based burger back in 2018. Because of its popularity, the restaurant is expanding its plant-based menu options by adding Beyond Meat nuggets to the menu.
The plant-based movement has been largely driven by younger generations.
In a survey of over 1,200 respondents, 22% of Millennials said they’d adopted a vegetarian lifestyle at some point in their lives, compared to just 13% of Gen Xers, and 11% of Baby Boomers.
And many Millennials, even if they haven’t gone full plant-based, were attempting to limit their meat intake—45% of Millennial respondents claimed they were actively trying to reduce their meat consumption.
Gen Z however are the driving force behind the plant-based movement with 79% of them claiming to eat plant-based once or twice per week.
Independent businesses aren’t the only players getting behind the plant-based boom—governments are stepping up to support this rapidly growing industry as well.
For example, the Canadian government recently announced plans to invest $150 million in the plant-based foods industry, signing a deal with Protein Industries Canada. This funding will go towards plant-based food manufacturing, research and development, and tech innovation.
There are multiple drivers supporting the rapidly growing plant-based food industry, and because of this, more growth is expected in the near future.
Companies like VGFC are at the forefront of this movement, providing products that don’t sacrifice taste and aren’t highly processed.