Go back to the enewsletter After a year of meticu

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterAfter a year of meticulous planning, Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) will finally open its doors from 18–20 February 2019, showcasing the reimagined event to the global meetings events industry.With the countdown commencing, 2019 promises to deliver a new AIME experience, challenging established expectations and honing its focus on measurable commercial outcomes.“With a rich history spanning 27 years, AIME has been at the heart of the business events industry in the Asia Pacific region. For many, the event was the start of their careers, in a transformative industry that touches so many of us. AIME 2019 is the start of a new journey, and we’re looking forward to welcoming business event communities from all over the world, in what is sure to be a prosperous year ahead,” said Jay Martens, Event Director, Talk2 Media & Events.Evolution of the AIME Knowledge Program, sponsored by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), now sees it be the largest and most comprehensive Business Events education program on any single day in Australia. Some 500 participants will engage in a variety of sessions specifically curated in partnership with AIME’s strategic education partner, Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).“The planning and reshaping of AIME 2019 has been a momentous journey with Talk2Media over the last 12 months. The business events industry has been vocal about what they’d like to see at AIME and Talk2Media have worked with us closely to build an event that will be significantly different than previous editions. I’m looking forward to seeing it all come to life”, said Karen Bolinger, CEO, MCB.With over 2,000 visitors already registered to attend AIME over the three days, delegates are encouraged to register as soon as possible to ensure they don’t miss this important event that kicks off the international meeting events calendar year.Online registrations to attend for Tuesday 19 – Wednesday 20 are still open. For registration details please visit aime.eventsair.com/aime-2019/visitor/Site/Register, or for more info please visit aime.com.au.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Puerto Rico Revitalizes Local Ag Scene while Monsanto Lurks

first_imgShare117TweetShareEmail117 SharesBy Xavier Mercado (Banana) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia CommonsMay 13, 2017; NPRIn spite of the dire situation in Puerto Rico as the government goes into bankruptcy and cuts back on education and social services, or perhaps because of it, the island is experiencing “a new wave of interest in food and farming.” This past weekend, it hosted Agrohack, “the premier ag-tech innovation summit for the advancement of agriculture as a sustainable source of growth and economic development in Puerto Rico.”People are thronging to new farmers markets. Chefs are making a point of finding local sources of food.According to Ricardo Fernandez, who is CEO of Puerto Rico Farm Credit, the largest agricultural lender on the island, it’s a dramatic break from Puerto Rico’s past.“Historically, agriculture has had a stigma in Puerto Rico,” he says. “It was for low-end workers, people who didn’t get an education. We’re making it more modern, more hip.”Agrohack organizers expect attendance to more than double this year, reaching 1,500 from last year’s 650. A press release states:The agriculture industry in Puerto Rico has been in decline for 100 years, dropping from 71 percent of the gross domestic product in 1914 to less than 1 percent today. More than 80 percent of the food consumed on the island is imported when 90 percent of it could be locally grown. As a result, billions of dollars that could contribute to Puerto Rico’s economic recovery and stability are leaving the island to serve the economies of other countries.[…]The event will bring together international multi-disciplinary influencers of the industry ranging from techies, farmers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, government officials, transportation companies and the corporate sector that all have one goal in mind: to position Puerto Rico as the #1 destination for ag-tech development.[…]The conference’s agenda will be packed with talks on timely topics such as agribusiness, financing innovative agricultural projects, new farming methods, reducing imports and increasing exports, theft in farms, waste reduction, marketing for agriculture, and new agricultural technologies changing the landscape.Puerto Rico has long had a dependence on imported food. Former Secretary of Agriculture Javier Rivera Aquino traces it to “the island’s long history as a Spanish colony, when native farming traditions gave way to large plantations of sugar and coffee that were shipped back to Europe. Food, meanwhile, was imported.”They were taught to produce what they don’t consume, and they were taught not to produce what they consume. That’s the kind of dependence that was created under that colonial system.Puerto Rico’s sugar industry died out as producers in places like Louisiana became “bigger and more efficient.” That land is now owned by the Puerto Rican government and “still sits idle.” However, “the situation is now changing rapidly. Many consumers now are willing to pay extra for food grown on the island. University students are flocking to classes on agriculture.”Fernandez said, “There’s a resurgence now, because we have to reinvent ourselves…Some entrepreneurs even see new chances to reverse the historical pattern, and export Puerto Rican food to the mainland U.S. and to Europe.”However, the event is not without controversy. Puerto Rican organizations such as Siembra Tres Vidas (a small, local vegetable farm), Visit Rico (a local agrotourism business), and Para La Naturaleza (a local conservation charitable trust) issued a statement announcing that they are boycotting Agrohack because of Monsanto’s participation. The statement read (translated from Spanish),Agrohack is billed as a conference designed to boost agriculture as a sustainable source of growth and economic development. It is a great contradiction that an event with this supposed purpose offers a forum to Monsanto to promote exactly the opposite.Cobian Media, the organizer of the event, responded (translated from Spanish),Agrohack was designed to unite all sectors of the agricultural industry, so that everyone involved in this field can work together to strengthen the segment and be more united. We firmly believe that the platform of diversity and inclusion is better for the island rather than one of exclusion.Many international organizations, including the United Nations, assert that all countries should move away from monocultures and conventional practices if agriculture and the economy are to be promoted. This in turn will provide a greater variety of crops, reduce the use of agrochemicals, support small-scale farmers more, and focus locally on food production and consumption. We denounce that accepting the presence and allowing the dissemination of propaganda by multinationals like Monsanto/PRABIA is to validate its operation model and ignore its crimes against human health and the environment.Nevertheless, Puerto Rican organizations continue to disavow the event.Multiple farmers and local groups such as the Boricua Organization of Ecological Agriculture and Nada Santo About Monsanto, repudiated the event from its inception and others have been added, such as Sonia Carlo de Sana Farms, Department of Food and Slow Food Puerto Rico.According to Fernandez, the new entrepreneurial ventures are still small. “From what we know, overall agricultural production is flat,” he [said]. But he expects that to change within a few years. “It’s at a turning point, but we need to do more.”—Cyndi SuarezShare117TweetShareEmail117 Shareslast_img read more