Planet Tracker’s François Mosnier explores the potential of traceability to improve seafood sustainability and profitability in New Food Magazine

Today, about 75 percent of seafood sold is not certified or rated as ‘sustainable’. However, the number of retailers and consumers who are concerned about the sustainability of their fish is increasing – at a pace faster than the supply of sustainably labelled stocks are available to them.

Traceability, the ability to systematically identify seafood products, track their location and reveal any treatments or transformations they undergo, could be the key to resolving this imbalance. Industry-wide implementation of traceability would not only help to verify sustainability claims, but also to increase overall profitability within the seafood sector, explores François Mosnier, Financial Research Analyst at Planet Tracker.

In light of this, Planet Tracker urges investors in the seafood industry – and particularly in seafood processing companies, positioned as a key source of traceability along the seafood supply chain – to engage with the companies in question on this issue.

Read the full article here.

In an interview with Banking Dive, BNY Mellon’s Carl Slabicki explores the transformation of the B2B payments ecosystem and the importance of ensuring quick, secure and efficient payments.

Peer-to-peer payments have made consumer transactions cheap and efficient, but the business payment landscape lags, with 47% of B2B payments in 2019 made through cheques.

In recent years, BNY Mellon has been working to embed additional communication, reporting and security measures within B2B payments, ensuring payments are quick, secure and allow for documentation to be exchanged alongside the transactions.

“From a payments perspective, we’re ultimately saying, ‘What can make a payment move safer, more predictable, faster, and provide more transparency to the parties involved?'” Carl Slabicki, Head of Strategic Payment Solutions at BNY Mellon Treasury Services said. “Whether it’s a distributed ledger technology that can do that, or whether it’s a digital currency that can do that, we’re openly exploring all of these.”

To read the full article, click here

S&P Global Ratings unveils latest Infrastructure Finance Outlook

S&P Global Ratings has today published the latest edition of Infrastructure Finance Outlook, the newsletter bringing together in-depth sector analysis and research from across the Infrastructure practice.

This edition focuses on the energy transition and the growing importance of ESG, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated existing trends in the sector. The economic disruption caused by the pandemic is also likely to prompt a new cycle of sustainable infrastructure investment, especially now that the outcome of the US election has become clear.

Read the full newsletter here.




In Food Navigator, Planet Tracker’s John Willis warns that the UK cod industry is “in a truly unsustainable position”

UK cod fishing is on an unsustainable course. Not only is the industry is feeling the squeeze from depleting fish stocks due to unsustainable overfishing practices, but also from retailers and consumers who want certified sustainable fish. And if this is not enough of a problem, UK export markets hang in the balance as Brexit trade negotiations continue.

The UK has the opportunity to recover and to reap the benefit from its natural resources – but only if there is successful intervention with sustainable and traceable solutions, says John Willis, Director of Research, Planet Tracker.

To read the full article, click here

In an interview with Finextra, BNY Mellon’s Isabel Schmidt explores the changes in thinking towards ISO 20022 over the last decade

Published in 2010, SWIFT’s guidebook ‘ISO 20022 for Dummies’ presents a useful tool to gauge the changes in thinking toward ISO 20022 over the last decade. In an article with Finextra, Isabel Schmidt, Global Head of Direct Clearing and Asset Account Services, BNY Mellon Treasury Services, explores how assertions and predictions made about the migration have played out over the last decade.

Schmidt explains that while a lot of industry discussions currently focus on payment messages and core cash management messages, “overall thinking has also evolved to embrace the concept that a more robust payment message also provides the basis for major efficiency potential in the pre- and post-payment exception and investigations space.”

Schmidt explores how SWIFT’s first attempts to help banks improve this space dates back over 10 years when the E&I initiative was launched and that unfortunately the initiative lacked a sufficiently robust standard to really enable comprehensive automation of exception workflows.

“This space is now being revisited, based on more structured and more robust payment data which the ISO 20022 standard will provide. This is a considerable incremental efficiency opportunity for banks and a further step towards a much-enhanced client experience end-to-end.”

To read the full article, click here.


In The Asian Banker, BNY Mellon’s Joon Kim and Arnon Goldstein explore how the bank is digitising to support clients and increase internal efficiency

While global trade volumes have been down significantly in 2020, Joon Kim, the Global Head of Trade Finance Product and Portfolio Management at BNY Mellon, sees “a cautious sense of optimism and recovery” by the latter part of the fourth quarter of this year and the beginning of next, at the macro-level.

Arnon Goldstein, Head of Treasury Services for Asia Pacific at BNY Mellon, observed overall decline in payment volumes, underlining weakness in clients’ demand, but an increase in liquidity, especially in local currency and dollar liquidity as lending demand has been depressed.  However, any rebound in volume will be uneven as some economies continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The disruption to traditional supply chains and logistics has precipitated the need to strengthen business continuity planning to increase institutions operational resiliency and ability to operate remotely. Processes have to be streamlined and enhanced to incorporate alternative digital solutions, such as e-signature and biometric-enabled authentication and authorisation, to replace traditional manual ones. The bank is pivoting to digital alternatives, such as web-based meeting, and digitising more of its internal as well as clients’ processes in order to facilitate client transactions and increase efficiency.

To watch the interview, please click here.

BACB appoints Eddie Norton interim CEO, covered in specialist press

British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB) has announced the appointment of Eddie Norton as interim CEO, subject to regulatory approval. Eddie joins BACB following a successful career with HSBC, where he was most recently the Head of Capital Strategic Initiatives, Global Banking & Markets. Eddie has held international executive positions at HSBC while based in São Paolo, New York, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Over the course of his career, Eddie has gained experience in supporting trade finance activities across specialist markets, as well as a wealth of governance and risk-related expertise in areas including counterparty, financial crime, regulatory, operational and conduct risk. Eddie commented: “I am excited to be joining BACB, a specialist bank with deep regional and sector expertise and an ability to keep trade flowing for its clients, while upholding the most robust compliance and governance standards.”

The news was covered in Africa Briefing, Africa Global Funds, TXF, Treasury Management International, IFR, TRF News, Trade Arabia and Global Banking and Finance Review.


Investors could be key to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2, writes Planet Tracker’s Robin Millington in Responsible Investor

In its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the United Nations outlines 17 objectives to safeguard the longevity of the planet and fair access to its resources. The second, “SDG2”, is “Zero Hunger” – a mission which does not just entail ensuring that there is sufficient food, but also that global food and agriculture systems provide food that meets nutritional requirements, while allocating it equitably.

Writing in Responsible Investor, Robin Millington, CEO, Planet Tracker, explains that achieving SDG2 is more critical than ever, as the world’s population stays firmly on track to surpass 10 billion by 2050. At the same time, over-farming to feed this booming population is degrading the long-term quality of natural resources. Critically, she warns, we will not be able to feed a population of this size under a business-as-usual scenario.

Millington points out that investors, however, are very well-positioned to drive SDG2 commitments through direct engagement, proxy voting and shareholder resolutions to influence management teams to operate more sustainably. They can also send a message by choosing to divest from companies with unsustainable agricultural methods, redirecting their capital to SDG2 initiatives and demanding enhanced transparency and independent, third-party verification on a company’s sustainability objectives.

The full article is available here.

S&P’s Simon Redmond and Elena Anankina analyse the pandemic’s effect on the energy transition in Euractiv

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the energy sector. Writing in Euractiv, Simon Redmond and Elena Anankina, Senior Directors at S&P Global Ratings, analyse the contrasting effects of the outbreak on the oil and natural gas sectors, and the implications for the wider energy transition.

Oil has suffered the most pronounced short-term impact of all energy sources, with demand falling by over 20 million barrels a day in March and April 2020 alone. On the other hand, gas has remained relatively resilient to the immediate impacts of the pandemic.

The downside for gas, rather, is expected to be longer term: its role as a “bridge fuel” is set to be shortened by an expedited transition to renewables. And, while oil demand has taken a short-term hit, its long term trajectory is set to be largely unchanged. The full article, in Euractiv, can be found here.


Planet Tracker’s Matthew McLuckie explores the link between seafood traceability and investor risk with The Economist World Ocean Initiative

Though environmental concerns from retailers and consumers continue to mount, almost 75% of seafood sold today is not certified or rated as “sustainable”. While sea-to-plate traceability would go a long way to bridge this gap, it is not yet widely implemented. Is this because traceability is not feasible?

In an interview with The Economist World Ocean Initiative, Matthew McLuckie, Director of Investor Relations, Planet Tracker, explains that this argument does not hold.

According to McLuckie, the maturation of technology, including radio-frequency identification, remote electronic monitoring, blockchain and artificial intelligence, makes it easier for buyers to trace seafood products. Meanwhile,  controversies related to high antibiotic use and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing increase their desire to do so. 

If retailers start making demands on suppliers to prove traceability and provenance of seafood products, then blockchain could play a role, he explains. 

The full article is available here.