Juliana Xavier on responsibly feeding the world and protecting the planet

I know that climate change is on most of your minds right now in one form or another.

The IPCC report came out, and it has got us thinking about so many aspects of life as we know it. And what needs to change in order to decrease emissions.

Today we will be talking about responsibly feeding the world and protecting the planet.

My guest is Juliana Xavier, Director of Brand Management at Yara International, a global crop nutrition company.

We cover a lot.

But, the crux of the conversation is how are we going to feed 9.8 billion people in the world by 2050?

And how will we do this in an environmentally sound way, especially if we know that growing food contributes to 20% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

Keeping in mind that to produce enough food for 9.8 billion people…. will mean doubling food production from where we are today.

This is not easy.

But as Juliana says, agriculture is part of the climate change problem. And it’s also part of the solution.

We talk about all of this.

Listen to the podcast and better understand the challenges. But also her hope.

Please don’t forget to let us know what you think of this episode, leave a review, rating, and subscribe.

If you have any questions or feedback, you can email us at philippa@theinternationalexchange.co.uk.

00:00:02:04 – 00:00:27:03
Philippa White
Welcome to the show, where we unearth new ways of looking at ever evolving light around the world. Seen from a number of different industries, cultures and backgrounds. But there’s one thing that unites everyone I speak to. They all want to do their part to make the world better in their own unique ways. It’s a uniting passion. Whether they’re from the commercial world, third sector or public sector from the Global North or the global south.

00:00:27:15 – 00:00:58:04
Philippa White
My name is Philippa White and welcome to TIE Unearthed. Hello and welcome to episode 33 of TIE Unearthed. Today I’m speaking with my friend Juliana Xavier, director of brand management at Yara International. With more than 15 years of international experience in brand marketing, design and employee engagement that we’ll be talking about responsibly feeding the world and protecting the planet.

00:00:58:23 – 00:01:27:06
Philippa White
After more than ten years working as an account executive in advertising for brands such as PepsiCo and P&G. She took an unexpected move to Oslo, Norway, for love. And with that came the opportunity to start new with a great passion for ideas and their power to engage people and inspire change. Juliana wanted to use her communication skills to do work that could have a positive impact and contribute to a better future.

00:01:27:17 – 00:01:52:00
Philippa White
Today at Yara, a global crop nutrition company, she works every day to raise awareness on the impact the way we produce food today has on the climate. How agriculture is as much a big part of the problem as it is an essential part of the solution. And how Yara is working to live up to its mission to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet.

00:01:52:14 – 00:02:17:06
Philippa White
We’ll be talking about everything from digital farming tools to improve the efficiency and sustainability of food production to the hope Juliana finds in the many innovations, investments and partnerships happening today to tackle the greatest challenge of our time climate change. So grab that favorite beverage or throw on those running shoes and enjoy this chat with Julia.

00:02:19:08 – 00:02:24:09
Philippa White
Hi, Juliana. It is so wonderful to have you with us today. Thank you for joining us.

00:02:25:09 – 00:02:28:02
Juliana Xavier
Well, thank you for having me. Really nice to be here, PHILIPPa.

00:02:28:11 – 00:02:32:21
Philippa White
I’m so excited. It’s great. So tell it. Tell me you are aware right now.

00:02:33:19 – 00:02:37:10
Juliana Xavier
I’m in Oslo right now? Yes. All the way up in Norway.

00:02:37:14 – 00:03:12:09
Philippa White
So we go way back and have lots in common. We were put in touch by center. Who is a very good friend of both of ours, and that was so many years ago now. We both worked at Leo BURNETT. Your Brazilian and I live in Brazil, and yet we just I think what connected us and the reason why we’ve just been so in contact so much over all of these years is our joint desire to want to make the world a better place.

00:03:12:12 – 00:03:30:02
Philippa White
And we’ve been doing that in our own unique ways over the last numerous years. So talk to us about your background. Talk to us about how you got to Norway. We’ll talk about what you’re doing in a second. But just yeah, talk to us a bit about you and how you got to where you’re at.

00:03:31:05 – 00:03:58:01
Juliana Xavier
Sure. Well, it’s it’s it’s quite a winding road. It’s definitely not a straight line. And I mean, I don’t know how far you want it to go, but I, I ended up where I am. But it’s sort of like never in a million years I would have imagined that I would be living in Norway. Today was never in the plans and even doing what I’m doing and working where I’m working.

00:03:58:12 – 00:04:29:06
Juliana Xavier
But I left when I, you know, had to apply for university and all that. I wanted to be a diplomat. So I actually started international relations, which has nothing to do with marketing or communication. But I got very quickly, about very quickly I realized that my idea of diplomacy and that world was very idealized. I did finish the course because I, I liked the subject.

00:04:29:22 – 00:05:02:22
Juliana Xavier
And, you know, it’s neat. And there is actually a lot from that that I use to this stage. I think that is relevant. But I decided, okay, this is not really where, where I want to make a career because it’s not quite what I had expected of. Well, coming from Brazil, we probably understand why that was the term is because I realized that if I wanted to be a diplomat for Brazil and so I’ve been very sick of that’s and as the diplomat is serve the government that is on and life you’re not chosen by the government so yeah just imagine if I had.

00:05:03:22 – 00:05:04:19
Philippa White
That scenario.

00:05:05:12 – 00:05:30:08
Juliana Xavier
Right. So I and then it really happened, advertising happened completely by chance and it was part of crisis really because I had finished university, had gone through a breakup. I was completely lost. I didn’t know what I was going to do. The left was and I had a cousin that happened to be working at AMP Video, which is part of one of the biggest network of agencies at the time.

00:05:30:08 – 00:05:57:12
Juliana Xavier
And they needed someone to just cover for someone that was going to be on holidays. And I, I took it in and, and then I stayed. I really enjoyed it because I like design and, and film and communication and all that was there for me. And, and the good thing with, with BBDO, my video is that being Young International Network, I could go abroad.

00:05:57:12 – 00:06:13:06
Juliana Xavier
So I went and I did an internship at BBDO in London and I really liked it and then decided I want to go back. So eventually I did move to London to study and it was supposed to be like a three months thing. But then I got the job at Leo BURNETT Center and that’s how that took me there.

00:06:13:06 – 00:06:37:21
Juliana Xavier
But five years later, I started getting a little bit impatient as well because, oh my God, I’m using all this to sell, you know, soda. And because I work with Pepsi, the accounts, I just kind of didn’t feel right then when I moved to Libya and start working with P&G and it was always on Tampax.

00:06:38:13 – 00:06:51:03
Philippa White
But I don’t know, I, it’s a lot of I didn’t have that on the list of things that we have in common. But I adore, I mean I personally adored working on that account for so many reasons and I don’t want to steal your thunder but yeah. So yeah.

00:06:51:18 – 00:07:00:18
Juliana Xavier
So for a while that was like, okay, now if I’m actually, you know, doing something right here because after all, women don’t need the tampons, the sanitary pads.

00:07:00:18 – 00:07:11:08
Philippa White
And the difference between the cultural differences of how women around the world deal with menstruation like that. I found so eye opening. So yeah, yeah.

00:07:11:19 – 00:07:32:01
Juliana Xavier
Yeah. So, so, so that was, that was great. But, and I think that’s after five years, more or less, I was just like, okay, what is the next move? So I was ready to try something else. And I honestly also got that’s also when I came across your work because I was one of the first ones, if not the first one.

00:07:32:01 – 00:07:39:13
Juliana Xavier
The first one worked with Ty and I helped Chris with his fundraising so he could go. I think it was the first one.

00:07:39:13 – 00:07:43:05
Philippa White
Oh yeah, he was the first, the first ever one. Chris Jackson.

00:07:43:07 – 00:08:04:23
Juliana Xavier
Yeah, yeah. And then after that, who was that. I don’t remember who went after that then. And we had four together. Yeah. He was ad and I have put together a carnival party and they opened that to raise funds for cancer care. So I was like, wow, this is sort of like it started got me thinking again and I was like, Is that like a better way to do all of this?

00:08:05:14 – 00:08:23:06
Juliana Xavier
And then eventually what happened really was that I met Jacob, who I am with until now, is who happens to be Swedish, and he was living in Oslo. So at some point it was just sort of like the perfect time because I was already looking for a move, so I ended up taking the leap. Okay, let’s go to host.

00:08:23:06 – 00:08:27:14
Juliana Xavier
Let’s see what happens. So that’s that’s how I ended up where I am.

00:08:27:24 – 00:08:31:22
Philippa White
So you’re a surfer? Just a really it’s sort of as an aside, you do surf, don’t you?

00:08:32:05 – 00:08:52:12
Juliana Xavier
I well, I try I cannot claim that because if Jacob or any of my friends who really surf, it’s just going to blow. But I try, I try and I have actually surfing now as well, which is a massive achievement for president.

00:08:52:20 – 00:08:57:10
Philippa White
So now talk to us about Yara and what you’re doing now.

00:08:58:04 – 00:09:20:07
Juliana Xavier
Yeah. So yada yada is a company that has its origins in Norway. Therefore the headquarters are here and I think for me I need to go a little bit back to the history because most of your listeners are not going to know. We are not going to know this. And and it’s it’s quite cool actually, because connects to where we are today.

00:09:20:16 – 00:09:46:02
Juliana Xavier
So Yara had three founders and one of them, Kristian Birkeland, he was scientist, the Norwegian scientist who was really into sort of like understanding the Northern Lights. And he did a lot of the theories that he had at the time he was radicalized. But later on is then accepted and we’re sort of like quite breakthrough for some of the stuff that we understand today about the magnetic field and and so on.

00:09:46:14 – 00:10:16:07
Juliana Xavier
But one of the things that he discovered was how we could capture nitrogen from the air and that through that process creates a make fertilizer. And this happened it was like 1905 and Europe was going through a big famine crisis. People were going hungry and the farmers were not able to produce enough food. So so it was a really breakthrough innovation at the time.

00:10:16:07 – 00:10:51:02
Juliana Xavier
And this is really where the whole agriculture evolution started. Most people attribute that to. I think it’s a German that came afterwards that developed a new way to produce fertilizer, which is the way we produce today. It’s called the Hybrid Bosch, but the breakthrough that it’s possible and figuring out how to do that capture of nitrogen and making fertilizer, it was custom become was one of the founders of Yara.

00:10:52:02 – 00:11:07:08
Juliana Xavier
Now it’s more than 100 years now and obviously a lot has changed since then. And today is a lot more than a fertilizer company. And we can I can talk a little bit more about that, but that’s that’s where it all started.

00:11:07:09 – 00:11:13:21
Philippa White
Do you want to talk a bit more about what else Yara does? Just to kind of put it into perspective, it’s just that people can understand.

00:11:13:22 – 00:11:44:03
Juliana Xavier
It’s so absolute, so it started there. And today Yara works with more than 20 million farmers worldwide. And through the work that’s and that’s connection with the farmers is obviously you have the fertilizer product, but there is a lot of agronomic knowledge exchange. We have a network of agronomists that engage with the farmers and help them identify the best crop nutrition plans for for their crops.

00:11:44:07 – 00:12:10:06
Juliana Xavier
We work with. We have now expanded into digital solutions so that we can actually digitize that knowledge and scale it up because you can’t have millions of agronomists everywhere, but you can digitize that knowledge and make it available in the form of digital applications as one example. The other types of digital applications that we do and that work today helps feed.

00:12:10:13 – 00:12:34:04
Juliana Xavier
We calculate that our today with the farmers have about 262 million people in the world and it’s connected with the mission and the vision of the company. And I think that’s very special for Giada. So if you ask any employee in the company, they will be able to quote the mission and the vision without thinking so responsibly, see the world and protect the planet.

00:12:34:04 – 00:12:52:20
Juliana Xavier
That’s the mission. And the vision is that of a collaborative society, a world without hunger and a planet respected. Because we think that no one can tackle these issues alone. And so we need collaboration. And that’s really the core of everything that guides the company moving forward.

00:12:53:01 – 00:13:15:06
Philippa White
So I know that getting messages of Yara out to the public is actually kind of hard. Like you internally are so busy and obviously you say that everybody within the company knows the mission and the mission. But I know that you mentioned that agronomists, for example, in even in Norway, they don’t even know a lot of like Yara is doing.

00:13:15:06 – 00:13:50:17
Philippa White
And also we know that food and climate change are very connected, aren’t they? Your industry? Yeah, your industry contributes to it, but also is greatly affected by it. So obviously it’s in your best interest to to get that under control. I’m just really keen to know what should people know and I’m aware that this is hugely loaded. There’s tons that you can talk about, but hit us with some of this information because I just think what if an agronomist is listening to this?

00:13:50:17 – 00:14:13:03
Philippa White
What should they know about Yara? If the general person is listening to this, if they’ve read the the IPCC report, they’re freaking out, understandably, about big business. It’s not about talk anymore. It’s about doing you know, there’s so much there and I’ll probably start picking things to try to sort of help unearth this. But talk to us about it.

00:14:13:07 – 00:14:55:05
Juliana Xavier
Yeah. So I’ll try to let’s see how I can organize this in a structured way. So you’re absolutely right that the way we have been producing food has come at a tremendous cost to the world and the environment and the climate. So but as Christians becomes a breakthrough, it was really important to tackle the famine situation in Europe at that time and to be able to produce enough food to feed the world today, the the way it evolved and how the modern current agricultural system and food system operates is not sustainable.

00:14:55:23 – 00:15:31:08
Juliana Xavier
So it’s not like, yeah, it’s just one thing to other action that is vital today. Agriculture is, if I’m not mistaken, responsible for 20% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world. What complexes that people need to eat. So it’s not like let’s go ahead. Okay, let’s produce less food now. In fact, the UN projects that we’re going to hit 9.8 billion people and in the world by 2050 and should be able to feed that people.

00:15:31:08 – 00:15:54:24
Juliana Xavier
We need to double the amount of food that we produce and I think that is taken into consideration as well that we are not wasting food because part of the problem is that there is a lot of waste in the way that the value chain works. So yes, agriculture is a big part of the problem, but it’s also because of that part of the solution.

00:15:55:07 – 00:16:12:23
Juliana Xavier
And what is interesting is that the farmers are also really impacted by what is happening. Right. Because, I mean, this year, for example, Brazil had, I think one of the most severe winters they ever had. It’s not in the.

00:16:13:09 – 00:16:26:10
Philippa White
Totally I mean, in the south it snowed. And yeah, this here actually the northeast of Brazil, I’ve never seen this amount of rain. It’s just raining constantly. Constantly. Hasn’t stopped for a month. Yes.

00:16:26:22 – 00:16:50:19
Juliana Xavier
So the impact of that and this is it, it is happening right now. The impact of that is that many coffee farmers in Brazil and Brazil is the biggest exporter of coffee. Many coffee farmers have lost their their crops this their harvest this year. And that will have an impact on the price of coffee in the world as well.

00:16:50:21 – 00:17:26:09
Juliana Xavier
So so it’s like a domino effect. So some of that we can help farmers with some of that because for example, we have digital solutions that help them anticipate some of the weather patterns so that they can plan their their harvest and the nutrition, the proper nutrition plan and all that. But of course, not everything, because that’s not a thing, a farming used to be a lot based on knowledge that was passed on from generation to generation.

00:17:26:09 – 00:17:55:23
Juliana Xavier
It’s a very sort of like family type of business. And and that, you know, trail of knowledge is being broken because of climate change, because, you know, the patterns that exists ending in the past don’t happen anymore. Yeah. So yeah. So it’s interesting because, you know, it’s contributing to the problem, it’s being impacted by the problem and it has the potential to be a big part of the solution.

00:17:56:05 – 00:18:13:11
Philippa White
So back to to my question then, if you were talking to an agronomist, what would you tell them about what Yara is doing to help decrease the impact on climate change through what you’re doing?

00:18:13:17 – 00:18:43:13
Juliana Xavier
You know, farmers, they are very different across the world and they have very different concerns. There’s more farmers today also looking at regenerative agriculture and organic is also getting a lot of attention. And but the the more traditional farmer and, you know, a farmer in Brazil or in the US or Europe, especially in Europe, they will get hit by regulation.

00:18:43:13 – 00:19:11:10
Juliana Xavier
You know, Europe just released their green deal, you know, and their targets for how they are going to meet their commitments to the climate agreement. And and that is putting pressure on farmers because they will need to show that they are using less amount of fertilizer and there will be more regulation limiting what type of fertilizers they can use and what is the impact of what they are doing.

00:19:11:21 – 00:19:40:14
Juliana Xavier
So for example, one of the things we were working on so many different from France, but so we’ve recently this year we launched an initiative called the Agro Carbon Alliance is a system to help farmers to create a marketplace for farmers that can produce food with less CO2, and so they can get CO2 credits or carbon credits, and then they can use that and sort of like a carbon marketplace.

00:19:41:05 – 00:20:10:03
Juliana Xavier
And that’s the way to recognize that farmer for having a more sustainable agricultural practice, because the farmer today does not get a premium for harvesting or cultivating land in a way that is better for the environment. There is no incentive to a farmer to do that, and it’s often more expensive today to do it that way as well.

00:20:10:10 – 00:20:28:21
Philippa White
So how do you respond to that? Because actually it’s interesting. One of the organizations that we work with in Brazil, Eric, can be and we did a podcast with Pinker, who is the co-founder a good few months ago now, and it was actually one of the projects that we worked on in January with Title Accelerator for the last 30 years.

00:20:28:21 – 00:21:04:08
Philippa White
I mean, their mission is how to keep trees in the ground, so and how to incentivize landowners, farmers that to keep the trees in the ground because that we as a population need the trees in the ground for obvious reasons. But what is the incentive for a landowner? How can they make money having trees in the ground because they would rather sell or plant coffee or sugar cane or whatever else they need to plant to be able to make a living.

00:21:04:08 – 00:21:29:08
Philippa White
How does Yara respond to this in the sense that on one hand you’re a fertilizer company or actually your chemical company, and actually that that’s another question that I have. But you’re a chemical company, but you work with fertilizers, and we know that the chemicals, also the food production contributes to the issues that we face on a on a global scale, from a climate change point of view.

00:21:29:22 – 00:21:58:20
Philippa White
But at the same time, obviously, the farmers are impacted by that. So it’s in the best interest for those those impacts to be decreased but there’s no incentives for the farmers does yet to have a have a responsibility in this is Yara on the front foot how how do you respond how do you respond if there’s no incentives but yet you’re aware that for the future of our planet but for the future of the these farmers things need to get better.

00:21:59:03 – 00:22:23:16
Philippa White
And then and actually just to sort of just to touch on that as well because also as as a general, just a sort of normal person on the ground looking at big business, reading the IPCC report, it freaks me out and it’s freaking out. A lot of other people that really it’s it is big business that is causing this and it really is only big business that can stop it.

00:22:23:21 – 00:22:40:12
Philippa White
And we have no more time for talk. So we have no more time for for. Okay, well, we should try this and yes, it would be good to do this. How is Yadav leading the way? How is Yara responding to this, and how do you respond to criticisms now?

00:22:41:08 – 00:23:08:04
Juliana Xavier
That’s a really good question and I’m I hope I remember all the parts of that so I can respond. But it is really complex because, you know, for us, it all starts with the farmer and we want to make it, you know, the farmers and the end the center customer for us. But we’re all into this sort of like larger system, which is the food system.

00:23:08:12 – 00:23:37:19
Juliana Xavier
So we also work with food companies. But one of the things we are looking at now is organic fertilizer that can be made from waste that is from using the fertilizer. So to take the waste from from soil, from the water, from, you know, from the value chain, and then you use that to make new fertilizer that is organic, but also advising the farmers to use good and precision technique for farming.

00:23:38:02 – 00:24:00:00
Juliana Xavier
So, for example, one one misconception many people have and I probably had the same misconception before us are working for Yara. So the time to put fertilizer and pesticides, everything sort of like in the same bucket and and they are not in a pesticide is a chemical that you spray on the plant to kill a pest or something you know.

00:24:00:10 – 00:24:40:09
Juliana Xavier
But fertilizer is a nutrient that the crop needs to grow healthy. So it’s put on the soil and then the crop absorbs that nutrient from the soil and it grows with good quality and you have a good harvest. Now, of course, depending on the type of practice you have, if you put too much, if you do too much monoculture, you know, you can deplete the soil from those nutrients and then you become, you know, every every time you have to put more and more and more if you put so much fertilizer, then you can also create a leakage.

00:24:40:09 – 00:25:23:08
Juliana Xavier
So then you have runoffs to water and you have runoffs due to the soil and pollution. But we have there are ways that you can, for example, say exactly how much the crop needs and and solutions to be able to to apply exactly just how much that soil needs. In fact, and this is something I did. I know it was Debra and Mrs. Zenyatta that told me that at some point the curve when are putting fertilizer or doing sort of a proposition program on on on the crop is that it’s it’s sort of like a curve that at some point it start going down so it put much much much and then it becomes too

00:25:23:08 – 00:25:51:00
Juliana Xavier
much on their facts is actually the opposite of what you want. So that type of education with the farmer as well is important. But some of the the solutions we develop and we try to work with the farmers is, you know, like using less pudding to grow more so in fact so like being able to grow the same amount that you would be, you would grow if you had to cut down those trees.

00:25:51:00 – 00:26:16:17
Juliana Xavier
But you actually can just grow as much with one third of, of the land, you know, and with one third of the water, for example, if I remember correctly, a couple of years ago, I actually worked on a project where the the composition program we had developed was making. I don’t remember now if it was citrus plants or coffee plants healthier.

00:26:16:19 – 00:26:27:00
Juliana Xavier
So that’s the farmers didn’t have to use the pesticides. So you can do that with crop nutrition program. That’s just something that is just so many. Philip I don’t I could go.

00:26:27:12 – 00:26:58:11
Philippa White
No, I know there’s so many moving parts. I think when you started when you talked about the founder of Yara in 1905 and how he had discovered this incredible way to to grow food at scale. And that feels like it was quite a revolutionary thing at the time. And I kind of feel like we are almost back to that stage in the world again in the sense that that was a very pivotal moment.

00:26:58:11 – 00:27:38:09
Philippa White
But also quite a revolutionary invention. And that obviously created the success of Yara and where Yara then went to it feels like we need something else like that now. And I guess my question is, when Yara is doing the projections for the future, you know, by 2050, okay, we’re going to have double the amount of food and and when we also do the projections around climate change, so where the world is going to be, how much we need to decrease as far as emissions, the agricultural industry is contributing 20%.

00:27:38:09 – 00:28:11:00
Philippa White
So therefore we are going to decrease by however much so that we can ensure that our our contribution is decreased. Are those conversations being had and are those because I can imagine this is an amazing opportunity for anybody who’s wanting to find the next innovative solution to the agricultural industry. Do you feel as someone who is as concerned about all of this as I am, do you feel like those conversations are happening and that those solutions are being found?

00:28:11:09 – 00:28:33:15
Juliana Xavier
Yes, absolutely. And I know it’s I was smiling when you were saying, I feel like we’re back to Kristen Berglund. And it’s it’s funny because as I told you, you know, like he found a way to separate the nitrogen from the air. And then some of it came carbon. Bosch, which is the way we produce fertilizer today. The way I produce fertilizer today requires natural gas.

00:28:33:24 – 00:29:05:24
Juliana Xavier
So that means it releases a lot of CO2 from that 20% that I told you, which is the contribution of agriculture to greenhouse gas emissions. About 4% comes from the production of fertilizer, 40% comes from deforestation, which is connected to the organization you work with. So they’re right. You know, stopping the forestation is really, really important, but 4% comes from the production of fertilizer.

00:29:05:24 – 00:29:34:11
Juliana Xavier
So one bacon found a way to capture nitrogen from the air to make fertilizer. They used hydropower, which is a renewable energy source. So we are actually now working on projects to retrofit our plants. So we have one in Norway here and washroom so that we can produce fertilizer the way it was produced before. At that time, it’s more complicated than that.

00:29:34:11 – 00:29:57:19
Juliana Xavier
But yes, basically the result of that is actually producing bring fertilizer or fertilizer without CO2 emissions. And it’s funny because it’s actually going back to, oh, it used to be like that’s the problem with that. And the reason why we don’t do it that way before is because it’s really costly. It’s really it costs a lot of money to do it that way.

00:29:57:22 – 00:30:24:05
Juliana Xavier
And and then it’s sort of like next to the question you had asked me before as well, you know. Yes. You know, businesses, they really need to lead the way here. But there is only so much the business can do and influence consumers and and their own stakeholders. We need regulation. We need the government, you know, because the government can also create the necessary environment for certain things to flourish.

00:30:24:19 – 00:30:48:17
Juliana Xavier
So in this case, for example, to should be able to make a green fertilizer a business model possible. I mean, it’s not feasible for Yara to do that. It’s the cost is so high that we wouldn’t be able to just pass it on and diluted in the value chain. It would end up with a product on the shelf that would be too expensive for the end consumer to buy.

00:30:48:23 – 00:31:28:04
Juliana Xavier
So you need support from the government to invest. And in those projects until they become, you know, viable. And I think that would be interesting to see is a CO2 label on food and products that we find on the shelves of the supermarkets. So like, for example, when you buy your granola or your muesli or your loaf of bread, just as you can see the nutritional values on the back of the packaging, that you could also see the carbon footprint of that product.

00:31:28:17 – 00:31:45:15
Juliana Xavier
And that would obviously help consumers to make more informed choices when it comes to the climate impact of what they are buying and consuming, that is a lot more transparent than going labels. For example. Yeah.

00:31:45:16 – 00:31:47:24
Philippa White
And are those are those conversations happening.

00:31:48:03 – 00:32:28:06
Juliana Xavier
Yes. Yeah. So I mean, and here and well, we work very closely with them. We have several and we work very closely with Murad, which is the development agency, the Norwegian Developer Development Agency. And we also work with with others in the private sector and with organizations as well, like the World Food Program, the WWF. So we, we partner with them and one, one thing we work with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which is a council of business focused on what business can do to work for sustainable development development.

00:32:28:20 – 00:32:32:00
Juliana Xavier
So yeah, the conversations are happening. Absolutely.

00:32:32:16 – 00:32:54:17
Philippa White
I’ve got so many other questions for you. We’re coming to the end of this. I wanted to ask you so many things about other projects that you’ve worked on with Yara over the years that’s impacting the world, and we just don’t really have time, so we have to get you on another podcast. But I feel like there are what does give you hope, what keeps you up at night worrying, but what gives you hope?

00:32:54:21 – 00:33:23:20
Juliana Xavier
And I was discussing this with Jacob yesterday, and you know what keeps me up at night as my kids literally. Yes, because they literally do not let me sleep, but also because it always goes back to, you know, what is the world that they’re going to inherited from us. It was weird when when Lucas was born, he was born in 2000, 16th February 2016.

00:33:23:23 – 00:33:50:05
Juliana Xavier
So that’s when Trump became the president. And it’s also when Brexit happened. And I remember I was on maternity leave at the time and I was following all this and waking up to the news that Trump had won. And I literally start I started crying and I was breastfeeding and I was just telling him, I’m so sorry I brought you to this world because I don’t know what is going to happen.

00:33:50:21 – 00:34:21:03
Juliana Xavier
It was sort of like primal response to the whole thing, but it’s sort of like really I just could see that we were going to lose so much time, you know? And and then after that, the year after that, it was Brazil. It didn’t get much better. But on the other hand, they also give me hope because of these and the younger generation, they don’t know a world without climate change.

00:34:21:03 – 00:34:56:01
Juliana Xavier
You know, they they’re not questioning it anymore. And and that’s that’s their reality. They know it’s a lot more real for them. So I think that the barriers for them to do what needs to to be done is a lot lower. And like I doubt look as I’m it is are ever going to drive a fossil fuel car and I wonder if they even going to eat real meat you know, because there’s so much going on and and synthetic food.

00:34:56:01 – 00:35:19:04
Juliana Xavier
And so I think, you know, there’s just so much innovation I read the other day. I think was in The New York Times that last year, the businesses and the inventions and the startups that got the most investment from investment funds and and the investors community were related to innovation that can tackle climate change. And that is a massive shift.

00:35:19:04 – 00:35:21:24
Juliana Xavier
So yeah, and that is really, really positive.

00:35:22:04 – 00:35:42:02
Philippa White
I would love to know if there’s anything that I haven’t asked you. I did. You know, we’ve had a conversation, obviously a few conversations before this and there are a few things that you that we talked about. And I don’t know if you’ve touched on everything in this yet. Is there anything else that I haven’t asked here that you haven’t said that you think is just really important for the listeners to understand?

00:35:42:22 – 00:35:45:15
Juliana Xavier
Oh, it’s difficult. There’s so much I know.

00:35:45:20 – 00:35:48:13
Philippa White
Probably we’re just scratching the surface with this. I’m aware of.

00:35:48:13 – 00:36:12:05
Juliana Xavier
It. I’m talking about two things. But there is one thing I wanted to to say, and I like when I talk about, you know, how how much food we need to produce to feed the world. One thing I didn’t know until I joined ERA was that the majority of the people that go to bed hungry, everything single night are smallholder farmers.

00:36:12:21 – 00:36:42:14
Juliana Xavier
So and that to me is such a crazy fact, you know, that farmers are the other ones producing food to feed the world are the the majority of those that go to bed hungry. So obviously this is mostly smallholder farmers and, you know, don’t have access to inputs and to the means they need to be able to produce at a larger scale and have, you know, and make a living out of that.

00:36:42:14 – 00:37:06:07
Juliana Xavier
So like farmers in many places like in Africa, those challenges that we described with the farmer in Brazil growing coffee, they are going through the same challenges. But the difference is that when they lose a harvest, that means they don’t have food. And that is the difference between them being, you know, like subsistence farmers to going below the poverty line.

00:37:06:15 – 00:37:26:04
Juliana Xavier
Yeah. So last year, one one COVID hit, as I said, to work with the World Food Program and and our CEO in a conversation with David Beasley, who is the head of the World Food Program, as you know, is there anything we can do? And and Beasley said, well, you need to get your product to the farmers in Africa.

00:37:26:04 – 00:37:59:08
Juliana Xavier
So we we donated 40,000 tonnes of fertilizer to farmers in specific regions in Africa where we have operations and that’s where we have network. And what was amazing about that was that it was doesn’t it wasn’t just the fertilizer donation. We wanted to make sure that we could secure that the farmer that was entitled to receive that fertilizer received that fertilizer and that none of the bags got lost in the black market for anything.

00:37:59:16 – 00:38:27:07
Juliana Xavier
So for the first time, we managed to track the fertilizer from our plant in Norway all the way to the farmer in Africa. And and that’s as far as we know, nobody has ever managed to do that before. And this has this is really good for everything we’re trying to do, because it means now that we have a technology that enables others to also if we can track the fertilizer, it has all sorts of consequences for the food value chain.

00:38:27:07 – 00:38:53:18
Juliana Xavier
You mean, you know, suddenly you can have more visibility on the CO2 emissions and the way that a certain product was produced and so on. But so so that was that. And through that we also managed to connect because we needed a way to identify the farmers and deliver that fertilizer to the farmers. So we work with our retailers and the For Food Program and their partners on the ground.

00:38:53:22 – 00:39:26:00
Juliana Xavier
And we developed this digital platform. And through that digital platform we could connect to 2 million smallholder farmers. So those smallholder farmers, they can get economic knowledge in that digital platform, so they learn what’s the best way to use the fertilizer that they received. And we’ve been following some of those farmers. And, you know, some of them have doubled or tripled their their harvest this year.

00:39:26:12 – 00:39:34:19
Juliana Xavier
And we estimate that this has helped feed about 1 million people for a year in Africa.

00:39:34:21 – 00:39:46:14
Philippa White
Wow. It’s a good story to end on a really, really enjoyed this conversation and I really appreciate your time and thank you for what you’re doing and keep getting that message out.

00:39:47:10 – 00:40:12:11
Juliana Xavier
Well, thank you. And all I it’s as I told you, I’m so honored to be here talking to you, Phillip, and I’m the biggest fan of the work you do. I think what you’re doing with Ty is just so amazing and how you have pivoted as well in the middle of the pandemic. I know it’s talked so many times, know how we can scale this up, how does the make this business model and then suddenly hits the pandemic?

00:40:12:11 – 00:40:31:08
Juliana Xavier
And there’s a silver lining on all of that is that, you know, that that happened and it’s so inspiring, it’s so important. So it’s really an honor. And to be here talking to you and thanks for for also, you know, landing your platform to tell those stories.

00:40:31:20 – 00:40:38:04
Philippa White
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. And we will connect again very soon.

00:40:38:04 – 00:40:38:16
Juliana Xavier
Thank you.

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