Parsha Pekudei - Social Capital -Accounting — Impact Investing
In Parsha Vayakhel, Rabbi Sacks talks about the community and faith-based communities — He referred to Social Capital and the ideas promoted by Robert D. Putnam.
So, what Is Social Capital?
Social capital is a set of shared values that allows individuals to work together in a group to effectively achieve a common purpose.
The idea is generally used to describe how members are able to band together in society to live harmoniously.
In business, social capital can contribute to a company’s success by building a sense of shared values and mutual respect.
In contrast, we have Capitalism which is focused on profit and return. i.e Capital without the Social. I.e Profit without Impact.
However, while Capitalism has been largely successful, there are flaws, and we are now in the midst of big adjustments — The Impact or ESG revolution.
We have ESG — environment, social & governance based on the common UN SDGs driving a change.
This year I am focusing on promoting ESG Accounting. You can read more about this on www.persofi.com.
The basic drive for this is underpinned by “You can’t change what you don’t measure that’s why we need to introduce mandatory accounting for all businesses and investors on their social and environmental impact” Sir Ronald Cohen
As an accountant, CFO, following on Vayakhel is Pukudei in which there is a detailed accounting of the items used in the Building of the Tabernacle.
אלה פקודי המשכן משכן העדת אשר פקד על־פי משה עבדת הלוים ביד איתמר בן־אהרן הכהן׃
This is the sum of the things of the tabernacle, of the tabernacle of Testimony, as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest.
So. we have Common Goals (UN SDGs) — Social Capital — ESG Accounting
This is leading to what is called Impact or ESG Investing or Sustainable Finance.
While there are many challenges in the transformation to a more caring world, as Parsha Pukedei illustrates — Accounting is important.
Accounting underpins the Impact or ESG Investing revolution.
The world is in need of a big Tikkun Olam. Even more so while looking at the current senseless war of destruction launched by Russia on Ukraine, and the two-faced response of Nato and the EU. While it is easy to put climate change and other good causes on hold, we still need to remain optimistic that change is still possible.
In addition to being involved in ESG Accounting initiatives, I am a strategic advisor to Dream Valley and its founder Dr. Nimrod Israely.
Dream Valley does to agriculture what Amazon & Fairtrade did for trading. It enables smallholders to sell more for a higher price to premium markets.
By implementing the conceptual — field-proven — solution of Dream Valley, we aim to change the life of millions of smallholders. Without using poisonous sprays to control the pests, we can significantly increase the quantity and quality of produce to be sold by the farmers on high price export markets.
The revenue can help remove those farmers from poverty and create a better future for the more educated generation.
This small farmer to the consumer story enables Sustainability and Social impact Consumers, not only get to buy healthy, beyond Organic but get to fight global poverty and the environment in a tangible way. There is an increasing demand from Importers and leading Retailers for the Dream Valley Brand.
Dream Valley is tackling head-on the global issues of poverty and hunger in emerging markets where even while there are huge investments, there is no visible future for the next generation. Another pain is that of consumers who wish to protect their health and that of the environment by consuming healthier fresh produce grown without spray/chemicals of any kind.
Buy helping smallholders to grow more produce, of higher quality, free of sprays and chemicals, and market it to premium markets for a premium price. Those activities will increase smallholder income and change their lives while answering consumers’ demands. We focus our efforts on high-value, high-demand crops, i.e., mangos, avocados, citrus, etc.
The Dream Valley Story
This is the story of the Dream Valley and its founder Dr. Nimrod Israely. Through this story, we hope to share with you his dreams of a better world, journey of persistence, failures, and successes.
In his own words “ My story began with a young Farmer in the 1990’s who was spraying in his orchards on the Kibbutz. I dreamed of the day when there would be better technology with better results than spraying poisons.
This led me to university where spending 15 years in academic research obtaining a Doctorate in Agriculture and Science, and in 2005 I founded Biofeed in Israel.
Biofeed addressed the no. 1 problem of growing Fruit and that is Fruit Flies. This is treated by sprays, traps, and nets. Without treatment, fruit flies makes farming uneconomical destroying 50% or more of the crop.
It took many years of R&D until we made a breakthrough in 2016 with Freedome. Freedome was supported by the Israeli Innovation Authority, won the grand challenges prize, and has 6 unique variations in dealing with different fruit flies. There is no comparable product in the market.
This gave rise to unfair Advantage no 1 — The Freedome Technology is a proprietary technological solution (Freedome) and protocol (Fruit fly Certified Trade Zone) suitable to effectively control the most significant group of pests for fruit and vegetable growers in Africa and Asia — fruit flies. The solution does not require spraying or releasing chemicals to the environment, while reducing the infestation and loss of produce from its current state of 50%, to export quality 0.01% to 1% (Israeli standard).
While we could have just sold a product, I realized that just selling another product without providing a farmer platform that helps farmers increase their income enabling a sustainable business model would not succeed to solve the global problem of poverty.
After the BioFeed Freedome breakthrough in 2016, I dedicated the last 5 years traveling around Africa and India to promote the Dream Valley concept culminating in spending 4 months in 2021 in Senegal creating a paradigm shift in the lively hood of smallholders.
Hence, the creation of the Dream Valley National Export helps smallholders grow and market high added value crops to premium markets for a premium price, free of chemicals and pests.
This gave rise to unfair Advantage no 2 — A tailor-made business model for smallholders in emerging economies for marketing fresh produce to premium markets.
Fast forward till today — We will be receiving our first export Revenues in 2nd Q 2022 with an estimated +$1.3M in sales of Mangos to premium market channels and customers such as Lidl and M&S.”
So, keep your eyes open for Dream Valley Mangos in your local supermarket.