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Banner Year for Alibaba’s Taobao Philanthropy Efforts

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: theinvestio.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Alibaba Group’s Taobao marketplace had a banner year for philanthropy in 2018, raising RMB440 million from two million merchants and 427 million shoppers and helping an estimated 8.7 million people.

Taobao’s four initiatives — and the results they garnered — make it China’s largest online philanthropy platform, in terms of total participation.

“As a marketplace with extensive reach in China, we have already enabled small businesses engaging with their customers and generating opportunities. We are thinking different ways to utilize the influence of our marketplace. Turning in philanthropy is a good example how Taobao can provide a viable channel to conduct charity initiatives creatively and effectively with just one click. The accumulation of small, thoughtful and compassionate acts from individuals each day can make a big difference at the end,” said Jiang Fan, President of Taobao.

Money and other resources raised via Taobao benefit not only the poor and unfortunate in China, but also people and programs in Ethiopia and Myanmar. The platform supports causes ranging from poverty alleviation, education and environmental protection, to child care and animal protection, as well as illness and disaster relief.

Taobao’s Four Philanthropy Programs

Taobao’s four philanthropy programs – “Goods for Good,” “Online Charity Stores,” the “Three-hour Voluntary Service Platform” and “Steps for Charity” — attracted participation from over 427 million users, who performed 7.9 billion charitable actions in 2018, including donations of time and money.

Goods for Good

In 2018, over two million Taobao merchants took part in the “Goods for Good” program and generated RMB364 millionin donations on an average of 20 million transactions per day. Participating merchants pledged a percentage of the price of their merchandise as a donation to their designated charitable organization or good causes. When customers purchase the products on Taobao, the system directly transfers the amount to the chosen organization.

The impact of blending e-commerce and philanthropy was most evident during Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in 2018, when an unprecedented 300 million charitable transactions were executed in 24 hours by 100 million consumers.

Online Charity Stores

Consumers can also purchase items from online stores set up by not-for-profit organizations on Taobao. Money from transactions was donated directly to support a wide range of charitable causes, from offering meals to people in need to sponsoring education for underprivileged students. Funded by purchases from these online stores, the “Free Lunch” project was able to provide more than 56.5 million free meals to rural school students in 2018. Also last year, the “Online Charity Stores” program raised RMB75.43 million from 2.73 million customers. More than half of the donors were people born in the 1990s.

Three-hour Voluntary Service Platform

The program originates from a program for Alibaba employees to participate in three hours of voluntary charity service every year. In 2017, Taobao extended the program on its platform by encouraging its users to commit service to designated charity organizations. Over 1,100 charity organizations have offered more than two million voluntary service opportunities through the program. As of December 2018, a cumulative 17 million users had engaged in the “Three-hour Voluntary Service Platform.”

Steps for Charity

Through the Taobao app, users can pledge to donate the number of steps they’ve walked every day to charity, with Taobao merchants or other corporates matching these steps with monetary donations to charity projects, such as building jogging paths for schools in poverty-stricken areas in China. In a little more than six months since “Steps for Charity” was launched in 2018, users have donated more than 90 billion steps to the initiative, enough to circle the earth 1,125 times.

 

SOURCE Alibaba Group

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Asia

New Gluten-free Kaiseki, Vegan Menus, and More at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Betty Tűndik

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Gluten-free Kaiseki, a traditional Japanese multi-course dinner, is now available at Miyuki, a Japanese restaurant of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo in Japan. The dinner consists of eight delicate dishes.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, known for its majestic Japanese garden and cultural heritage, has introduced vegan and gluten-free menu items including “kaiseki,” a traditional Japanese multi-course dinner, for international guests with dietary requirements.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of international visitors to Japan has been rising significantly, hitting a record-high of 31 million in 2018, and is expected to grow further for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The number of international guests staying at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo also grew over 30% from 2017 to 2018.

“Japan is often described as a gastronomic heaven, and international visitors express a keen interest in trying various foods during their stay,” said Hiroshi Izumi, General Manager of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo. “As a leading hotelier, we constantly try to offer more and better culinary options for our guests, while satisfying their dietary requirements. We are happy to introduce new menus including gluten-free kaiseki, which remains authentic and will delight your palate and eyes.” Fujita Kanko, the hotel’s owner/manager, also opened a halal Japanese restaurant, Origami Asakusa, in 2018, offering authentic Japanese cuisine that meets halal requirements.

Two restaurants are now serving special menus:

Gluten-free Kaiseki at Miyuki (Japanese Restaurant):
An exquisite eight-course Japanese dinner is now available gluten-free, including soy source made with rice instead of wheat. For more details and reservations, visit:
https://www.hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com/events/gfkaiseki/

Vegan and Gluten-free Menus at The Bistro (Casual Dining):
Both vegan and gluten-free four-course lunch and five-course dinner are available. For more details and reservations, visit:
https://www.hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com/events/vegangf/

The hotel also serves vegan and gluten-free breakfast options.

Whether visiting Tokyo for business or fun, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, with its vast green oasis and a wide range of amenities and activities, is the perfect urban resort for those who want to enjoy a summer retreat in the city. The hotel’s one-of-a-kind rooftop space becomes a “Champagne Garden” during the summer.

About Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo opened in January 2013, and is owned/managed by Fujita Kanko Inc., a publicly-traded tourism industry corporation headquartered in Tokyo, which operates 70 properties/facilities throughout Japan. The hotel’s facilities include 267 guest rooms/suites, nine restaurants, 38 meeting/banquet rooms, and the largest hotel spa in Tokyo. Its renowned garden contains a wide variety of botanical species including 120+ cherry trees and 1,000+ camellia trees.

 

SOURCE: Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

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Asia

New Project – “Think RICE, Think THAILAND”

Betty Tűndik

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Thai Rice Standards Create the Global Confidence in Quality of the National Crop
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Thai Rice Standards Create the Global Confidence in Quality of the National Crop

The Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand has introduced a project called “Think RICE, Think THAILAND” to encourage international community to pay attention to consumer health and to raise awareness on the national crop by providing a wider range of knowledge, ranging from national agricultural history, standards and Thai rice quality.

Thailand, as a global leader in rice exports, established its first Thai Rice Standards on May 20, 1957, with the issuance of the Announcement of the Ministry of Commerce on the Establishment of the Thai Rice Standards. Subsequent amendments included the Thai Rice Standards 1974, the Thai Rice Standards 1997, and the Thai Rice Standards 2016 which has set up Thai Hom Mali Rice Standards, Thai Fragrance Rice Standards, and Thai Rice standards. Most recently, the Thai Colored Rice Standards were established in early 2019. These now serve as the benchmarks for the quality of Thai rice with definitions for both minimum composition and maximum limits.

The aforementioned Thai rice standards apply not only to the country’s rice exports but also to domestic rice trading and other stipulated matters. These criteria facilitate trade negotiations: There is no need for buyers and sellers to extensively detail specifications, including rice variety and grade, in their agreement; they simply have to refer the existing guidelines for the particular kind of rice they would like to trade.

To determine whether the quality of rice traded conform with trade agreements or established standards, a randomly selected sample of rice must be analysed. If the sample passes the inspection, the whole batch of rice is deemed in compliance with the accepted standards; however, if the sample fails, the entire batch is deemed unfit. This sampling method is an international practice across the globe. Substandard rice can never be exported because it fails to comply with the provisions of an agreement made with overseas buyers. At home, rice that deviates slightly from the standard will still be sold, albeit at a lower priced based on a set of predetermined criteria. Nevertheless, if the sample is found to diverge too far from the requirements, the whole batch will be returned to its point of origin.

Thai Rice Standards that had been in use since 1957 never prescribed any sampling and inspection instructions, except for the Thai Hom Mali Rice Standards, which stipulated such guidelines in 1997. Therefore, sampling and quality inspection of Thai rice for export have adhered to customary practices from overseas, as well as local practices. For example, samples are taken randomly from at least 2–3% of the total number of sacks in one batch. This sample size is comparable to requirements of the ISO and the IRRI, which mandate that the number of sampled sacks be the square root of the total number of sacks in a batch.

Based on the information above, good quality rice refers to rice that buyers at home and overseas are willing to accept, as well as rice that meets quality requirements. Determining the quality of rice relies not at all on an individual’s personal perception but the results of a scientific analysis of randomised samples collected by a neutral party. The samples must be completely random instead of deliberately selected.

The establishment of these Thai rice standards augments the potential of Thai rice exports. It allows buyers to have more options for buying and importing Thai rice, not only the unique strain of Thai fragrant rice known as Thai Hom Mali rice, but also many other types and varieties to suit the needs of consumers in importing countries. These standards also boost consumer confidence in the quality of Thai rice.

 

SOURCE: Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand

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Conference Call Announcements

Hozpitality India Joins Hands With Indian Horeca EXPO as Media Partners

Betty Tűndik

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Photo by Gerd Altmann
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Indian Horeca EXPO will be held in two prime cities, Coimbatore and Hyderabad in India in 2019

Hozpitality Group had announced the media partnership with one of the most awaited hospitality EXPO in IndiaIndia HoReCa Expo 2019, a successful B2B Exhibition focusing on the supply chain for the Hotel, Restaurant, Catering & Café Industry. Health Care, Office management systems and solutions will also be highlighted in the expo. The 3-day business networking event will be a good platform for the buyers, purchase initiators, end users and the decision makers to meet suppliers and plan their sourcing to fulfill their current & future requirements.

The 3rd edition of Indian Horeca Expo will be hosted at Codissia Trade Fair Complex from 5-7th July in Coimbatore, TamilNadu and 4th edition will be hosted at the HIEX exhibition center in Hyderabad. This will be a one stop shop for hotel suppliers and hospitality companies. “We are extremely happy and excited to be a part of the largest and renowned Trade shows in India. This will be our first Media partnership with an exhibition in Indiathough we are media partners of most of the reputed trade shows and expos in Middle EastAfrica and India. We would be excited to work with more industry partners in India in upcoming future,” added Raj Bhatt, CEO and Founder of Hozpitality Group.

The BUSINESS CONNECT is planned to facilitate the meetings with project planners along with their department heads to identify innovative products & to understand the functional aspects. IHE 2019 will be the perfect PROCUREMENT HUB for the Hospitality & Food service industry as it is carefully designed & scheduled for procurement professionals to source products within a limited time frame at the expo.

STARTUPS and Investors get an opportunity to discuss with senior industry professionals from the HoReCa sector. Experienced Culinary & Hospitality Consultants will be available to share their knowledge at the Consultants lounge. One may register on the official website to fix a prior appointment with the professionals on specific business topics.

BUSINESS MATCHMAKING: On understanding the actual requirement of the buyer the organizer will schedule meetings with relevant exhibitors to facilitate B2B meetings at the Business lounge.

NETWORKING SCHEDULE definitely helps the attendees to spend quality time with their vendors and in return business conversions are a proven factor.

HOSPITALITY TREND TALK is a mix of seminars, workshops, panel discussions and other activities which is of key interest to the industry. The FACILITY MANAGEMENT CONCLAVE will steer the admin and space management professionals to come out with the innovative sustainable solutions and share BEST PRACTICES of the FM world.

HOSPITALITY DESIGN CONCLAVE will involve senior designers, architects and young professionals to give the decor business a fresh & trendy twist. It will be a golden opportunity to learn about material, fabrics, concepts and cost-effective solutions.

The attendees who were part of the previous editions of India HoReCa Expo were highly satisfied with the mix of products, the quality & service of the suppliers. This year at IHE 2019 HoReCa Professionals will be able to identify innovative and effective product range from F&F, Interiors, Laundry, Housekeeping, Food Service, Engineering, IT, Commercial Kitchen Solutions, Consumables & Gourmet Food.

Besides India business delegation from over 10 Asian countries have planned to make this event an effective sourcing platform. Specific Pavilions for the exhibitors have been planned to facilitate delegates to identify their required segment.

Attendees are requested to preregister on www.indiahorecaexpo.com

 

SOURCE: Hozpitality Group

 

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