Net Zero & Nature Positive Theatre (Keynote)

Overcoming Food Insecurity: Pursuing Greater Self-Sufficiency for Hong Kong

Day 2 : 14:30 – 15:20

As a wealthy city with an urban population and close proximity to Mainland China, the pressing threats which have forced food security to be top of mind for many globally, such as crop failures due to droughts, flooding, and lack of access to food imports due to political instability, are relatively rare occurrences in Hong Kong. However, deprioritising food insecurity as a distant threat ignores the interdependence of global food supply systems and leaves Hong Kong vulnerable to external shocks.  

What opportunities and challenges exist for businesses in Hong Kong to apply a food systems approach, and implement local food security into business strategies? 


  • 66 years ago, Hong Kong produced about 2/3 of the vegetables it consumed. Today it produces less than 2%. Consequently, the vast majority of Hong Kong’s produce, 95%, is imported from around the world, with the US, China and Brazil being the top 3 suppliers by value.  
  • Hong Kong’s over-reliance on food imports exposes the city to global commodity disruptions and price fluctuations. Nomura’s 2019 “Food Vulnerability Index” ranked Hong Kong as the world’s 42nd most vulnerable place, not far behind low-income countries such as Pakistan, the Philippines and Egypt. 
  • Consequently, any events that disrupt food production and regional and global exports have significant knock-on effects. This was made clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, when supply chain shocks caused fresh produce and poultry shortages. As climate-related disasters and supply chain disruptions increase in frequency, it is crucial that Hong Kong understands the direct impact of climate and other related risks as well as viable solutions towards greater food self-sufficiency. 

Post-Event Actions 

  • Understand food security from a Hong Kong lens, and how business leaders can weave robust supply chains development into business plans, 
  • Rethink how your company and industry can play a role and integrate food security into sustainability strategies. 


Dr Margaret Burnett

Programme Director

Currently the Programme Director for the Master of Social Science in Sustainability Leadership and Governance, in the Centre for Civil Society and Governance at the University of Hong Kong. Margaret has developed learning modules for students as well as organisations to raise awareness of sustainability issues and their relevance by helping both students and clients integrate sustainability into personal and core organizational decision-making processes. She is often a guest speaker, and partners with organizations to provide support to their in-house Sustainable Development initiatives, currently with an emphasis on climate change related factors.

My Sustainability Goals for 2023:

For leaders to put into action meaningful changes to their operations given that everyone can drive significant improvements through the cumulative effect of us all playing our part. As much as we all want nice stuff, it’s not much point if we don’t have a planet to put it on!

Gabrielle Kirstein

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Gabrielle Kirstein is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Feeding Hong Kong, a registered charity with a mission to fight hunger in Hong Kong and reduce the amount of quality food being sent to our city’s landfills. Feeding Hong Kong achieves this by collecting high quality food that would otherwise be thrown away and redistributing it to frontline charities feeding people in need.

Gabrielle started her career at the international advertising agency Bates. She moved to Hong Kong in 2003 and worked in communications and events with Euromoney Institutional Investor, The Economist Group and others, until founding Feeding Hong Kong in 2011.

Gabrielle is also a Board Director of Redress, an environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry and co-founder of The Redress Design Award, Redress’ flagship programme. She holds a BA in English Literature from Durham University and MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Tsz Wai Loong

Chief Executive

Believer in asset-based community development. Chief Executive of Land Education Foundation. Book writer and columnist. The HKJC Chicago Booth EMBA Scholar.

Four years ago, he moved back to Lantau Island and started his adventure with community-supported agriculture and farmland conservation in villages. Recently, he opened a community hub called “Good Old Soil” to sell made-in-Lantau products, including the craft beer made by wampee fruit produced in the Lantau.

Jonathan Yeoh

Co- Founder & CFO

Co-Founder and CFO of KIN with the mission to change the way we eat. 14 years of investment banking experience, leading institutional sales & trading teams and investment committee member. Initial investor and previously the COO of Maximal Concepts, driving the team’s Mott 32 global expansion. Financial Controller for the climate change documentary, The Last Glaciers.

My Sustainability goals for 2023:

KIN’s mission is to change the way we eat, to combat the climate crisis. We believe ingredient change is the solution.

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