Have you been FUDed?

26 May, 2019

FUD is an acronym for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. It is a psychological marketing tool that is used (and misused) to sway our minds from a reasonable alternative, whether that alternative is a competitor or an idea. The appeal is to our emotions not to our intellect.

It gained acceptance as a marketing tool in the 1970s. The concept is for a vendor to get potential clients to question the quality of a competitor’s products instead of selling the benefits of his own. It is the reverse of sales based on promoting a vendor’s product and service quality.

FUD is the basis of selling us on action to combat climate change. We are told that if we do not act, the planet is doomed, oceans will rise and swallow islands and coastal areas while a million species of plant and animal life will die out. Millions will die in droughts, wildfire infernos, floods, tornadoes and other weather incidents. The object is to instill fear which will make us compliant with whatever our governments tell us we have to do to avoid the horrors predicted.

Political parties are expert at it. They inundate us with messaging aimed at undermining trust in their competitors. They appeal to our emotions, claiming that an opposition political party will do things that harm various groups and demographics. They avoid direct comparison of their actions and policies which would appeal to our intellect and reason.

The main thrust of the 2015 election campaign was to cast doubt on Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. If we would only get rid of that deeply flawed person, sunny days, prosperity and a new way of government would emerge. Uncertainty and doubt undermined Harper’s conservatives and we got a different government; perhaps not what we expected – a PMO mired in cronyism, deceit and scandal.

The purpose of FUD marketing is to distract us from direct comparison of products and services and turn our attention to alleged flaws in a competitor’s products or services. Then we are not examining the vendors flaws so the comparison is unfair. The vendors products and services may be inferior, but we are distracted from examining that. It is insidious, but it works.

The latest FUD fad is a vegetable based substitute for beef. It is marketed as a healthier alternative to beef. There is no evidence that eating beef burgers is unhealthy, or that the swill of vegetable fibre, synthetic colours and chemicals used in the vegan burger is healthy. Direct comparison is avoided because there are no studies to support the claim that vegan burgers are healthier. We are distracted from making the obvious direct comparison. The campaign subliminally raises doubts respecting the health of eating beef burgers.

Social psychologists are hard at work establishing what motivates us and our penchant for accepting what we are told without critical examination. Think about ads for ‘over the counter’ medications that have someone dressed like a medical professional extolling the virtues of a product. They are actors but advertisers know we are more likely to accept claims by someone who looks like a professional.

The psychology underlying FUD marketing is to get us to make decisions based on emotion rather than examining and comparing facts. The antidote is healthy scepticism combined with common sense. We need that during the ongoing federal election campaign in Canada.

John Feldsted

Political Consultant & Strategist

Winnipeg, Manitoba


Editorial Addendum by RSS:

This where the incumbent Prime Minister is going to try to fool all the people all the time, again. (bold insertion by RSS).

Another example of this is 100 years ago when the tradition of confectional food called ‘cacao/chocolate’ had its guts (cacao mass, butter and liquor) ripped out of it and replaced by alternative ingredients.

These consisted of excessive amounts of ‘addictive industrial white beet sugar’ (instead of pure raw sugar cane which still contains all of its historic, nutrient properties); soya substituted for the raw cacao, trans fats, dollops of vanilla, chemicals, artificial colouring, preservatives and additional flavouring.

These were added to cover the bitter taste of poorly processed cacao beans from Africa known as ‘Forestero’, a genetically concocted hybrid seed not suited for either the nutritional or flavourful content of the bean. They simply grow fast and furious on Africa soil so as to end up in the soup of soya/sugar but are more likely to end up in Big Pharma products and body creams.

Like arabica coffee reduced to a powdered drink missing 99% of its nutritional content left out in the inferior robusta beans, cacao/cocoa powder is made from the residue of poorly cultivated, severely over-roasted and badly fermented, dried, cracked, conched and ground beans pulverized into a liquid mass and poured into bars that only appear to look like the 4,000 year old bars produced from Central America’s “Criollo” varieties.

Those original beans and bars were recorded as the first and best natural raw commodities defined as the world’s most nutritious foodstuff. They were a “Medicine of the Gods” that sustained life for the MesoAmerican indigenous peoples for millennia.  

Today’s chocolate is nothing more than a toxic ball of addictive sugar, soya, milk powder and fractional cacao powder that reinforces the body’s insatiable addiction to die of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

FUD advertising, consisting of horrific lies pertaining to the ingredients as +70%  real contents of a cacao bean and covers up the health hazards they impose on all who swallow the codswallop.

Those craft chocolate makers who grow their own Criollo/Triniterio beans in Costa Rica and support the indigenous farmers who assist in this process, are producing a nutritional gold bar that out-rivals 95% of industrial chocolate containing none of its mineral, vitamin, anti-oxidant or flavenol contents.

Thanks to FUD advertising and fraud, these fake chocolates are guaranteed to masquerade as the real thing while insuring the perpetuation of numerous crimes. Child slave labour in the Tropics, poor quality replacement parts, total destruction of the biodiversity of the Rain Forest and its canopy, are perpetrated and pursued by middlemen buyers, brokers and brokers who collude with industrial produce manufacturers in Europe and America.

They have concocted this fraud and will will try to continue to fool everyone at most confectionaries and super markets worldwide. A generation of wise eaters suffering from being severely overweight, contracting Diabetes II and repeated heart attacks have turned their focus on vastly improved content and quality of food.

This generation will overtake the rascals who got away with perpetrating the poverty of millions of people with industries who maintain their marketing and consumption lies which accompany these actions.


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America tries to freeze Canada out of the route through the Arctic

Who owns the Northwest Passage?

MIKE POMPEO, America’s secretary of state, raised Canadian hackles earlier this month when he said during a speech in Finland that Canada’s claim to the Northwest Passage was “illegitimate”. He was there to attend the Arctic Council, a body set up by the eight countries around the Arctic Ocean to resolve differences and disputes relating to the polar region. But if Canada does not own the Northwest Passage (see map), who does?

For centuries, finding a route between the 36,000 islands that form Canada’s Arctic archipelago was a dream for ambitious adventurers seeking to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Sir John Franklin, a British naval officer, famously perished in 1847 seeking an ice-free passage (an illustration of the scene is pictured below).

Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, completed the first successful crossing of the passage in 1906. Since then, global warming has reduced ice coverage in the late summer and early autumn by more than 30% since 1979, allowing more vessels to operate in the north. Only a few Arctic transits are made each year, mostly on the Russian side of the Arctic Ocean where there is less ice. In the Northwest Passage, 289 transits have taken place since 1906, 32 of them in 2017.

America has long maintained that the Northwest Passage, which has up to seven different routes, is an international strait through which its commercial and military vessels have the right to pass without seeking Canada’s permission. It bases its claim on the case of the Corfu Channel, separating Albania’s coast from the Greek island of Corfu, that was brought before the International Court of Justice in 1947. The court ruled that Albania could not claim the channel as territorial waters because it was an international route for ships between two parts of the high seas over which no country had a claim.

Perhaps we should ask the polar bears who owns their bathtubs?

Similar disputes exist about the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman; the Bab al-Mandab strait between Yemen and Djibouti; and in parts of the South China Sea. Canada, which officially acquired the archipelago along with Britain’s remaining possessions in North America in 1880, claims sovereignty over the passage because all of its routes run between islands that are Canadian territory. But it has never sought to settle the question in court.

Canada and the United States finessed their disagreement in 1988 with a political rather than legal fix, called the Canada-US Arctic Co-operation Agreement. America said it would seek Canada’s consent for any transit, but maintained that this did not mean it agreed with Canada’s position. Mr Pompeo’s recent comment suggests that, with the Arctic opening up to more shipping, America is no longer happy with the deal. Cargo ships can chop days if not weeks off certain journeys by using the Northwest Passage.

In 2014 the Nunavik took 26 days to carry nickel from Quebec to China, compared with a previous trip through the Panama Canal lasting 41 days. But the dispute, like Arctic ice, could be transitory. Scientists now speculate that the entire Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in summer in the next few decades. That means ship owners will not have to ask anyone’s permission if they choose a route through the unclaimed high seas at the top of the world.

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Fund managers go to war on plastic waste

Fund managers go to war on plastic waste

Investment groups to challenge companies over packaging and recycling standards Plastic waste in the sea. Some has been found 11km down in the Pacific Ocean

MAY 18, 2019

Public awareness of the damage to the world’s oceans and marine environment due to the scourge of plastic waste has soared after David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II television documentary series. Sensing this changing attitude, fund managers have started to take action.

Just last week, it was reported that plastic waste had been discovered at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, nearly 11km below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The first global analysis, published in 2017, estimated that 8.3bn tonnes of plastics has been produced since the industry began to expand after the second world war.

About four-fifths has been dumped as waste, while just 9 per cent has been recycled. About 12bn tonnes of plastic waste will end up in landfills or the natural environment by 2050 if current production and waste management trends continue, according to academics at the University of California, University of Georgia and the Sea Education Association in Massachusetts.

Investment managers have started to respond to public concern, challenging packaging, consumer and chemical companies on the production and use of plastic as well as stepping up support for recycling and utility companies that deal directly with the problems caused by plastic waste.

BMO Global engaged with 27 companies last year on plastic waste, the first concerted effort by the $240bn asset management arm of Bank of Montreal to address the problem.

BMO asked the companies to reduce the amount of unnecessary single-use plastic, improve the recyclability of plastic and to redesign packaging to reduce waste. It plans to extend its engagements on plastic waste beyond food, beverage and consumer staples producers to companies operating in the household and personal care sectors.

BMO believes that companies will in time have to disclose their entire plastic “footprint” in a similar fashion to carbon footprint reports that provide details of greenhouse gas emissions across an entire organisation.

“Plastic waste is a business risk that companies know they will have to address rapidly. We want to see commitments where they don’t exist already, but now implementation is key,” says Alice Evans, co-head of the responsible investment team at BMO GAM. Schroders, the £421bn London-listed asset manager, encountered a lack of data when it began to examine plastics in 2018.

This encouraged it to send questionnaires to about 100 companies globally across the packaging, food and beverage, chemicals, waste and recycling sectors. “There was a real dearth of information on the variety of plastics used, the volume of plastics used in packaging, and the use of recycled materials.

This makes comparisons between companies in the same sectors problematic,” says Seema Suchak, a sustainable investment analyst at Schroders. Changes in regulations, such as China’s decision in early 2018 to stop importing waste plastic, have helped to raise investor awareness, says Ms Suchak.

“Investors know plastic waste is not a theme that is going away. They see bans on plastic bags being introduced all over the world,” she says. MSCI, the index and data analytics provider, hosted a client meeting in London this month to discuss the issue of plastics and plans to hold similar events in Paris and Frankfurt later this year.

“Virtually no one was talking about the risks of plastic waste just a few years ago but that is changing very rapidly now,” said Sam Block, a senior ESG researcher at MSCI. “We are measuring the share of company revenues associated with plastics across the packaging, consumer goods and chemicals sectors.

We also assess how these companies deal with the risks. Changes in regulations could require companies to reformulate plastic products or even lead them to being shut out of market. Disclosure standards do vary so we have also been using alternative data sources to help refine our model,” said Mr Block.

The discovery of more than 400m pieces of plastic debris on the coastline of the remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands has provided more shocking evidence of the scale of the waste problem. Hugely ambitious targets to reduce plastic waste by 2025 have been drawn up by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, founded by the former round the world sailor, in collaboration with UN Environment Programme.

This initiative has drawn support from 16 governments, 26 financial institutions and more than 150 companies that produce or consume plastic packaging. The signatories have pledged to eliminate unnecessary plastic and to ensure that remaining plastics are designed to be safely reused, recycled or composted.

Signatories from the consumer goods sector include Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, L’Oréal and Mars. As part of this initiative, six boutique investment companies have pledged to invest a total $275m towards addressing the problems of plastic waste. The investors include Fifth Season Ventures, Closed Loop Partners, Creolus and Ultra Capital.

However, no well-known asset management company has signed up yet. Their absence reflects doubts about the scale of the commitments needed to meet the foundation’s ambition to ensure that plastics never become waste, according to a fund manager who did not want to be named.

Efforts by governments to improve plastic recycling are accelerating. The Scottish government announced this month that it planned to create the UK’s first deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, which aims to capture 90 per cent of drinks containers for recycling within three years.

Maxime Le Floch, an analyst on the £179.4m Impact Opportunities fund run by Hermes, the London-based asset manager, says: “The issue has been that plastic waste was not collected, but there are companies such as Tomra of Norway that can provide solutions to this problem that also offer a compelling investment thesis.”

Tomra specialises in reverse vending machines, which are already used in 60 countries to collect used plastic drink containers. Hopes are also growing that chemicals companies will develop compostable, bio-based plastics that can replace some conventional plastics.

“Bioplastics have their flaws as they can be more expensive to make and are not yet available in large quantities. Improvements in cellulose conversion technology should enhance the quality, quantity and cost of bioplastics,” says Ms Suchak. Bioplastics also present significant problems.

Increased production could lead to higher demand for arable land needed for food production. Carbon emissions from biodegradable plastics could also contribute to climate change. Mr Le Floch says tackling plastic waste requires a multi-dimensional approach.

“Bioplastics may look like a good alternative but if they lead to an increase in land use against forests or competing with food crops, then they may not be an appropriate substitute for conventional plastics,” he says. “The issue of plastic waste cannot be looked at just in isolation as the impact of alternatives, such as bioplastics, on the wider environment also needs to be considered.”

Where is the useless billionaire Warren Buffet in all this? As a major shareholder in Coke is this 88 year “genius” content to let the oceans be swamped in his company’s waste, whilst he revels in his wealth and the planet rots? Thought so… enjoy your McDonalds breakfast and your Diet Coke whilst the companies you support destroy our children’s future and the eco system! Do pontificate more on your investment brilliance because that will save endangered species and the environment. What a fraud.

It is possible to recycle plastic, and household waste in general, to new materials at reasonable cost. Look at technology developed by Enerkem of Canada. It requires public-private collaboration to deploy these technologies.

Over 180 countries have agreed to address the problem in a UN lead accord agreed in Basel as usual the polluter in chief refuses to co-operate. https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-05-10/un-plastic-waste-pact-approved-with-us-among-few-holdouts.

Packaging is too important to marketing (conning people) for private companies to stop generating megatons of plastic of their own accord. How do you successfully sell a few ounces of some substandard industrial foodstuff without pimping it up (and increasing its apparent size) using colorful and structurally clever packaging, a lot of which is plastic? Look at cheese puffs, for example.

The manufacturer has already made the things as insubstantial and full of air as possible, then puts a small handful in an oversized, colorful plastic bag, then pumps the bag two thirds full of air and seals it. Do you think anyone would pay $1.39 for a handful of lab-flavored and -colored aerated corn pulp if it weren’t disguised in eye-catching plastic packaging?

Two excellent reasons to ‘legislate’ against such products then. Unhealthy (virtually zero nutritive value = empty calories + excessive salt) and a hugely polluting supply chain.  The only reason such products exist seems to be as a way of ‘disposing’ of excess maize production into the human herd. ‘Disposing’ as animal feed won’t have nearly the same margins.

I agree with you in spirit. Not sure if you can (or should want to) outlaw cheese puffs or other junk food; but, we should require simpler, biodegradable packaging wherever possible.

Some myths for you… https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5910011/Plastic-bag-ban-criticised-90-cent-plastic-waste-comes-rivers-Asia-Africa.html

The waste in the Ocean is not a European/North/South American problem. The correct way for the investment management community to frame this is to invest in waste mgt in Asia.

Recycling is a pipe dream… there is no recognized standard even in the UK there are >20 different standards. Oh and by the way we have shifted our waste from China to Malaysia, Vietnam and other small Asian countries article in FT a few months ago. Ask yourself why are the O&G so happy to see Recycling on the agenda? because hardly any plastic can be recycled back to its virgin state, if it can the standard fresh plastic is much cheaper.


There is however a BioPlastic which can be recycled back to its virgin state and does not pollute the environment, in fact, a study by Plymouth University has shown that it will break down in the ocean as well. And it can be produced very efficiently and in some situations with no Carbon footprint.

If a rich north-western country found a cost effective way to manage plastic waste, would it trickle down to Asian countries? If EU/US exports its plastic to Asian counties who dump it in the sea, is it truly an Asian problem, or a global problem?

There is no way of recycling plastic economically due to inks in labels, mixed plastic used in packaging and other contamination The Swiss forbid landfill and exporting waste, in fact they import solid municipal waste and incinerate the waste to produce heat for heating and cooling and to generate electricity.

If they had bought oil to generate the same energy it would have cost $ 150 million. Holland Denmark Sweden Noway Finland Singapore Germany Belgium Japan….. do the same…..  the incineration is in the cities so you waste no money transporting and handling garbage.  New York sends its garbage between 600miles and 7000 miles away wasting $1.5 billion in the process instead of solving the problem AT HOME.

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Guest post by Ted Malloch author of The Plot to Destroy Trump

When Donald J. Trump surprised the world and won the American presidency, fair and square, he celebrated with a good friend.

That friend was from Great Britain, one of the ‘Boys of Brexit’, who likewise had pulled off the improbable and won a referendum vote to LEAVE the EU.

The two had a great deal in common, as populist patriots who opposed both the establishment and globalism, arguing for a return to sovereignty.

Simply put: they loved their respective countries.

Control of our borders, our money, our laws, and our trade were the common themes for both political leaders.

Fast-forward and today Trump in power, is casting his spell on the whole wide world, reshaping it as he promised, while in Britain, Brexit is yet to happen, three years on.

All that is about to change.

After May 26th the Brexit Party will sweep the UK elections for the European Parliament, sending everything topsy-turvy.  Polls say he might reach 52%.

Then its leader, pictured above at golden Trump Tower, will refocus all his considerable energies on contesting the next UK election and will likely upset the apple cart there as well.

His party will win a large number of the 17.4 voters who voted to Leave and many more who are utterly and completely frustrated by the efforts to thwart democracy.

This will put Britain’s two party system in jeopardy, tearing apart the Tory Party and splitting the Labour side, especially those who want a country free from Brussels control.

The new party tagline is: “change British politics for good.’

A general election is needed and expected as soon as possible, but in the meantime the Brexit Party is likely to win the by-election Peterborough seat on the 6th June – giving them their first MP.

Many defections from the Tories are also possible, as already has happened in Welsh Assembly.

The Brexit Party is ascendant—and on a roll.

The person we are hinting at, with his beaming smile and no nonsense common sense philosophy, is of course none other than the one and only, NIGEL FARAGE.

Farage is a fifth term MEP in the European Parliament, vice chairman of the pro-Brexit Leave Means Leave organization, a FOX News contributor, host of his own LBC radio talk show, the lead candidate of the Brexit party, and a dynamo of a political stump winder.

He was named “Briton of the Year” by The Times in 2014 and was said by one mentor, who must have spotted him early, “that I was quite ballsy, probably good on a platform, unafraid of the limelight, a bit noisy and good at selling things.”

Nigel is a self-described “man of the people” who works tirelessly for the common man and woman.

He is also Trump’s Bestie.

Farage is like Trump a doer, a rabble-rouser, and charismatic to a fault.

On June 3-5 US President Trump will visit the UK for a State visit at the request of Queen Elizabeth II.

It is something he has long desired.

His mother was born in Stornoway, Scotland and absolutely adored the Queen.

Trump is an anglophile and wants the US-UK Special Relationship to be revived—to work.

He very much wants to support the UK in its Brexit and to do a bilateral free trade deal looking ahead to benefit both countries.

Britain is the US’ best friend and a stalwart of democratic capitalism.

It is time Trump repays a favor.

As noted, Farage has long been loyal to and extremely supportive of Trump.

He has been on the campaign trail with and for him. He speaks positively about him incessantly and like no other European leader.

Farage deserves the same — in return.

The president of the euroskeptic EFDD group,

Trump should invite him as his guest to the State dinner at Buckingham Palace and sit him next to himself and the Queen.

It would be the ultimate show of alignment and friendship.

Theresa May’s government and she personally have failed to produce Brexit.

Trump should dis them.

She will be gone very soon and disrespected as the worst Prime Minister in Britain’s long and venerable history.

Nigel Farage, on the other hand, is a force for the future and one that is going to affect British as well as European history and politics for years and years to come.

Trump should send a signal you and America are with him—as he was with you.

Say this in an interview with the London press the day you arrive, Mr. President.

It will be thumbs up!

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The real dangers of global warming

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

17 May, 2019

by John Feldsted

The idea that trace amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide drive climate change is preposterous. We had varying amounts of carbon dioxide in the air for millions of years before the industrial revolution.

Greenhouse gases serve two purposes; (1) they filter out harmful ultra-violet emission from the sun; and (2) trap heat that would otherwise escape into the stratosphere resulting in an estimated 150 C cooling of the planet we could not survive.

The primary danger is that our governments use climate to ignore their responsibilities for issues and matters they can deal with. They have responsibilities and obligation to the people of Canada they ignore. They have no authority or mandate to combat climate change or make the rest of the world a better place. They must get their own houses in order first.

Catherine McKenna just challenged Andrew Scheer to commit to agreeing to meet the Paris carbon reduction targets. The insanity is palpable; McKenna’s government is not even close to meeting Paris targets. Only two nations are: Morocco and Gambia.

Canada’s efforts are considered Highly Insufficient, along with those of Argentina, Chili, China, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and the UAE. Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, USA and Ukraine rankings are worse than Canada’s.

McKenna’s insistence that Canada’s efforts to reduce emissions will save the world are a fantasy. Few other nations are on board. Those nations are ignoring carbon reductions and pumping up their economies and a better future for their societies. Our governments and society are left chocking on their development dust.

The Paris agreement is not enforceable except through coercion. There are no penalties for failure. It is a pact of wishful thinking. Sane leaders do not link the health of their economies and populations to an unenforceable dreams of third world nations to burglarize the treasuries of successful nations.

Shutting down oil sands production and refusing to build pipelines is not in our best interests. American billionaire investors don’t want to lose their stranglehold on Canadian oil.

Central Canada does not want Alberta to rival its economic prowess. It is all about who holds the power and money – global warming is an excuse to impoverish Alberta which entails unacceptable fallout across the country. Everyone suffers.

The secondary danger is that our governments can use carbon reduction fairy tales as an excuse to tax and regulate us. Our governments have no authority to regulate our lives or how we spend our money. Our governments are heavily into social engineering while they are shirking their responsibilities to us.

Governments used grants to universities to study their theory that the globe was warming due to carbon emissions from industrialized nations and sweetened the deal by allowing universities to retain a portion of the grants as ‘administration fees’.

Unsurprisingly, the studies supported the government theory and the grants kept flowing. Governments knew that their global warming alarm was a fraud but decided to proceed despite some reservations.

Please watch this ten minute video clip. It is strikingly accurate. Note the confidence that it would take decades for the truth about the warming myth to become known.

That is what we are observing today. The truth is emerging from the murky propaganda governments have buried us in.
Global warming alarms have spawned an entire industry devoted to enslaving us to the concept of reducing carbon emissions. We are to accept increased costs and a reduction in lifestyle to ‘save the planet’. Take note that none of the proponent of this regimen are interested in giving up their creature comforts. They are preparing to jet off to Chili for their next conference in October.

Those who are interested may find this article on progress of the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy in Germany interesting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/148Lym3a487S8lha50QXGJfjQ1HmlNyj3QfLqAt0k0ng/edit

We can never allow our governments to change domestic policies to comply with those concocted by unelected organizations of busybodies bent on changing the world without democratic authority. The United Nations has utterly failed to meet its Charter mandate and spends its time and our money trying to coerce industrialized nations into cleaning up the horrific messes it has created world-wide over the past 70 years.

Climate Change Fraud 

Let’s examine the Paris Climate Change Agreement that our federal government is determined to shove down our throats despite growing resistance. Canadians do not take well to ideological government decrees.

Within the wording, you will find:

Article 2

  1. This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:
  1. Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
  2. Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production; and
  3. Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

Ref: https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/english_paris_agreement.pdf

This is the same theme that underlay the Kyoto Accord. Developed (industrialized) nations were to pay penalties to developing nations for alleged harm they were doing to the global environment.

The original Paris Agreement wording tried to have industrialized nations pay penalties for alleged harm done over the last 250 years. That did not pass and was dropped from the final Agreement.

Article 9

  1. Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.

The object still is to find a means to transfer wealth from developed nations to developing nations. Climate change hysteria and warnings of impending doom is the vehicle for that wealth transfer.

The Kyoto Accord had fixed penalties for (unattainable) carbon reduction targets. Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Accord in 2012. Not doing so would have cost us about $14 billion in penalties. The governments that signed on to Kyoto had done little to meet Kyoto carbon reduction targets. It was impossible to meet targets without economic ruination. Nothing has changed. We are still well short of meeting Paris Agreement targets and intensifying reduction efforts will lead to economic ruination.

There is no legal obligation for Canada to participate in the Paris Agreement.

There are no hard Paris Agreement reduction targets. Each nation sets its own targets. The IPCC uses coercion to encourage nation to set unrealistic targets to appear to be supporters of the IPCC master plan. It’s all about political gamesmanship and appearances.

Our government effectively doubled down on Kyoto carbon reduction targets. It is accountable for the targets it set. There is no connection between what Canada can reasonably achieve without destroying her economy and the carbon reduction targets set by the government. The sky is not falling; however, the Paris Climate Change Agreement is falling apart and our government refuses to admit it.

The ‘Paris Agreement’ was doomed from the outset as it is not practical or practicable. It is designed to penalize developed nation for being successful. Why is our government committed to meeting carbon reduction targets no matter what the cost to Canada and her citizens?

The government is aware that the majority of nations are not meeting their targets, and some are ignoring the Paris Agreement (including China, India, Russia and the United States who account for 54% of world carbon emissions – (2015 figures)). Our government’s fear mongering is repulsive.

I can go on at length, but others have done an excellent job of identifying flaws in the Paris Agreement. I suggest you give it a read. It will answer many of your questions.

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Commander in cheat: what is it like to play golf with Donald Trump?

In golf, as in life, President Trump is a winner — and he won’t let little things such as etiquette, or the rules, get in the way. Rick Reilly talks to caddies, teammates and opponents about how he fudges his way to glory

The Sunday Times, 

In the three decades that I’ve known Donald Trump, I’ve never believed anything he said, but the wink-wink of it was that I never thought he believed any of it either. One time, for instance, I was in his office in Trump Tower. He pulled a yellow laminated card out of his wallet and slapped it down on his massive desk like a fourth ace. “Look at that,” he said. “Only nine people in the world have that.” The card read: Bearer Eats Free at Any McDonald’s Worldwide. “It’s only me, Mother Teresa and Michael Jordan!” he crowed.

I pictured Mother Teresa pulling into the drive-thru at the Calcutta McDonald’s, rolling down the window, leaning her habit out, and saying, “I need 10,000 double cheeseburgers, please.”

I liked Trump the way I liked Batman. He was what eight-year-old me thought a gazillionaire should be like — his name in 10ft-high letters on skyscrapers and on giant jets, hot and cold running blondes hanging on each arm, $1,000 bills sticking out of his socks.

The first time I met him I was a columnist at Sports Illustrated. I was playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament when he came at me with a Bible-salesman grin and a short-fingered hand to shake. His wife, Marla Maples, was smiling at me, too. Uh-oh, I thought. What’s this? “You’re my favourite writer!” Trump bellowed. “I love your stuff. Tell him, Marla.” “He does,” she said. “Look!” And she pulled out of her purse a column I’d written. OK, there was the set-up. What was the hook? “So,” he said, “when are you going to write about me?” Ah, there it was.

No problem. Trump was the most accessible, bombastic and quotable businessman in the world. Why would I turn that down? So when I set out to write my 2003 book Who’s Your Caddy?, in which I would caddy for 12 golf legends, celebrities and oddballs, I asked if he wanted to be a chapter. “Absolutely!” he said.

When the day came, he didn’t have anybody to play with, so he announced that I wouldn’t be caddying for him, I’d be playing with him. OK, you take what you can get. We played his Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York, and it was like spending the day in a hyperbole hurricane. Trump didn’t just lie nonstop about himself that day. He lied nonstop about me. He’d go up to some member and say: “This is Rick. He’s the president of Sports Illustrated.”

The guy would reach out to shake my hesitant hand, but by then Trump had dragged me forward to the next member. Or secretary. Or chef. “This is Rick. He publishes Sports Illustrated.” Before I could object, he’d go: “And this is Chef. He was voted best hamburger chef in the world!” And the poor chef would look at me and shake his head with a helpless “no”, same as me. When we were alone, I finally said: “Donald, why are you lying about me?”

“Sounds better,” he said. Sounding better is Trump’s modus operandi. It colours everything he says and does. The truth doesn’t break an egg with Trump. It’s all about how it sounds, how it looks, and the fact-checkers can go run a 100yd dash in a 50yd gym.

Trump lies, and Trump cheats. When he and I played that day at Westchester, he took “floating mulligans” — second chances on shots whenever it suited him — and simply subtracted shots when it came time for me to write his score down. “I have to take a newspaper four once in a while,” he said. A “newspaper four” is when you write down a four on a hole on your scorecard when you really made a five or worse. It looks better in the newspaper the next day.

I also heard I’m-taking-a-mulligan excuses like: “You distracted me.” “That bird flew over just as I was about to hit.” “My foot slipped.”

The man even took a “gimme” chip-in that day. A gimme is usually a putt that your opponent concedes you will make. He says, “That’s good,” meaning, “I concede that you’ll make that putt, so just pick it up.” Gimmes are illegal in stroke play under the rules of golf, but as common on the course as hot dogs. Still, a gimme should not be longer than 2ft, 3ft tops. Gimmes are supposed to be like gifts: they can only be given, never taken. Except for Trump. He’ll declare any putt he has under 5ft, or 6ft, or 8ft a gimme and scoop it up.

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And as you go to pick your shorter putt up, too, he stops you and warns that “You better brush that in”. He’s the conductor of the Trump Train and you’re just hanging on to the caboose.

But never in the history of golf has anyone taken a gimme chip-in until Trump did that day with me. I was in the hole for a five and he was lying off the green in five, and he said, casually, “Well, I guess that makes this good,” and scooped the ball up.

I was gobsmacked. We were playing a $10 medal bet — ie, a total-score bet — so every shot counted. Even if he could’ve chipped it close — which he wouldn’t have — he’d have made a seven.

“Did you just take a gimme chip-in?” I asked, dumbfounded.

“Well, yeah, ’cause you were already in for five.”

By the time I got my jaw refastened, he was driving off in the cart. I put the scene in my book. When he was running for president, The Washington Post asked him about that gimme chip-in. Trump had a very odd answer: “I don’t do gimme chip shots. If I asked his approval, that’s not cheating, number one. Number two, I never took one.”

So that clears that up.

In the end, the scorecard said he beat me. The rules had been pulverised into pea purée by then, so I paid up the $10. Then he bought lunch. It’s not the money; it’s the winning.

No American president has been as up to his clavicles in golf as Donald Trump. None has been woven so deeply into the world of golf. Trump doesn’t just play courses; he builds them, buys them, owns them, operates them, sues over them, lies about them, bullies with them and brags about them. From the people he knows, to the businesses he runs, to the favours he hands out, to the access he grants, to the trouble he gets into, to the places he goes, to the money he makes, to the money he loses, to the opinions it informs in his brain, Trump’s soul is practically dimpled. But keep on your toes, ballerinas, because it’s a wild dance.


Trump doesn’t just cheat at golf. He cheats like a three-card monte dealer. He throws it, boots it and moves it. He lies about his lies. He fudges and foozles and fluffs. At Winged Foot, where Trump is a member, the caddies got so used to seeing him kick his ball back onto the fairway, they came up with a nickname for him: “Pele”.

“I played with him once,” says Bryan Marsal, longtime Winged Foot Golf Club member and chairman of the coming 2020 US Open. “It was a Saturday morning game. We go to the first tee and he couldn’t have been nicer. But then he said, ‘You see those two guys? They cheat. See me? I cheat. And I expect you to cheat because we’re going to beat those two guys today.’ So, yes, he’s going to cheat you. But I think Donald, in his heart of hearts, believes that you’re gonna cheat him, too. So if it’s the same, if everybody’s cheating, he doesn’t see it as really cheating.” OK, but . . .

a) Everybody isn’t cheating. Except for an occasional mulligan on the first tee and accepting a gimme from an opponent, 85% of casual golfers play by the rules, according to America’s National Golf Foundation.

b) To say “Donald Trump cheats” is like saying “Michael Phelps swims”. He cheats at the highest level. He cheats when people are watching, and he cheats when they aren’t. He cheats whether you like it or not. He cheats because that’s how he plays golf, that’s how he learnt it, that’s how he needs it, and whether you’re his pharmacist or Tiger Woods, if you’re playing golf with him, he’s going to cheat.

In fact, he did cheat with Tiger Woods. Not long after becoming president, he invited Woods, Dustin Johnson (the No 1 player in the world at the time) and the longtime Tour pro and Fox golf analyst Brad Faxon to play. They set up a bet: Faxon and Trump against Woods and Johnson. But because Woods and Johnson are so preposterously long off the tee, they decided Faxon and Trump could tee off the middle tees. Trump would get a stroke subtracted on the eight hardest holes; everybody else would play scratch. Off they went. “On this one hole, Donald hits his second and fats it into the water,” Faxon remembers. “But he quickly says to me, ‘Hey, throw me another ball; they weren’t looking.’ So I do. But he fats that one into the water, too. So he drives up and drops where he should’ve dropped the first time and hits it on the green.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the fairway, Woods, being Woods, has hit his approach to 1ft from the hole for a kick-in birdie. Everybody’s on the green now, with Trump about 20ft from the hole and getting a stroke. Trump said, “So, where does everybody stand here?”

Faxon: “Well, Tiger just made a three. What’s that [putt] for, Mr President?”

Trump: “Four for a three.”

Faxon had to laugh because Trump was actually putting for a seven, but was claiming it was for a four, which would’ve worked out to a three with his free stroke on the hole. “How great is that?” Faxon recalled. “Four for a three! But he missed it anyway. It was really fun to play with him. He rakes [picks up] every putt [as if it’s conceded], but you kind of want him to. You’ve heard so much about it, it’s almost like you want to witness it so you can tell the stories.”

Trump consistently says he doesn’t cheat. “I never touch the ball,” he says. That’s sort of true, maintains the actor Anthony Anderson. “I’m not going to say Trump cheats. But if Trump’s caddy cheats for him, is that cheating?”

“We clearly saw him hook a ball into a lake at Trump National [Bedminster, New Jersey],” the actor Samuel L Jackson once recalled, “and his caddy told him he found it!”

So what do the caddies say?

“Whenever I’ve caddied in Trump’s group,” says the player, caddy and 2000 US Mid-Amateur champion Greg Puga, “he always gets his own cart. He makes sure to hit first off every tee box and then jumps in the cart, so he’s halfway down the fairway before the other three are done driving. That way, he can get up there quick and mess with his ball. So this one time — we were on the 18th — he hits first, kind of blocks it right, and jumps in his cart and starts driving away. My guy pures one right down the middle. I mean, I saw it go right down the middle. One of his best drives of the day. But by the time we get to my guy’s ball, it’s not there. We can’t find it anywhere. And Trump is now on the green already putting! Where’s our ball? And then Trump starts yelling back at us, ‘Hey guys, I made a birdie!’ He’s holding up his ball and celebrating. And that’s when we realised. That f***** stole our ball! He got up here early, hit our ball, and then hurried up and pretended like he made the putt for a birdie. I mean, what the hell?”

Once, Trump played a course with one of LA’s more famous holes — a par five where Howard Hughes once landed his plane to pick up Katharine Hepburn for a date — that has a pond just left of the green. “I saw Trump’s ball go in the lake,” one of the caddies told me. “I mean, I saw the ripples! But by the time we caught up to him and his cart, the ball was back on the fairway. When we asked him what happened, he said, ‘Must’ve been the tide.’ ”

A group of caddies I spoke to at Bedminster all agreed Trump was a good player, with a handicap of “eight or nine”, they all said, knowing full well that he tells the world he’s a three. Does he cheat? There was a lot of sudden interest in birds outside the window. One caddy held his hand up while looking me right in the eye. His expression was flat, but his eyes were wide, like he was about to give me a clue.

“Donald Trump never cheats,” he said, slowly and sternly. He stared at me. Blink. Stare. Blink.

“Oh!” I said. “His caddy cheats for him?”

The entire room howled. What followed was a dozen or so stories about just how he cheats.

“He’s always got four balls in his pocket, if that tells you anything.”

“He foozles [botches] his ball on every hole. All 18. I promise you. Every hole.”

“He wants you to throw it out of the woods, kick it out of the rough, fluff up his lie. We all know the deal.” Most of them said they didn’t mind doing it, but felt a little bad when there was money on the line or a tournament going on.

“I have a friend at his course in Palm Beach,” one caddy said, “a really, really good player. He’s a plus-three or plus-four [ie, he averages three or four strokes over par]. It kills him to do what you gotta do when you caddy for Trump. It absolutely kills him.”

All the cheating Trump’s caddies do for him actually hurts his game. His only real weakness, besides the ethics bypass he seems to have undergone, is chipping around the greens, where he’s just awful. That’s why his caddies fluff up nasty lies, take his balls out of bunkers and kick his ball onto the green out of the cabbage. But if you never have those lies, you never learn how to hit them. “Because of the caddies, he never gets to practise those hard shots around the green,” says Ned Scherer, who has played with Trump at least 10 times and is a member of both the Trump DC and Trump Jupiter golf clubs. “Golf is all about practice, but he never even gets to try them.”

People like to tell about the time Trump hit one in the pond at Bedminster. Everybody saw it splash a good 30ft from shore. When the group got up to the pond, Trump’s caddy says: “Boss, your ball is right here.” It was sitting safely on grass. Somebody yelled at the caddy: “What did you do with your mask and flippers?”


Like so much of what happens with Trump, the caddies were revolted by the immorality of the cheating, but impressed by the genius of it. “For a while he kept a can of red spray paint in his cart,” one caddy said. “Whenever his ball hit a tree that he didn’t think was fair, he’d go up and paint a big X on it. The next day, it was gone.”

Trump’s cheating during a round is legendary, but his cheating after the round is just as sharp. His score always gets what I call the Trump Bump. He may wrap up a very sketchy 77 at noon. On the ride home, it’ll be 75. By dinner, 72.

It’s not just his score that gets the Trump Bump. It’s anybody’s score he likes. The major-winning golfer Lee Trevino tells about the time he played one of Trump’s courses, shot a 72, and then ran into Trump in the locker room. “What’d you fire?” Trump asks. “Seventy-two,” Trevino says. Trump is delighted and wants to start introducing the legend around his clubhouse. “This is the great Lee Trevino. He just shot a 70!” For the next person, it was: “You know who this is? Lee Trevino. He just shot a 68!” Then it was: “He just shot a 66!” Says Trevino: “I had to get out of there before I broke the course record.”

Trump cheats. Trump lies. But when I read The Big Lie, it nearly made me spit out my Cheerios. It was a tweet he’d originally posted in 2013, but I hadn’t read it until his presidential election campaign began. Trump was embroiled in one of his hundreds of celebrity feuds, this one with somebody in his weight class — the billionaire Mark Cuban. Cuban had dissed him on some forgettable TV show years before. “I think I said, ‘I can write a bigger check than Trump right now and not even know it was missing,’ ” Cuban recalls. Trump vowed revenge on Cuban that day. That’s when he challenged Cuban.

“Golf match? I’ve won 18 Club Championships including this weekend. @mcuban swings like a little girl with no power or talent. Mark’s a loser” — Donald J Trump, Twitter, March 19, 2013.

Eighteen club championships? That’s like an NFL quarterback telling you he’s won 18 Super Bowls. It’s preposterous. It is a lie that’s so over-the-top Crazytown, it loses all credibility among golfers the second it’s out of his mouth.

Besides, Trump had already given away his little secret of how he does it that day at Westchester. “Whenever I open a new golf course,” he told me, “I play the official opening round and then I just call that the first club championship. There you go, I’m the first club champion! That’s off the record, of course.”

You gotta admit: it’s sleazy, it’s morally bankrupt, but it’s pretty clever. I did keep it off the record, for years. But then he kept bludgeoning people over the head with it. “You know, I’ve won 18 club championships,” he said half a dozen times during campaign stops before the 2016 presidential election. “I’m a winner.”

Of 18 club championship “wins” that Trump listed for Golf Digest, 12 are actually senior or super senior club championships — at most clubs reserved for players aged 60 and older. They’re like bowling with bumpers.

“I remember Melania used to ask us, ‘What is this super seniors?’ ” recalls the former Trump Westchester exec Ian Gillule. “And Mr Trump would say, ‘Oh, super seniors is better than just a regular club championship, honey.’ He was saying it tongue in cheek, but she didn’t know the difference.”

So of the 18, that leaves six real club championships. One was at Trump Westchester 2001, when the club wasn’t officially open yet. That leaves five. The next was Westchester 2002, when the club was only nine holes. If it really happened, you can’t count that. That leaves four, one of them being Westchester in 2004. Could he have actually won that? “Well, no, I know for a fact that’s not true,” Gillule says. “He never won any in the eight years I worked there. I mean, I loved working for Mr Trump, but you know, some people take a certain licence with the truth.”

That leaves three possible club championship wins, all at one course — Trump International in West Palm Beach. We know the 1999 win there is a lie, since the course wasn’t open. That leaves two — 2001 and 2009 — and I have never seen a signed scorecard or spoken to any objective person who remembers him winning or not winning. Final score on the “18 club championships”: Lies 16, Incompletes 2, Confirms 0. By this time, Trump’s nose has grown so long he could putt with it.

The whole thing bugged me so much I started to itch. I wasn’t offended as a voter. I was offended as a golfer. You can’t get away with that. You want to make political promises you can’t keep? Great, knock yourself out. You want to invent tales of your cut-throat savvy in business deals? Live it up. But golf means something to me. I’ve played it my whole life. One of the things I love the most about it is that you’re your own referee. You call fouls on yourself. Integrity is built into the fabric of the game. Honesty is more precious in golf than the little white dimples. As Ben Crenshaw likes to say: “Golf is a game with a conscience.”

It got me thinking. When Trump held endless 18-hole meetings at his Florida courses with this prime minister and that emperor, were these leaders returning home to laugh at our president the way they laughed at him at the United Nations? Would they think all Americans cheat at golf? Somebody should point out that the way Trump does golf is sort of the way he does a presidency, which is to operate as though the rules are for other people. Somebody should explain that facts and truth are to Trump what golf scores and crowd sizes are — “feelings” — malleable and negotiable, flitting this way and that like an arm-waving inflatable car-lot balloon man. “Golf is like bicycle shorts,” I once wrote. “It reveals a lot about a man.”

© Rick Reilly, 2019. Extracted from Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump by Rick Reilly (Headline £14.99), published on April 2


Etiquette the Trump way

Just in the simplest politeness of the game, the timeless etiquette of it, Trump seems to have come from another planet. For instance, he never takes off his hat for the traditional end-of-round handshake, which is considered gentlemanly. He doesn’t take it off inside the clubhouse, either, which is a little golf-gauche. He doesn’t care whose honour it is on the tee. He just steps up first and hits it. He’s not what you’d call a good loser, either.

“I played with him once,” says the Los Angeles Times NFL writer Sam Farmer. “And I actually beat him out of $10. He handed me the two fives, but they wouldn’t quite come out of his hand. He held onto them and made me pull. I thought they were going to rip. When I finally got them, he goes, ‘It’s all right. I’ve got a supermodel girlfriend and my own 727, so I’m OK.’ ”

This is a man who famously drives his golf cart on greens. There is video of him doing it at Trump Bedminster. In golf, that’s the unholiest-of-unholies. Driving your cart on the green is like hanging your laundry in the Sistine Chapel. Caddies don’t even set their bags on it. Driving on the green leaves tyre tracks on the perfect surface that can send your partner’s putt careening off line, not to mention the putts of the 100 players behind you. I’ve met people who were 100% for Trump politically but vow they’ll never vote for him again because he drove on the green. Says one woman: “That’s such a violation!”

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Ted Malloch: The European Spring 2019 Is Coming

March 3, 2019

Guest post by Ted Malloch

Keep your eyes glued on Europe this spring.

Something is about to happen that will change the trajectory of modern history.
Learn more about RevenueStripe…


The globalist European Union will be brought to its knees.

The surge of populist parties — on the right and the left — are poised to become the dominant players in European politics.

This will transfigure the European Parliament and slam the breaks on the globalist European Project.

Movement toward a federal uni-state, anchored in supranationalism will die in its tracks.

This means the redefinition of Europe, as we know it.

It means the survival and exaltation of sovereign nation states, again.

It means the end to senseless immigration.

It means no EU army, superseding NATO.

It means an alignment with Trump’s America.

Everything will change.

Juncker will be out as EU president.

Tusk will be gone as EU Council president.

Barnier will be removed as chief EU negotiator.

Tanjani will lose as president of the EU Parliament.

Center-right populist friendly characters that put an end to the globalist agenda and its aspirations, will replace them all.

Watch this informed analysis and you can follow the play by play and understand better the shape of European politics to come.

It is literally just a few short months away.

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CATALINA’S® Fine Chocolate – Costa Rica

The Spirit of Costa Rican Fine Chocolate

Limon Province and Heredia, Costa Rica 2018

Introduction, Background and Executive Summary

A revolution is underway in the global trade and production of quality cacao beans into nutritious, fine craft chocolate. For centuries, the raw material producers of cacao in the tropics did not process the finest chocolate-making machinery like the rest of the world.

From January 2019, a strategic alliance between two Costa Rican professionals (a plantation agronomist – Moises Gomez) and his wife (Catalina Valerio – a processing engineer) with a Canadian multinational business executive (Robert Stewart) and Monacan investor (Machteld Schrama) join forces to create the world’s first vertically integrated plantation-to-fine-chocolate processing company operating in Costa Rica.

Breaking this North-South global market divide by integrating a 4,000-year-old source of traditional cacao beans with the finest chocolate production marks a dramatic departure in the world of cacao/cocoa/chocolate.

A line in the sand will be drawn between an industrial product today consisting mainly of soya and poor quality non-Latin American cacao beans, manufactured under modern industrial processes in the Northern Hemisphere and sold to a global mass market will be challenged by a healthy, nutritious, locally-processed chocolate from its own exceptional plantation cacao beans in Costa Rica. Cacao are beans from the original tree and their ingredients kept intact with full nutritional value. Cocoa is the overly-processed beans, usually in the form of powder and heavily mixed with refined sugar and other ingredients.

Industrial chocolate consists of overdoses of unhealthy, refined and addictive sugar, soya additives, chemicals and false advertising. The new craft product will promote a healthy ‘Super Food’ using pure traditional cacao beans and raw sugar cane based on a formula which sustained Central American peoples for many millennia. We call it “La Pura Vida”, Costa Rica’s contribution to a true, honest, and healthy food product coming from the finest original beans, with no manmade additives or extractions.

Catalina’s fine chocolates will be produced by the world’s first company to own and operate its own 70-200 hectare cacao plantation and process a finished craft chocolate to be run by the family of Moises and Catalina Gomez-Valerio.

The quality artisan chocolate market had a great revival in Europe and North America between the end of the ‘90s and early 2000 thanks to the extraordinary ability of some chocolatier colleagues who were the first to educate the consumer about the diversity of the cacao origins, the cultivation techniques and processing but also and above all the organoleptic and nutritional/medicinal qualities of chocolate.

The artisan chocolate market experienced a few years of interesting growth, inducing the industry to differentiate itself and to address the issues that were previously exclusively promoted by small chocolatiers. On the shelves of supermarkets began to appear single origin chocolates, different percentages of cocoa, spices … the differentiation themes began to be diluted and the crisis of the artisanal quality market began.

This crisis lasted for a few years with weak and very risky attempts at differentiation. After a few years, many chocolatiers were downsized, some had to close, the most interesting forced to sell to large companies. What was missing was the ability to innovate, to remain a precursor, to know how to communicate diversity.

Raw cacao beans: The last few years witnessed the flowering of new initiatives that, following the model of what is happening in the US and in the Anglo-Saxon market, are following new paths of differentiation.

The new eldorado seems to be the “bean to bar” and “pure, raw chocolate”. On the widespread recent interpretation of the “bean to bar” there are strong doubts about the quality of the final result and the alleged control of the supply chain if one doesn’t own the plantation beans, ferment them oneself and process them to completion.

Regarding the theme of raw chocolate: there is a serious problem of how it is currently defined (chocolate in which the temperature of 42 degrees is not exceeded throughout the supply chain and throughout the production process), raw chocolate (as defined) does not exist. In our opinion there are reasons that imply the impossibility:

– The temperature of cacao in fermentation is certainly higher than 42 degrees and cannot be so punctually controlled;
– The bacterial load without a rise in temperature can be very dangerous;
– If there is no third body that can check and certify what is declared by the raw producers throughout the supply chain then there are reasons for opportunities:
– Only through exceptionally controlled fermentation is it possible to make available the nutrients and functional capabilities of cacao;
– Roasting, although light, is necessary to develop the aromatic notes of cacao.

The goal of the raw food approach is to preserve as much as possible the nutrients and functional properties of the cacao raw material used in the first place. To sum up, we think this fundamentalist approach is wrong because: it cannot be applied, it cannot be certified, it is counterproductive to the stated objectives, it does not guarantee food safety, and the process followed does not lead to an organoleptic quality.

Raw bar: We believe instead that it is possible to achieve the objectives stated by the raw food approach using well-fermented cacao beans, toasted for a short time and not too high temperatures, working cold chocolate without conceal and that this approach allows us to have a good product, safe and with highly functional properties.

This is why we called it pure CATALINA Fine Chocolate. It consists of only agricultural raw materials, cacao and raw sugar cane, which are worked as little as possible. A direct, aromatic and persistent chocolate which is organic, cold worked, and gluten-free.

The CATALINA plantation is located in NE Costa Rica alongside the Tortuguero National Park and the Caribbean Sea. This was for centuries, the cradle of the cacao bean which sustained Central America as a currency, a highly nutritional drink and a food rich in minerals, vitamins and many other healthy anti-oxidant nutrients. An automated Italian FBM production line will process the beans into a world-class fine chocolate for export.

Grown on the volcanic soils in a tropical rain forest, this traditional approach returns to the centuries-old formula of using two ingredients only: all of the cacao mass, butter and liquor contents of its original pure Criollo and Triniterio beans blended with local, pure, raw sugar cane filled with additional energy nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Varying in cacao/cane sugar combinations up to 70/30%, CATALINA will produce four chocolate varieties: a pure, dark, craft chocolate; milk chocolate; mid-range chocolates mixed with fruits/nuts/herbs; and white chocolate.

The product will be sold to consumers directly and for further use in pastries and other products. The products support good health to avoid sugar addiction, diabetes and obesity. Children will be introduced to a healthy chocolate avoiding addictive and refined beet sugar. The worst outcome from eating 95% of today’s industrial chocolates which cause most of the Northern Hemispere’s health challenge: heart attacks and acute coronary disease. There is a reason craft chocolate is called “The Medicine of the Gods”.

The entire operation will be built, owned, operated and controlled by the group.  Moises Gomez is a professional agronomist and expert with the International Cocoa Organization in London for 11 years, advising growers worldwide in growing better cacao. He has perfected the fermentation and drying of the beans rarely seen in industrial chocolate production anywhere in the world.

The use of the very high quality, fermented Criollo and Triniterio beans, grown for centuries in the Western Hemisphere, is in stark contrast to the lower quality and less-controlled Forastero beans from other continents which make up +80% of industrial chocolate production blended with other contents lacking nutritional value.

Moise is overseeing the planting of 70-200 hectares of cacao trees as well as helping other local plantation growers to achieve the same high results in their beans throughout Costa Rica and the region.

Some of these acceptable beans will be blended with the family-owned plantation-sourced beans. FBM in Legnano, Italy are the chocolate machine manufacturers who are providing the entire processing line.

Catalina Valerio, wife of Moises and mother of their two boys, is a graduate process engineer who has managed the family banana and dairy farm on 600 hectares. She will manage the factory processing the beans into fine chocolate varieties for sale domestically and into the high-end European and North American markets. The products are named for her.

Few other companies will produce an equivalent high-quality chocolate from world-class beans and no other company will have a vertically integrated company owning the entire process from plantation to bar. Eugenia Valerio  acts as the in-house legal counsel for the company in Costa Rica. Reg Olson (USA) is our civil, electrical and mechanical engineer assisting with the plant design, layout and operations.

This will not only be a world first, but the only factory (in Heredia near San Jose) to grow the beans in the country of origin, and also process them into the high, value-added finished products for export.

For centuries, cacao growing and chocolate production have been separated into different ownerships and operations, causing a dysfunctional market which does not support local farmers, improve the quality of crops, sustain a fair price to farmers or promote anti-slavery amongst children in Third World settings.

Catalina’s workers will be fully integrated into the company’s long-term growth strategy with support in employment, training, wages and family life. This is a far cry from present conditions worldwide in spite of efforts by Fair Trade, Rain Forest Alliance and other organizations purporting to support farmers but rarely passing on verifiable benefits. It is one of Catalina’s key building blocks.

Robert Stewart (Laren, Netherlands) and Maggie Schrama (Monte Carlo, Monaco) will oversee CATALINA’s product distribution worldwide through chocolateries dealing in fine quality products, high end hotels, restaurants, airlines, coffee shops, wine outlets, supermarkets, health/fitness centres, and networks that support genuine fine chocolate.

These will start in Europe with Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Monaco, other EU countries and progress to sales in North America, the Middle East and Asia. Children will be taught to eat non-addictive, non-obesity forming and non-diabetes related industrial chocolates in which sugar plays a devastating role in contributing to these serious diseases including cardiological impact.

These conditions represent the three largest health problems worldwide, especially in Europe and North America. Given the highly addictive impact of refined white beet sugar and other substances found in over 95% of a modern industrial product falsely marketing itself as a ‘chocolate’, CATALINA fine chocolates will offer the opposite.

Description of a multi-phased production line of processing cacao into fine chocolate.

CATALINA will lead a revolution in creating a fine, craft chocolate which is highly nutritional, healthy and safe for all age groups. High quality fine chocolate which contains in all of its original beans including the total cacao mass, butter and liquor, has been proven in hundreds of clinical trials to provide a healthy, nutritional, even medicinal food product. CATALINA fine chocolates will be labelled and branded as ‘Super Food’.

Years of scientific, laboratory research projects by Dr. Stephen Gundry (California, USA), Dr. David Katz (Yale University, USA), Dr. Rob Verkerk (Dorking, UK), and nutritionists Suzie Sawyer (a UK dietary advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office) and Meleni Aldridge (UK), have consistently proven that +70% pure cacao products contain the following healthy positives:

  1. Fine dark chocolate has excellent antioxidant properties, is rich in flavonoids, which are naturally forming from the original cacao. The primary antioxidants present in fine, dark chocolate include catechin, epicatechin, and proanthocyanidins.
  2. Chocolate reduces platelet aggregation, particularly due to its epicatechin content. This reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  3. It lowers blood pressure, better renal function, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as cardiovascular mortality.
  4. In addition, the antioxidant effect of cacao directly influences insulin resistance, thus reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  5. Furthermore, cacao consumption stimulates changes in redox-sensitive signalling pathways involved in gene expression and the immune system, thus boosting the immune system.
  6. Cacao protects nerves from injury and inflammation.
  7. It protects skin from ultraviolet-induced oxidative damage.
  8. It improves cognitive function and mood.
  9. The major benefit of eating chocolate is to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial infarction. In patients who already suffered from myocardial infarction, eating chocolate twice a week reduced the risk of mortality from heart diseases by 66% compared to the group that never consumed chocolate.
  10. Chocolate may also be effective in reducing blood pressure as well as improving flow of blood through the arteries preventing atherosclerosis.
  11. Chocolate consumption on a regular basis lowers triglycerides and improves blood level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
  12. Preeclampsia is a major complication of pregnancy with cardiovascular manifestation and can be alleviated with dark chocolate intake.
  13. The recommended daily intake is not more than 25 g of dark chocolate per day is recommended for prevention of heart diseases and to obtain optimal health benefits.
  14. Milk chocolate is rich in calcium for healthy bones and teeth, but eating milk and/or white chocolate other than for enjoyment and taste provides only little benefit. It is recommended that milk chocolate not be consumed because milk proteins may inhibit absorption of antioxidant flavonoids present in chocolate.

The FBM Class of October 2018, in Legnano, Italy:  Formation of the CATALINA Fine Chocolate company. The Members: Moises Gomez and Catalina Valeria kneel at the front. Standing at the right, Robert Stewart (Swiss/ Canadian) and Machteld Schrama (Dutch resident in Monaco) will add investment capital and marketing support for the company.

Giuseppe Dichiano (in red), General Manager of FBM is overseeing the design and manufacture of the modern, new processing line which will start in the first year with 40/100 tons per year and build up to 400/500 tons per year over five years.

Section One: The Business Description:

  1. The proposed business plan describes to process, financial statement and action plan to establish a cacao-processing facility in the city of Heredia, Costa Rica, with the view to produce fine cacao-based products such as dark, milk and white chocolate, cacao nibs and couverture, for export to the European and North American markets.
  2. Costa Rica currently has a total of 3,500 hectares of cacao planted in the country, with an annual production of 650 tonnes of dried cacao beans. According to the International Cocoa Organization Fine and Flavour Cocoa Panel, Costa Rica produces 100% fine or flavour cacao due to the genetics of the planting material available in the country (ICCO, 2015). Although there is evidence that the genetic root-stock of the planting material in the country is considered fine and flavour, there are still knowledge gaps in the postharvest management of the cacao beans (fermentation and drying) which prevents some cacao beans to reach their highest flavour and aroma potential. As a result, cacao beans produced in the country can still improve flavour characteristics.
  3. The project idea started with the establishment of a cacao plantation in the province of Limón, Costa Rica, which is a family-owned plantation. Through the selection of high quality planting material such as Trinitario and Criollo trees and other improved planting material developed by the Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), the plantation started with the establishment of 10 hectares of cacao from the year 2016 up to 2018. The total area destined for cacao production is estimated at 70 hectares, with the ability to expand the plantation to 200 hectares. Through a strict control of the production, fermentation and drying, the project will ensure the highest quality standards by developing and applying specific postharvest protocols for each cacao variety, which will allow us to develop unique flavour profiles for our wide range of proposed products.
  4. The project also expects to initially purchase cacao beans from other sources through the establishment of strategic partnerships with cacao producers in the country who have proven fine cacao Through our knowledge of the Costa Rican cacao sector, the project has identified potential cacao-producers who also apply strict postharvest protocols and are already selling dried cacao beans to craft chocolate manufacturers such as Dandelion, Potomac and SOMA in North America, and also to award winning chocolate makers in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany.
  5.  The second phase of the project is the establishment of a cacao processing facility in the city of Heredia, province of Alajuela. It is expected that within the first five years of the project, the plant will reach a processing capacity of approximately 250-300 tonnes of dried cacao beans per year. The plant will source at least 50% of all cacao beans from the farm if the plantation is extended to 200 hectares. The plant expects to produce a range of cacao-based products using high quality raw material combined with some of the best craft-chocolate machines in the market. The high-end nature in the quality of these products allows the project to easily establish itself in international niche markets.


  1. The processing facility will produce a range of cacao-based products for different consuming markets. The core principal of this project is to use the best quality raw materials to produce exquisite flavour cacao and chocolate products which also provide a health-benefits. To allow the production of these fine products, the company will ensure full traceability of the cacao beans from the farm source to the processing plant. Strict quality controls will be applied to all cacao bean sources, whether it’s from its own cacao plantation, or from other cacao bean producers in the country.
  2. The ability to source fine flavour cacao beans from several parts of Costa Rica will allow the project to offer a range of flavours and qualities, serving a wide number of consumers and market ranges. Originally, the project will focus on four products: dark, milk and white chocolates (various presentations) as well as couverture for the pastry and restaurant markets.
  3. The main features of our project will be based on the flavour and health benefits of the product. From the organoleptic point of view, the project will generate fine flavour chocolates with a description of the geographic origins, the type of beans used, type of fermentation and roasting profile, and other information which will inform the consumer of its uniqueness and quality of the products. From a health point of view, the project will work with a community of scientists and food-chemistry experts to describe nutritional content and develop the health benefit information about the products, ensuring full transparency in our communication and marketing strategy.
  4. There will be a second line of products which is aimed for a more “commercial” consumers, which is chocolate products with lower cocoa content such as milk and white chocolates. These products will be marketed in hotels, banks, coffee shops, as a complementary product served with hot beverages (mainly coffee). A third line of product will be developed once the processing plant is fully operational. This line of products will be aimed for children and those wanting to start consuming fine chocolate products with higher cacao content. The project believes that “training pallets” is an essential strategy to ensure the long term sustainability of the project. We want to secure our consumers in the short and long term.
  5. An additional service that this project will offer to consumers is assurance that our project has social responsibility through our close collaboration with farmers’ groups and cooperatives from which we will source some of the cacao. At present, there a more than 12 cooperatives operating in Costa Rica. Some of these cooperatives produce Trinitario and Criollo cacao beans. However, due to their lack of knowledge about adequate post-harvest practices, most of these cacao beans do not reach their potential and are sold as bulk cacao beans with a discounted price.
  6. To add to this situation, there are several middle-man who take advantage of this situation and buy cacao beans at a price lower than the international market prices. This model is not sustainable either for the farmers (and their families) or the manufacturers who rely on good quality beans. We will work in close collaboration with some of these coops to assist them in improving their processes and also ensuring a fair price for their cacao beans.

Market Analysis

  1. Over the last decades the world chocolate market has experienced a steady increase in consumption. This increase in demand is partly due to new scientific information which shows that consumption of chocolates with high content of cacao (+70%), also known as dark chocolate, has a wide range of health benefits, from regulating blood pressure to reducing the risk of cancer. It is now widely recognized that cacao contains high levels of flavonoids, the same chemical compounds found in red wine and other food-products. This new range of chocolate products with higher cacao content, as opposed to the traditional confectionary product, is the major market driver for increase in consumption.
  2. Although the health benefits has being a major element in driving the increase in cacao and chocolate consumption worldwide, in recent years consumers in mature markets (mainly Europe and North America) are becoming more and more aware about the different qualities and organoleptic characteristics of the cacao bean origins. In addition, consumers are more aware about social and environmental aspects related to cacao production and manufacturing and are becoming more interested to know how cacao is produced and whether it meets basic standards of sustainability (environmental, social and economic). Our project will be able to “tick” the three boxes and ensure that this is communicated to our customers.
  3. Based on the experience of the project partners, there is an evident growing demand for higher quality chocolates in both the European and North American markets. More than ever, consumers are looking your unique and niche products to differentiate themselves. These products have to comply with ever more strict demands of social, environmental and economics sustainability for all those involve in the cacao and chocolate value chain.
  4. Costa Rica is a country that is able to project itself as a sustainable source of various products and is also a country committed to preserving its nature and all the resources that surround them. In the year 2012, Costa Rica took upon the challenge to become a Carbon Neutral country by 2021 (https://thecostaricanews.com/costa-rica-promotes-carbon-neutral-program-2021/). This environmental image, combined with other quality factors about or business model, will be a key marketing tool.

15. Although there are known chocolate brands in the European and North American markets, there is still not one well-known craft chocolate maker from Costa Rica in neither these markets. Considering the numerous factors that make Costa Rica and chocolate processing a unique product in various dimensions, there is a huge market potential for introducing and placing the first bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer made in La Pura Vida!

Marketing Plan

The first production of bars will be shipped to Europe and introduced to the Netherlands, United Kingdom and other EU markets. Distribution channels will be established with chocolate venders, supermarkets, wine boutiques, restaurants, hotels, airlines, duty-free shops, and on-line marketing supported by videos, photos and lengthy descriptions of the plantation and processing operations in Costa Rica. Robert Stewart will oversee marketing from Netherlands and Monaco. The product will be heavily advertised in print, television and video media throughout Europe as a healthy, nutritious and unconventional, pure chocolate.

Assistance with be provided from Gordon Taylor in the UK, Reg Olson in the US and others. Packaging, labelling, contents, definitions, descriptions, pricing and distribution will be determined at the outset to appeal to 1.) the children’s market, 2.) health products, 3.) high quality pure cacao and 4.) consumers of all ages. Once a packaging machine has been purchased and placed in Heredia, the designs for labelling and packing will be completed.

Two of Catalina’s European representatives will travel to the largest Chocolate Fair in the world (CHOCOA) on February 21/22, 2019 and meet with 3,000 people engaged in the cacao, cocoa, chocolate trade. https://www.chocoa.nl/ . As other cacao/chocolate trade fairs take place around the world, CATALINA’S Fine Chocolates will present the products.

Catalina’s Fine Chocolates will be imported into the EU at Rotterdam Import Duty Free and distributed throughout the UK, Netherlands and Monaco on the first test basis, then broadened as the market expands. https://www.cbi.eu/node/2690/pdf/ Import rules dictate strict adherence to EU production standards which Catalina’s Fine Chocolates are fully compliant. Inspection of facilities, complete description and written definition of the process and uniqueness into the EU market will be defined in accordance with EU regulations. https://www.cbi.eu/market-information/cacao/semi-finished-cocoa-products .

  1. Location

The decision to establish the processing facility in Heredia was taken for several strategic reasons. The proposed factory space located in the outskirts of the Costa Rican central valley, has access from various main national highways (Highway 1, 3 and 27) as well as other internal paved county roads, which will ensure access to cacao beans despite of any traffic problem. The location of Heredia is also a central point from the different cacao producing regions the project expects to source some of its beans, including the production from its own plantation, which is about 150 km, with the furthest point being 240 km. Heredia is also located near two points of export in Costa Rica.

Heredia is located 42 km from the Port of Caldera, the second largest port of Costa Rica. Secondly, Heredia is located about 30 km from Juan Santamaría International Airport, from where we expect to export most of our products. Finally, the government of Costa Rica announced the initial stages of evaluation and feasibility studies to build a new international airport in the city of Orotina, which is located about 26 Km from the city of Heredia, making it an ideal location for the project. It is expected that the new airport will be inaugurated in 2027.(https://www.elfinancierocr.com/economia-y-politica/nuevo-aeropuerto-de-orotina-estaria-operando-en-el-2027/SBY6YM6NKZENTBXSRSJJP5OMAI/story/).

The property where the processing plant will be established is also owned by a friend of the family, and has all permission needed from the local council to start a food-processing activities. The property has a total area of 5,000 mt2, which allows for the expansion of the processing facility in the future. The property has access to the national water and energy grid supplies (AyA & CNFL), with the respective meters in full operation and registered. To operate the equipment required for this project, consultation were made with the national power company (CNFL), who indicated that a Three-Phase power system is already installed on the property.

Due to the proximity and good access to the central valley area, most of the qualified labour available in Heredia or Alajuela for work on a daily basis. After consultation with CINDE, which is the Foreign Investment Agency of Costa Rica, they indicated that Heredia and the property described for the project qualifies within the criterion to establish a Free-Trade zone.


Although Costa Rica has a growing cacao and chocolate sector, most companies recently set-up in the country still do not manage the knowledge and quality requirements to reach an international markets. At present, there are more than 65 registered chocolate manufacturing companies working the Costa Rica. Some of these companies have positioned their products in the local markets and their marketing strategy is focused mainly on attracting tourist that visit the country. Other smaller projects attend local markets and produce “rustic” rather than artisan products. At present, only two companies (Nahua and Sibú) are exporting products in the USA and in Poland, with small volumes sold to a hand-full of chocolate shops. One of these two companies actually processes cacao liquor and butter, without managing the process of roasting and pre-grinding. All companies in Costa Rica are relying on a large manufacturer to obtain cacao butter, as their processes tend to be more commercial than craft.

Because cacao bean production in Costa Rica is relatively small (600 MT/year) compared to other countries in the region like Ecuador (280,000 MT/year), Peru (55,000 MT/year), Dominican Republic (40,000 MT/year), there are only a few chocolate manufacturers who work with Costa Rican cacao beans. There are examples of manufacturers in the USA such as Dandelion and Potomac and SOMA in Canada who are starting to source beans from Costa Rica, but still at very small volumes due to the costs of exporting small quantities. Being located in Costa Rica, our project is in a position to source the best cacao beans in the country and have direct control over the post-harvest and movement of the cacao beans to the processing facility, meaning we have full traceability.

Worldwide, there are thousands of craft chocolate manufacturers appearing both in the North American, Europe and Asia, which can be considered as direct competition. These companies, particularly those in the northern hemisphere have certain limitations. Although some of these companies have established themselves in niche chocolate markets, many of these companies rely on cacao producers in producing countries to obtain their raw material. This situation always presents a risks for these companies, as they have to rely on their suppliers to obtain the best quality beans. Most of these companies base their marketing strategy by highlighting the fine flavour of their chocolates, with some informing consumers about the true origin and type of cacao beans used.

There is a new “trend” in consumption of dark chocolate that looks to combine the quality of the product (flavour), social aspects (direct sourcing with a proven good price for cacao farmers) and environmental criterion (cacao produced under agro-forestry systems) which consumers are starting to look for in their products. Moreover, craft or artisan chocolate consumers are starting to recognize that the “colonial” model of purchasing raw material from “developing” countries to be processed in a developed or “rich” country is not as sustainable as it looks. Therefore, many consumers are looking for products which are produced and manufactured at origin country, arguing that a greater value of the product consumed stays in the country of origin.

In view of these situations, a proposed chocolate manufacturing facility in Costa Rica will address many of the concerns that consumers are looking for in their product. This, combined with information about health benefits, and a campaign aimed at improving consumption habits of children towards tasty but also healthier chocolate products, will set our brand and products above many possible competitors.


  1. Management and Operation


  1. The company and processing plant will be a family-owned business which will be operated by three members of the family as part of the General Board, including two investors from North America. In-line with new gender equality requirements, the company will operate with 90% female workers, with only around 10% of male workers.
  2. The administrative and legal obligations of the company will be managed by Eugenia Valerio Ellis. Eugenia has a BsSc degree in law from the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, as well as a PhD degree in International Contracts. Over the last 16 years, Eugenia took charge of many of the family agricultural businesses, such as a banana plantation with 200 hectares of production in 2001, followed by the management of the cattle ranch with over 600 livestock. Throughout this last 16 years, Eugenia has being able to obtain vast experience in the operation of the Costa Rican agricultural sector, with extensive knowledge on legal requirements and tax-law. She has being working with a team of external accountants and tax-advisers to ensure efficiency in the management of financial resources and compliance with tax regulations and requirements.


  1. The second member of the team is Catalina Valerio Ellis, the most beautiful woman in this world. Catalina has a BsSc degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and has being working with her sister Eugenia in the management and operation of the family farms. During the last six years, Catalina moved to London, United Kingdom, for five years (2013-2017) where she established a family. During her time in London, Catalina took several courses on chocolate manufacturers with high-end chocolatiers such as William Curley (https://www.williamcurley.co.uk/), the School of Culinary Arts of London and XXXXXX. Catalina shares a huge passions for food processing and food manufacturing, recently taking the chocolate making course at FBM Factory in Legnano, Italy. Catalina will be in charge of the overall operation of the processing plant, working on the area of processing and product development.


  1. Moisés Gómez has a BsSC degree in agronomy from EARTH University in Costa Rica (https://www.earth.ac.cr/en/). After graduation in December 2003, Moises moved to Ecuador, where he worked for one year at an organic banana farm, followed by a year working with a consultancy company in the area of capacity building with farmers’ coops. In mid-2006, Moises applied and successfully obtain the job as Project Officer for the International Cocoa Organization, based in London from 1973 up to 2017. During these 11 years as Project Officer, Moises worked with most cacao-producing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia and the worlds’ largest chocolate manufacturers (MARS, Mondelez, Barry Callebaut) and cocoa traders (Cargill, ADM, ECOM) in the formulation and implementation of cocoa development programmes around the world. Being the only Latin American citizen in the ICCO during those 11 years, Moises was also in charge of developing the supply chain for the fine and flavour cacao and chocolate markets.


  1. During this time, Moises gained vast knowledge in the fine chocolate world and continues to act as judge in international chocolate tasting events. Last year, he was selected as part of the Grand Jury for the ICA Chocolate Awards for Central America and Perú. This year, Moises was invited to both editions of this event, one which took place in mid-July in Lima, Peru, while the other is taking place from 1-5 December in Guatemala City, Guatemala.


  1. Since returning from the UK in October, 2017, Moises continued to be involved in cacao development project. He has done several consultancies for government and farmers groups, assisting them in the development of Programmes and Action Plan. From January to April 2018, Moises worked in close collaboration with the APEN (Association of Private Companies of Nicaragua) and the Nicaraguan government, to formulate activities within the national cacao plan. In addition, Moises has worked with the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation (IICA) on a capacity building programme for small/medium cacao cooperatives in Costa Rica to improve their capacity to produce and trade fine and flavour cacao, from production, to identification of fine and flavour cacao varieties, as well as developing models for centralized fermentation and drying facilities.


  1. In addition to this group, the company will hire the services of at least two or three additional operators that will assist the project in the processing of the cacao beans. These operators will be women and will be locally hired in order to improve job conditions in Heredia. As the processing plant increases volumes of processing through time, the project will increase the number of operators accordingly, ensuring they are women from Heredia.

Section Two: Financial Data (See Attached Tables in E-mail)


  1. Project Financial Statements

Income Statement

Cash Flow Statement

Balance Sheets

Assumptions to Project Financial Statements

  1. Break Even Analysis
  2. Source and Use of Fund


Section Three: Supporting Documents


Annex I. (See PDF document Attached to E-mail)

Picture I. Plant Design:


Table I. Remodelling Costs


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“Fundamental Minerals” by Basal Basics N.V.

Burg. Van Nispen van Sevenaerstraat 21

1251 Laren, The Netherlands

Business Plan

“Fundamental Minerals”: A single tablet containing all the most essential Mineral and Vitamin supplements to improve Oral and General Body Health.

  1. Background:

98% of modern Western populations have a variety of dental problems ranging from tooth decay to gum deterioration. A Dutch dentist practicing for over 30 years (Dr. Hans Beekmans, Laren, NH) started to look into this problem and found the causes of these problems seven years ago.

Over hundreds of years these dental problems bother most populations over the whole planet. The main cause is related to nutritional behavior. It is a well-known phrase to say that “We are what we eat”. Since the 15th century, poorer people started to suffer from many dental diseases which led to other health problems and in many cases caused death. Before that time, most wealthy people who could consume sugar and refined food also suffered from oral problems.

These problems at that time included cavities, rotten teeth, malformations of the bones, infections, teeth that fell out because of problems of the gums and the supporting bones. The teeth act as “The Canary in the Coal Mine for the rest of the body”.

When a deficiency of minerals was discovered and confirmed as the leading cause of tooth decay and ancillary bodily health problems, a solution involving the replenishment of these missing minerals in food has become a leading cure for many of these extremely important health issues.

Dentistry at that time was mostly pulling teeth when they hurt. People often died from severe infections at the roots and in the jaw. Bacteria was discovered in the 17th century that caused these so-called diseases.

Solutions where found by practitioners and medical scientists in filling the cavities, doing root canal treatments, brushing the teeth, orthodontic treatments, fluoride applications and oral surgical treatments. A new profession was eventually born: Dentistry.

In 1939, following five decades of scientific investigations, research and proof, a Canadian dentist and oral surgeon named Weston Price discovered the relationship between nutrition and dental problems in his landmark book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”. He described the effects of bad food habits prevalent in most western civilizations were the cause of most teeth decay. Price is credited with much of the development of holistic dentistry.

Primitive cultures not connected to these western civilizations didn’t have the dental problems at all, but as soon as their members started to eat Western food, the dental problems started.

One century later dentist, Dutch Dentist Dr. Hans Beekmans researched deeper into the problem. He discovered that the basic problem with teeth and bones were related to the energy production of every single cell. The bones and the teeth contained the reserves of the minerals, desperately needed for cell survival. A shortage in the nutritional intake was a signal for the organism to retake the minerals from the bone and teeth.

As long as there was enough nutritional intake, bones and teeth could re-mineralize. If not, the teeth and bones decayed rapidly. The body, steered by the glands responsible for the demineralization, had its solution for the problem. It creates enough energy for the cell survival.

Bacteria normally present in small quantities weren’t attacked anymore and could grow to large numbers to demineralize the teeth and produce minerals necessary for the individual cells of the whole body.

Calcium especially, is the main mineral responsible for the energy production which is available in teeth and bones. Other minerals like magnesium still have to come from nutrition. Specific vitamins discovered by Dr. Weston Price, are responsible for the correct intake and absorption of minerals in the body.  He conducted many experiments with small mammals to prove that vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 were key to the absorption and distribution of critical minerals.

Dr. Hans Beekmans used many supplements to help his patients overcome dental problems. He started to develop the exact combination by using different ones available in existing market products. This led to a combination of various different products while he continued to work out a perfect vitamin supplement.

This led to the final production of a capsule that contains the exact minimal combination of minerals and vitamins to maintain full health of the teeth and in turn many aspects of bodily health.

In the last seven years he monitored the effects of the combination and the amounts needed per patient. He also discovered which dental problems indicated the need for the supplement and the various different dental problems that could be solved with that supplement.

The teeth and gums show immediately the need for certain parts of the supplement and which part was mostly missing. The loss of bone, the production of tartar, grinding, sensitive teeth and decay all were an indication of the lack of minerals and vitamins.

But not only dental problems were solved by the use of the supplement. Restless legs, migraine headaches, joint problems, tiredness, sleeping problems and infections were solved when the patients took enough of the supplement.

The dental problems were just an indication of a body with a lack of energy in the cells and therefore resulted in other problems and diseases. That is why he called the supplement “Fundamental”, the first step to heal the body by giving back the resources for energy production.

The difference with other supplements is that this has been tested thoroughly with patients to improve dental problems in ways other than with medication, drilling and filling, orthodontic treatments, splint therapy or root canal treatments.

It is not a product that is solely based on theories or results of scientific research. It is tested in real life. Dr. Beekmans states that brushing teeth is a symptomatic treatment. The real cause of serious dental problems is a lack of minerals. When there are enough of the right composition and amount taken by the patient, the bacteria that causes the diseases disappears.

It’s the same as scurvy. This was solved by enough intake of vitamin C. It took scientists and doctors almost two centuries to handle this shortage of vitamin C and solve the scurvy epidemics.

Another discovery might be the tartar formation and the relation to blood vessels. There is no existing proof of this but there is an high probability that vitamin K2, tartar and atrial plaque have the same relationship.  Further research is underway.

Benefits from the Use of Calcium Magnesium Mineral and Vitamin supplements

  1. Why do most people need Fundamental Minerals Supplement?

To get enough calcium and magnesium into the body it is essential to be part of our daily diet. If this does not happen, the body has a reserve of Calcium in the bones that is accessed if there is insufficient absorption from the intestines. The last source that can also be used is the Calcium from the teeth. These are made from a mineral called ‘Calcium-hydroxyappatite’.

The development of cavities means that the teeth are decalcified and thus release Calcium for the functioning of the cells in the body. In the blood the amount of Calcium is kept very precisely up to the nanogram (one billionth of a gram) because Calcium is indispensable for the energy production of all body cells. It is therefore vital for the survival of the cells.

One could say that Calcium is just as important as oxygen, but you do not notice it so quickly because the body has enough systems to build and address its reserves. However, what is of great importance is that the stock is replenished daily because otherwise the reserves will be exhausted. If the intake stagnates through the intestines, due to inadequate nutrition or if the demand is greater than the intake, then the reserves such as the bones and the teeth are accessed.

This release of Calcium happens under the influence of mouth bacteria that produce acid. With constant cleaning one can keep the bacteria, away. However, the formation of plaque is the result of too little Calcium in the diet. This causes an emergency response in the body. The salivary glands in a healthy well-fed human with sufficient proteins slows the growth of bacteria. But if there is too little calcium in the blood is, the teeth develop holes.

Another interesting phenomenon is the development of sensitive tooth necks, this is also a symptom of too little calcium which is available for the cells. This is caused by a reversal of the flow of liquid in the tooth itself, normally a small amount of liquid comes out of the tooth.

If the Calcium mirror is too low, then this mechanism is reversed. Now the acids go out of plaque instead of being pushed out. An advantage for the body cells is that the Calcium is taken in this flow.

So if we want to prevent cavities, we have to provide sufficient calcium in the diet.

However, in order to properly absorb Calcium from the diet, we must also have sufficient Magnesium, otherwise the Calcium cannot be absorbed. The exact ratio is 2:1 from Calcium to Magnesium for a good absorption.

Magnesium is a mineral missing from the diets of most modern people. That is not the reason that the teeth are affected. It is because of a Calcium deficiency. Blood is measured by much calcium is in it. Then the body responds in there is a deficit to replenish it. The exact ratio of the intake is important, so 2:1 Calcium-Magnesium. Magnesium improves many regions of the brain and many other bodily functions.

In addition, other factors also play a role, such as vitamins D3 and K2, for the absorption and distribution by the body. A clear symptom of too little vitamin K2 is the formation of tartar, kidney stones and vein calcifications. The dentist or hygienist can therefore already see that a person is at risk of atherosclerosis due to the presence of tartar in the mouth.

Another way to get Calcium out of the teeth is by grinding. This is the wear that occurs and then causes a release of Calcium from the teeth and molars. This is an undesirable situation because then the teeth and teeth wear out too quickly.

Another way to get Calcium fast is to cause inflammation of the bone tissue where the teeth (or implants) are stuck. Because of this bone inflammation Calcium is also released to the blood and the body thus obtains the required Calcium.

A medical hazard that is caused by this form of Calcium release is infection of the joints or heart valves by the bacteria in the gums and causing the bone breakdown. All-in-all, this is medically a very undesirable situation, which is also disastrous for the teeth.

Excavations and investigations have shown that this problem has been on the planet for more than ten thousand years and is the result of the wrong diet that we take as human beings. The pharaohs were also victims with bad teeth, but also badly developed jaws and bones.

Interestingly, animals with this problem are also plagued by inadequate or incorrect food. This is especially true of pets, horses and cows which suffer from failing teeth by the bacteria that break the jawbone around the teeth. In the horse world this is well known by wise owners who feed their animals Calcium and Magnesium.

The above issues are very unfavourable situations for the teeth. But now for the first time, the factors have been really well researched and a solution has been found and developed.

 2. What are the ingredients for the supplement?

The supplement with Calcium and Magnesium for humans consists of those products that are necessary for its optimal absorption, so that it can be ensured that calcium and magnesium are taken immediately after ingestion into the intestines, in the blood vessels of the surrounding tissues.

Amongst others, more vitamin D3 which we normally take when we are sufficiently outside with sunlight, is in an optimal amount in the supplement. To begin with, 20 micrograms are contained in one capsule. This ensures that the Calcium and Magnesium contained in the capsule are absorbed by the body.

In addition, there is malic acid in the capsule which is necessary for the absorption of the Calcium. Magnesium is basic mineral and makes Calcium difficult to be included because Calcium requires an acidic environment for to be fully ingested. The combination of Calcium, Magnesium and malic acid in the right proportions ensure optimal absorption.

In addition to the above substances there is also vitamin K2 in the capsule in an amount that the calcium distribution promotes and ensures that it does not linger in the blood vessels or in other places, such as on the teeth or the kidneys.

In addition to these vitamins, there are also minerals that are essential for the optimal functioning of the power plant of the cell, called the ‘mitochondria’. This Iron (ironbisglycinate) is important for the transport of oxygen to the cells via the red blood cells. In the red blood cell is a substance called ‘hemoglobin’ which uses iron for the transport of oxygen therefore this is added.

In most western countries people have a shortage of iron. Copper mineral (copper gluconate), this is added because (again) the mitochondria copper has an important function in the production of energy and a shortage would disrupt the process.

Manganese (citrate) also plays an important role along with calcium and magnesium to keep the bones and skin healthy and also the healing of wounds. In particular, the conversion of collagen, an important constituent of the skin and the bones, is regulated by manganese iodine (potassium iodide).

This is important for the proper functioning of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. These are responsible for the calcium regulation to the blood and many other bodily functions, as well as all cells which need iodine, including the brain cells.

Iodine is part of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Zinc (citrate) and is an essential mineral for many bodily functions. This is especially for the healthy functioning of more than 100 enzymes, the production of proteins, healing processes, the immune system and the production of DNA.

This supplement contains all the basic substances for a healthy functioning of all cells. This is mainly because the energy production depends on them. Without these substances, the energy level of the cells is too low. Good functioning and good healing cannot take place without them.

3. How much supplement is needed by each person?

There is no standard amount determined for this supplement. Various factors determine what is required for the proper functioning of the mitochondria, weight, age, kidney function, coffee use, action/energy level, type of food, sex, sugar, carbohydrates and alcohol use and probably a number of other factors that are not yet known.

So it is better to look from a different point of view. What would an average person need and what can you look at to know if enough is being ingested into the human body?

It is clear from research that an average person consumes one gram of Calcium per day. The diet must therefore contain at least one gram to meet this need. The calcium balance is maintained by a collaboration of three organ systems, the mouth or gastrointestinal tract, the bones and the kidneys.

As an adult takes about 1 gram of Calcium per day and 0.35 grams of it is absorbed into the small intestines, that is regulated by the so-called ‘calcitrope hormones’. A daily dose for an adult is six capsules, for children half or for smaller children. two capsules per day. Each capsule contains measured amounts that ensure optimal absorption of calcium and magnesium.

4. How do I know if I take enough of the supplement?

There are a number of features in the mouth so that you can see if there are enough calcium and magnesium. In the first place, with sufficient intake and absorption there is no plaque present on the teeth. A second indication is the presence of tartar. With sufficient intake of vitamin K2, there is also no tartar that is newly formed.

In order to be able to assess this properly, it is necessary that for the use of the supplement, the tartar is properly removed from the teeth, especially above the gums where it is clearly visible.

These are the two main factors that are VISIBLE in the mouth. The sensitivity of the teeth is sensitive. Sensitive teeth are the indicator of a lack of Calcium, so if there is still any sensitivity, then there is too little supplement included.

A disturbing factor for admission is the diet that people consume. It is known that sugars and carbohydrates break down vitamins, which has a direct effect on the absorption and distribution of calcium, because they are highly dependent on vitamins D3 and K2. Alcohol and other drugs also reduce the effect of the vitamins.

Since it is not easy to change habits, it may be that more supplement is needed than with someone who takes no or little sugars or drugs. This is also visible on the plaque, the tartar and the sensitivity of the teeth.

Another criterion is the extent of muscle pain or cramps. With sufficient calcium and magnesium, the cramps and muscle pain disappear. If they are still present, then more supplement is needed.

Another interesting phenomenon is the feeling of stress. A lack of calcium causes this, regardless of the stress factors present. Sufficient calcium ensures that stress is no longer experienced as such.

Another criterion is the presence of white spots on the nails which disappear with sufficient calcium. If they keep appearing, it is a sign of too little calcium in the blood. Nails and hairs also grow faster if sufficient calcium is present.

5.  What is the basis of body functioning and background information for the ingredients?

The cells in our body need energy. That goes for every body cell. The energy production takes place in the ‘mitochondria’. This is very noticeable during physical exertion or during mental exertion. When there is not enough Calcium for muscle work, it is not possible for the muscles to contract anymore, resulting in cramp or muscle weakness. (See illustration above).

On the other hand, Magnesium is needed to relax the muscles, so a shortage of them will also cause cramps. In the brain it is more difficult to notice immediately. But there are clear symptoms. These are: difficulty in concentrating; names cannot be remembered; there is burden with combining multiple problems at the same time; a feeling of being tired; and stressful feelings.

Nerve cells are also heavily dependent on the energy production of these mitochondria. Since every body cell is dependent on this combination of Calcium and Magnesium, other processes are also disturbed in case of a shortage. The immune system works less. The liver cannot do its job well. Sleep becomes more difficult. Healing goes slower and the feeling of energy decreases.

It cannot be easily determined how much our bodies depend on a well-functioning energy system in our cells. However, it is probably the basis and most important factor for our functioning bodies. That is why the supplement is also called “fundamental”.

Many more studies will have to be done to get the full range of factors in the picture when we get enough minerals at the right place in the cells. Other vitamins also play a major role. The impact of all these factors is still not completely known. What we do know is if they are insufficiently present in our body every day, we need to add supplements for better health.

Finally, we are a bio machine that functions on the basis of molecular biochemical processes, far more so than the car and electrical appliances. While we do not always know how exactly they work and how they need to be properly maintained, they are essential to our best health.

The first step is made thanks to the relationship of Calcium and Magnesium with the teeth. On to the following discoveries about the human body and the relation between nutrition and vitamins.

6. Why ordinary food is no longer sufficient?

Because of the increase in the population of the planet, massive agricultural production over several centuries on the same land depleted most of its mineral content and has caused a severe deterioration of healthy contents in food. The minerals and vitamins in the Earth’s soil and plants used to be a sufficient source of nutrients in food to provide basic healthcare centuries ago.

An example of this is in a very popular consumer product called chocolate. For 10,000 years, the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans who populated South and Central America, drank a popular cocoa-based drink containing 100% raw, crushed beans. They considered this a medicinal beverage that kept them healthy.

Today, industrial chocolate has been crushed, heated and most of the cocoa butter, mass and liquor taken out of the bean. They are then re-filled with sugar, caramel, soya, vanilla and other ingredients whilst falling in cocoa content to below 10%.

This product, like most processed foods today, contains no nutritional content. In fact it is a toxic bomb of sugars causing tooth decay, obesity, and diabetes. A processing formula which leaves all the minerals and vitamins in the bean called Craft Chocolate achieves the historic nutritional content. However this represents less than 1% of chocolate today. Thus the need for mineral supplements to restore basic health.

7.  Is it usable for everyone?

 8. Can I take too much of it?

 9. What happens if I get too little Calcium and Magnesium?

 10. Do children also need it?

A, Big Advantage:

Instead of a confusing array of many different tablets with each containing just one mineral or vitamin, FUNDAMENTAL MINERALS infuses all of these into correct proportion onto a single tablet in order to make a dramatic improvement to one’s  dental and whole body health.

Instead of a dizzying array of pills     or      Fundamental Minerals is compounded into

each containing a single supplement         One Tablet adjusted to one’s body weight.

B. Production and Distribution

The Fundamental Mineral Supplements will be manufactured at G&G Vitamins PlC in East Grinstead, UK and distributed worldwide from there.

 C. Financial Calculations

See Profit and Loss Spreadsheets

D. Marketing Plan

 Fundamental Minerals will be marketed through a variety of media. The principal portal will be through the company’s web site which will outline all of the attributes of the product. A number of educational videos will be created and run on the web site. These will include interviews and lectures by Dr. Hans Beekmans.

In addition, testimonial videos will feature well known public figures such as the Entertainer/Singer Annet Hesterman, a recent finalist in the Senior Voice of Holland Television Program on RTL 4. An example of her representational skills can be made into a video in which she acknowledges the medical research that went into the formula and what benefits one can expect. Her demographic represents the perfect average person who would appreciate the product. Her vitality, energy and continued performance skills attest to the proof of a superior product that would assist many people worldwide.

Other professional healthcare providers, athletes and prominent people will be added to these videos for presentation on the company’s web site and YouTube.  Dutch athletes such as Dafne Schippers, a world -class Olympic and Champion Track and Field Runner would capture a market share of people active in athletics seeking additional mineral and vitamin supplement healthcare.

Athletes including football players, ice skating champions, field hockey players and others in many sports could help to promote the Product. An executive from a leading mining and mineral production company could make a promotional video. This might have the following message:

“Hello, I’m Robert , the CEO of several world class mineral and energy production companies, the world’s largest industry. As someone who supplied minerals to many of the world’s leading manufacturers in automobiles, aircraft, ships and trains, as well as the electronics, construction, medical, computer and engineering world, I know the value of minerals. Everything we build contains many of these important building blocks which have graced the global economy for centuries.

Our human bodies need the same minerals. Iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and calcium are all important in the maintenance of healthy bodies. They give us energy, support our immune systems that fights many diseases, strengthens our teeth and bones, builds healthy muscles, and give us a healthy cardio-vascular system. That’s why I have been producing these minerals for the past 50 years. They help to maintain the health of everyone. That’s why I invest in my health by taking Fundamental Minerals. I am living proof that it works.”

Other media presentations will be created and presented on live television interviews on prominent programs such as RTL Coffeetijd, NOS MAX, and other programming.

Newspapers, media handouts, live presentations to Dentists, Medical Conferences, Trade Shows and other formats will be included.

The initial market will consist of the Netherlands and expand eventually to the whole of Europe, North America and eventually worldwide.

E. Agenda and Timeline

 The testing and production of the product has been completed in the preliminary stage. Dr. Beekmans will continue with further dental and medical research to improve this product and develop further mineral and vitamin supplements for additional human conditions.

Production for commercial sale will commence from the factory manufacturer in the UK. If larger orders can reduce the wholesale cost of production, different methods and sources will be sought.

Marketing throughout The Netherlands will commence immediately in November 2018. This will expand to the entire European continent as soon as it appears the winning formula for marketing has achieved lift-off. Subsequent marketing throughout North America and the rest of the world will follow with distribution agreements made with individual agencies under contract.

F. Directors and Owners

Dr. Hans Beekmans: Biologisch Tandarts/implantotloog

Erro Verschoor: Sixsix N.V.

Dick den Hartog:

Robert S. Stewart: CEO Interop A.G.

Appendices: Detailed presentation on the benefits of Fundamental Minerals.


























































































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Ted Malloch: Nine Predictions for a Dangerous 2019

Guest post by Ted Malloch author of The Plot to Destroy Trump

2019, like most years that end in a 9, (look back in history) will be a year to remember.

NB: I am NOT Nostradamus and I have no crystal ball.
Learn more about RevenueStripe…

These are predictions based on analysis and perspective guided by trends.

Like any such views they are a baseline and high and low alternatives are also plausible.

The year ahead will provide lots of intrigue, controversy, volatility and danger.

There are ways to play it and come out ahead or to be damaged—perhaps, severely.

The pundits are all focused on the “Fall of Trump”, which WON’T happen, but there are other traps and challenges galore.

Here then, from my strategist=scholar=diplomat perch is a list of the NINE things that I predict for the year ahead.

Keep watch and beware!

1. Trump will remain in office and set for reelection, Keeping America Great. The government will reopen and a border barrier built. The impeachment campaign will fall flat on its face and the Mueller report, long awaited, will end with a whimper and aggressive rebuttal.
2. Brexit will happen and the UK will leave the failed EU in a clean break, without an agreement and without forking over a ton of cash, They will proceed ahead on WTO trade rules and the economy will hardly suffer an iota; quite the contrary.
3. As the US departs Syria, Iran and its proxies will try and fill the power vacuum, thereby starting a larger regional conflict involving Israel. It will not end well for the Iranians and their regime will suffer, as will the Ayatollahs. Oil prices will shoot up. Ending the year at almost $80 a barrel
4. The global economy will retract as Europe slows under the dead weight of the Euro, slow growth and increased trade tensions. The US will be the only strong man left, growing at plus 3 per cent a year and witnessing yet more job expansion. The stock market – Dow Jones will end 2019 at just short of 28,000. America is the best safe haven.
5. China will cry out “uncle” after its leadership realizes they are doomed facing an adversary like Trump. They will capitulate on nearly everything from tariffs to non-tariff barriers to intellectual property. The so-called ‘Asia century’ is postponed, indefinitely.
6. The EU will reform after the 2019 election where the populist parties coalesce to form the majority. The old European Project will be discarded and a smaller, leaner pro-sovereignty EU will take shape around a common market, full stop.
7. New breakthrough drugs will come to market that provide wonders — ranging from the prevention of cancers to the elimination of certain diseases, like malaria, ebola, HIV and Alzheimer’s. Invest.
8. Automation, robotization and blockchain will continue apace, changing forever the way business is done, workers work, and things are made. White-collar jobs will be dramatically affected — not just blue-collar ones.
9. Social media will become even more totalitarian by policing “hate speech”, censoring anyone they disagree with, and monopolizing our lives, wallets and minds. The backlash will begin. People will drop out, go local, off-line, and governments will regulate and commence anti-trust actions against FAANG.

And a bonus…

10. Outer space will be back in vogue with many countries jumping into the next frontier. The US will launch its Space Force as a new military service, set a time to go to Mars and return to the moon.

Have a happy new year, realizing that as the French poet, Victor Hugo reminded us over a century ago in Les Miserables:

“The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.”

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