Captiva Verde Land Corp Announces Solargram Farms Corporation Receives Health Canada Standard Cultivation Cannabis License for Renauds Mills, New Brunswick

Coquitlam, British Columbia, Jun 30, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Captiva Verde Land Corp. (CSE: PWR) (the "Company") is extremely pleased to announce that Solargram Farms Corporation ("Solargram"), a Canadian controlled private corporation, having corporate offices in Moncton, NB has officially received its Standard Cultivation Cannabis License from Health Canada. The license was issued in accordance with the Canadian Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations. 100% of the Solargrams shares are held in an escrow account ready to be transferred to Captiva Verde in exchange for 35 Million Captiva shares subject to a tight pooling agreement, subject to Health Canada approving the application by all the Captiva Verde officers and directors to pass a security clearance and CSE approval.

Under this Health Canada License, Solargram is now authorized at its site location to conduct the activities listed below:

– From its indoor-area special purpose, state of the art Greenhouse facility: cultivation, propagating, testing, harvesting, and selling cannabis,
– From its custom designed, massive outdoor farm grow area: cultivation, propagation, and harvesting cannabis.

It has taken Solargram eighteen (18) months to have achieved this major milestone while recently completing final installation of its New Brunswick 5.6 million square feet grow infrastructure build out located in Renauds Mills, New Brunswick in anticipation of receiving its Standard Cannabis Cultivation License.

The CEO of Captiva Verde Jeff Ciachurski states: "With this exciting news release I declare my intention to purchase 500,000 additional shares of Captive Verde on the open market and as CEO of Greenbriar Capital Corp (which already owns 10.7 million shares of Captiva Verde) declares its intention to seek Toronto Venture Exchange approval to purchase an addition 3 million shares of Captiva Verde on the open market.

Renauds Mills Site Infrastructure Buildout Results

Over the last six months through the best winter and spring conditions in the area in over a decade, the extremely dedicated and focused Solargram team led by Len Wood, Executive Vice President Captiva Verde and Vice President Solargram Farms, and Marc LeBlanc, President Solargram Farms, have amazingly achieved:

– Installation of over 8,000 feet of security perimeter fencing over approximately 50 acres,
– Implementation of one of Canada's top robust, lowest-cost outdoor farm grown cannabis cultivation facilities having significant, highly cost efficient, infrastructure assets,
– Purchasing and integrating an approximate 130 land acres package together with an onsite six million gallon water holding pond as well as high capacity water wells to self-serve our planned cannabis outdoor grow farm,
– Purchasing, renovating, and repurposing three onsite buildings totalling over 36,000 square feet, allowing for vertically integrated seed-to-sale, onsite propagating mothers and clones, de-bucking, milling, drying, and extraction operation capabilities for 2020 and beyond. Outdoor farm cannabis crop planting now underway to produce an expected year one 10,000+ kg's of dried cannabis over 25 acres (1,100,000 square feet) with combination hoop house crop coverage including specific designed additional micro climate grow areas to achieve for increased crop protection and maximization of cannabis grow cultivation yield.
– Site infrastructure buildout was fully funded, completed on time, and was completed 65% under original capital budget. We remain completely debt free, and are now funded for our 2020 grow season.

Len Wood states, "Marc and I wish to congratulate all of our team members for their immense effort and dedication in aiding Solargram to achieve this amazing Health Canada licensing milestone. We have truly created an operation that is built for success based on sound business practices including fiscal responsibility as well as planned positive sustainable operating cash-flows, which is a real business. We wish to thank all of our loyal stakeholders that have continued to support our vision while understanding our mission to create a unique Canadian Licenced Producer cannabis market leader that will show and demonstrate the business model required to produce sustainable positive annual cash flow profits, while providing enhanced returns for our shareholders."

Captiva Verde is proud that the company has now positioned Solargram's world class team of experienced operators and growers with a financially debt-free, fully developed set of land assets, growing assets, buildings, proprietary IP and technological expertise to successfully run and operate significantly planned, vertically integrated, cannabis outdoor grow farm land acreages at a planned and budgeted ultra-low sub $0.25 production grow cost per gram. Outdoor grow is a major market disruptor and differentiator and this will allow Solargram to sell its planned high cannabinoid full spectrum cannabis oil products at prices that are significantly below its competitors cost of production as well as below black market pricing. Outdoor is a game changer and will allow our company to become an effective leader in this market.

Solargram has a five year planned outdoor farm grown production capacity in excess of 130 farm acres at the Renaud Mills New Brunswick outdoor grow site alone representing over 65,000 kg's of dried cannabis targeted for end product full spectrum cannabis oil (THC, THCV, CBD, CBG, CBD-THC) concentrate for export as well as for end product, best in class unique cannabis and edible products.

According to The Guardian less than 10% of Canada's current legal cannabis products are derived from outdoor operations. Sun grown outdoor plants have the lowest cost with consistent high yields and potency, providing consumers with an opportunity to choose from a selection of natural and healthier products than what the market currently offers. Publicly released results from three (3) Canadian outdoor licensed grow facilities in 2019 reported cash costs of between eight (8) cents to twenty-four (24) cents per gram. The new successful companies like Solargram, can provide both a superior product and a price point, inclusive of taxes, that is well below the black market rates, which the latter currently outperforms the legal market at a rate of more than three to one.

Solargram embraces the experiences of long time growing veterans, scientist and proven business leaders whose collective experience together, puts cannabis where its intention is most valued, to the trusted consumer. Cannabis is an evolutionary business within a revolutionary change of politics. The torch is being handed back to veteran growers, scientist and proven business leaders who understand the original intent of legalization, which is to have the lowest cost, first in class products available to everyone.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors
"Jeff Ciachurski"
Jeffrey Ciachurski
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Cell: (949) 903-5906

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Information

This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address events or developments that the Company expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "projects", "potential" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will", "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include regulatory actions, market prices, and continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company's management on the date the statements are made. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change.

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates Say They Want Australian Ban on Liquid Nicotine Aborted, Not Delayed

BANGKOK, Jun 29, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Tobacco harm reduction advocates across Asia-Pacific called on the Parliament of Australia to abort, not delay, the planned ban on imports of liquid nicotine for vaping to provide smokers with alternatives to combustible cigarettes. Factasia, a non-profit regional tobacco harm reduction consumer advocacy, said e-cigarettes or vapes, along with other smoke-free nicotine products such as heat-not-burn tobacco products and snus, have the ability to significantly reduce the health risks of millions of Australian smokers.

"This is a technology that needs to be regulated, not restricted and banned. Adult consumers should be able to access a choice of regulated devices and liquids, including those containing nicotine. Underage use should be effectively and comprehensively banned," Factasia founder Heneage Mitchell said in separate letters sent to Australia's members of parliament.

Mitchell made the statement even as Health Minister Greg Hunt decided to postpone the ban on imports of liquid nicotine by six months amid opposition from vapers, consumer groups, tobacco harm reduction experts and even members of Parliament. This means that the ban will now be delayed to 1 January 2021 from the original plan of 1 July 2020.

Mitchell said MPs should instead push for the regulation of e-cigarettes and other smoke-free nicotine products that can substantially reduce the risks suffered by smokers from the tar – the byproduct of smoke.

"Consumers need to be truthfully and fully informed of the life-saving potential of vaping and granted access to a choice of regulated harm-reduced nicotine products which, at the moment, in Australia, they are not," Mitchell said.

"To be clear, there has never been a recorded death from vaping-regulated nicotine products since the introduction of the e-cigarette in 2001. But over the same period of time, more than 130 million smokers worldwide have died from tobacco-related illnesses and disease. They include many hundreds of thousands of our Australian brothers and sisters," he said.

Ines Hage Nebyl from the Office of Tim Wilson MP acknowledged the receipt of the letter from Factasia and assured that Wilson remains a well-established supporter of allowing people to vape.

"In the last Parliament, he was part of an inquiry into the health impacts and regulation of vaping. The committee opposed legalisation and regulation. Tim was part of a dissenting report arguing the law should change as a regulated product. That was his view then. That is his view now. Tim's views have not changed; he wants people off tobacco. Further to this, Tim has expressed his views to the minister on the recent action, and will continue to do so," Nebyl said.

Wilson is among the politicians who opposed the ban on vaping, which they felt would encourage vapers to return to smoking. Sydney Morning Herald reported that 28 Coalition MPs and senators signed a petition opposing the ban on the importation of vaping products containing nicotine.

In a statement on 26 June 2020, Hunt said the delayed implementation of the ban aimed to help the group of people who have been using e-cigarettes with nicotine as a means to ending their cigarette smoking.

"In order to assist this group in continuing to end that addiction, we will therefore provide further time for implementation of the change by establishing a streamlined process for patients obtaining prescriptions through their GP," the minister said.

Tobacco harm reduction advocates said Hunt's statement provided them an opportunity to advocate for legalization and regulation of nicotine vaping in Australia, which has nearly 500,000 vapers, according to some estimates.

Mitchell said Hunt should review scientific evidence showing that vaping is 95 percent safer than smoking, as shown in the evidence review carried out by Public Health England, and is regarded as the most effective method of smoking cessation available to smokers by a vast number of researchers, medical professionals, genuine tobacco control experts and governments who looked at the evidence, including the U.K., the EU, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, the U.S., and recently, Hong Kong.

"The countries listed above continue to see historic declines in the number of citizens smoking as they switch to these far less harmful technologies," he said.

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) said it is time for MPs to reject the ban.

"In Australia, 21,000 citizens die every year from smoking-related disease. We feel that Australians who have made the informed choice to switch to alternative nicotine consumption, such as e-cigarettes, need to be heard by their elected representatives," said CAPHRA Executive Coordinator Nancy Loucas.

Loucas noted that in neighboring New Zealand, the Ministry of Health concluded that the effects that punitive regulation would have on the people who had chosen to move away from combustible cigarettes would be negative.

Other groups have also expressed their opposition to the ban, including the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA), the Progressive Public Health Alliance (PPHA), Aotearoa Vape Community Advocacy (AVCA) and Legalise Vaping Australia (LVA).

About Factasia is an independent, not-for-profit, consumer-oriented advocate for rational debate about – and sensible regulation of – the rights of adult citizens throughout the Asia-Pacific region to choose to use tobacco or other nicotine-related products.


The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) is an alliance of consumer organizations from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand that aims to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

Jena Fetalino, JFPRC, +639178150324

Push for Regulation

MPs should instead push for the regulation of e-cigarettes and other smoke-free nicotine products that can substantially reduce the risks suffered by smokers from the tar – the byproduct of smoke.

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

GFI APAC announces the “2020 Asia Alt 100” Industry Disruptors in Alternative Protein

HONG KONG, Jun 22, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – The Good Food Institute Asia-Pacific (GFI APAC) today reveals the "2020 Asia Alt 100" organizations, together with a list of major investors identified as the driving forces for Asia's rapidly growing alternative protein industry. The raw materials and food production segments present significant opportunities, especially for regional industry players, according to GFI APAC's analysis.

GFI APAC Elaine Siu

The inaugural "Asia Alt 100" list published by GFI APAC identifies the 100 top players in Asia's alternative protein industry, from five building block segments, namely raw materials and ingredients, food production, research and development, corporate partnership, to end products. The research covers players in major markets in Asia including mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. (Please see the full list in Appendix I)

Investment in alternative protein has been a major trend in the food industry worldwide in recent years. While alternative protein may still be in its infancy stage in Asia, compared to more mature markets such as the U.S. where plant-based retail sales already reached US$5 billion in value , there are unique opportunities in the growing Asia market to be captured, and both corporates and start-ups are clearly keen to compete for a share in this growing segment. Out of the "2020 Asia Alt 100", over half (57%) are corporates, 29% are start-ups, while the remaining 14% are academic institutions.

"Coming from a background of very vibrant and diversified food cultures, Asian consumers have a discerning palate and demand for a great variety when it comes to food. For alternative protein to truly become a protein solution for Asia, the industry needs to move beyond importing technologies and brands from Silicon Valley. We need homegrown players who understand and can cater to the local markets' taste," says Elaine Siu, Managing Director of GFI Asia Pacific.

"We have already seen local innovators and companies starting to emerge in the past year with huge potential to lead the future growth of this sector. With the Asia Alt 100, we have identified the ones we see as the top disruptors in the industry which have demonstrated that they are seriously committed to, and invested into, growing the alternative protein industry."

The Asia Alt 100 is presented in GFI APAC's Asia Alternative Protein Industry Map, which shows who these key players are and how they work together, alongside a list of 35 key investors in the field. Investors are another very important building block propelling the developments of alternative protein in Asia. They come from around and outside of Asia, including Singapore (10), Hong Kong (6), Japan (5), mainland China (4), South Korea (1), other southeast Asian countries (2) and outside of Asia (7). Twenty-eight out of the 35 investors identified are venture capital firms, while the remaining seven are accelerators. (Please refer to Appendix II for the full list of investors).

According to Siu, "While major consumer brands and retailers launching the 'next plant-based burger' have been getting the spotlights, as the industry matures, we have seen investors showing increasing interests in raw materials and ingredients suppliers and B2B companies." Both raw materials and production are integral parts of the alternative protein value chain, but the market is only just catching up on discovering the opportunities that lie in the upper stream. For example, currently Asian countries such as China and Indonesia are heavily growing plant-based protein's raw materials such as soybean and peas, while approximately 50% of the global supply of soy protein is being processed in mainland China, mainly in the Shandong and Henan regions.

Currently, about half (58%) of the raw material and ingredient suppliers in the 2020 Asia Alt 100 list are originated in Asia. If more homegrown players from Asia will enter the market to leverage the proximity to raw materials and processing capabilities, the industry as a whole can potentially bring down production costs to make alternative protein more affordable to Asian consumers and accelerate the development of the alternative protein sector in Asia.

Siu concludes: "We are currently at an exciting phase of accelerating growth in the alternative protein in Asia. It is expected that more and more Asian companies will enter the industry as the local players start to realize the competitive advantage they have in growing raw materials, processing ingredients, local distribution network, supply chain infrastructure, and of course, in creating products that are tailored to the variety of Asian palate and culture."

The team at GFI APAC is in a unique position to have their finger to the pulse of the industry. Day in day out the team is consulted by startups (in many cases even before they formed their founding team), corporates, investors, scientists, and policymakers, free of charge. Being privy to and trusted with invaluable information, the GFI APAC team has the inside track to identify the top players that have demonstrated that they are seriously committed to, and invested into, growing the alternative protein industry, and deserve a place in the "Asia Alt 100" list.

Details of the scope of this study are as follows:

– Regions
Included: Major markets in Asia e.g. Singapore, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea.
Excluded: India

– Businesses
Included: Raw materials and ingredients, food production, research and development, and corporate partners. In line with our goal to increase transparency and awareness of the makers in the supply chain.
Excluded: Retailers and food service providers.

– Local Presence
Included: Companies incorporated in Asia, and companies incorporated outside of Asia but have built a local presence or otherwise invested significantly in Asia.
Excluded: Companies incorporated outside of Asia and without a local presence or significant investment in Asia, notwithstanding that their products may be available in Asia via distributors.

Mapping the Industry

This year, GFI APAC presents the 2020 Asia Alt 100 alongside 35 investors on the Asia Alternative Protein Industry Map to showcase not only the who's who of this sector but how they work together. Please view the full map at the following link:

About The Good Food Institute (GFI)

The Good Food Institute is an international non-profit building a sustainable, healthy, and just global food system. With unique insight across the scientific, regulatory, industry, and investment landscape, we are accelerating the transition of the world's food system to alternative proteins using the power of food innovation and markets. For more information, please go to:

Media Contact
Viola Chen
Direct: +852 5426 0552

Investor Contact
Elaine Siu
Direct: +852 9872 1690

Appendix I: 2020 Asia Alt 100 – Full List (by alphabetical order)

1. AAK
2. ADM
3. Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
4. Avant Meats
5. Avebe
6. Awano Food Group
7. Axiom Foods
8. Baicaowei
9. Beijing Technology & Business University
10. Betagro Group
11. Beyond Meat
12. Buhler
13. Calysta
14. Cargill
15. Cellivate Technologies
16. Charoen Pokphand Foods
17. DAIZ
18. Danisco (China) Investment
19. DSM
20. Duoning Biotech
21. DuPont
22. Fuji Oil
23. Givaudan
24. Glico Nutrition
25. Growthwell Group
26. Hey Maet
27. Hongchang Biotech (Suzhou)
28. Impossible Foods
29. Ingredion
30. Integriculture
31. Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
32. Jiangnan University
33. Jinnong
34. Jinzi Ham
35. JUST
36. Kagoshima University
37. Karana
38. Kerry
39. KosmodeHealth
40. Lesaffre
41. Let's Plant Meat
42. Life 3 Biotech
43. Loma Linda
44. Marvelous Foods
45. Mitsui Co
46. Monde Nissin
47. Nanjing Agricultural University
48. Nanjing Zhouzi Future Food
49. Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
50. National University of Singapore (NUS)
51. Nestle
52. NH Foods
53. Ningbo Sulian Food
54. Nishimoto Co.
55. Nissin Foods
56. Omni Foods
57. Otsuka Food
58. Pepsico
59. PFI Foods
60. Phuture Foods
61. Phyto Corporation
62. Pulmuone
63. Quorn
64. Robobank
65. Roquette
66. Shanxi Nutranovo
67. Shinshu University
68. Shiok Meats
69. Shuangta Food
70. SiCell
71. Sophie's BioNutrients
72. South China University of Technology
73. SPC Samlip
74. Starfield
75. Sumitomo Corporation
76. Supersun
77. Tereos
78. TerViva
79. The Chinese University of Hong Kong
80. The PlantEat
81. Tianjin Norland
82. Tokyo Medical and Dental University
83. Tokyo Women's Medical University
84. Toriyama Chikusan Shokuhin
85. Triton Algae Innovation
86. Tupac.Bio
87. Turtletree Labs
88. UCDI
89. University of Tokyo
90. Unlimeat
91. Veego
92. Vegetari Healthy Bites
93. Vesta
94. Whole Perfect Food / Qishan
95. Wilmar International
96. Worth The Health Foods
97. Z-Rou
98. Zero Meat
99. Zhen Meat
100. Zikooin

Appendix II: Key investors – Full List (by region)

1. Brinc Hong Kong
2. Green Monday Ventures Hong Kong
3. Horizons Ventures Hong Kong
4. Lever VC Hong Kong
5. Vectr Ventures Hong Kong
6. VU Venture Partners Hong Kong
7. Bits X Bites. Mainland China
8. Dao Foods Mainland China
9. Joy Capital Mainland China
10. Matrix Partners China Mainland China
11. Beyond Next Ventures Japan
12. Glocalink Japan
13. Hiroshima Venture Capital Japan
14. RealTech Fund Japan
15. Yakumi Investment Japan
16. Big Idea Ventures Singapore
17. DSG Consumer Partners Singapore
18. Germi8 Singapore
19. GROW Singapore
20. Hatch Singapore
21. ID Capital Singapore
22. Innovate 360 Singapore
23. Makana Ventures Singapore
24. Temasek Singapore
25. VisVires New Protein Singapore
26. Mirae Asset Global Investments South Korea
27. Space-F Other SEA
28. Thai Union Other SEA
29. Agfunder Out of Asia
30. Artesian Capital Out of Asia
31. Blue Horizon Out of Asia
32. New Crop Capital (NCC) Out of Asia
33. Tyson Ventures Out of Asia
34. Unovis Partners Out of Asia
35. VegInvest Out of Asia

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

CropLife Asia Commends UN Call for Action to Avoid “Global Food Emergency” & Rallies Regional Stakeholders

SINGAPORE, Jun 11, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – A policy brief released this week by the United Nations (UN), "The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition", raises serious concerns regarding the effect COVID-19 is having on the most vulnerable parts of society already experiencing hunger and malnutrition. As a result, CropLife Asia is reiterating the need for greater coordination and collaboration across the regional food value chain to ensure a sustainable supply of safe and nutritious food.

Last year, the UN issued research indicating hunger, undernourishment and obesity are at critical levels globally and throughout Asia in particular. According to the 2019 State of Food Security & Nutrition in the World, some 820 million people did not have enough food to eat in 2018 – this was up from 811 million in 2017 and represented the third consecutive year of increase. Meanwhile, over 513 million of those hungry people (or over 62%) call Asia home. When it came to undernourishment, the statistics were also discouraging. In 2018, the largest number of undernourished people around the world (more than 500 million) lived in Asia.

"We're seeing first-hand the diabolical disruption COVID-19 continues to cause our food supply chain in Asia. This UN brief only reaffirms the effect the pandemic is having and heightens the needs for action," said Dr. Siang Hee Tan, CropLife Asia Executive Director.

"CropLife Asia commends the UN for its leadership on this critically important issue. From farm to fork, we all have a role to play in ensuring a safe and nutritious supply of food reaches those who need it most. It's time for the regional stakeholders driving the food supply chain to answer this clarion call by the UN and work together to ensure a food emergency isn't realized in Asia. It's time for greater coordination and collaboration among governments, industries and civil society to deliver results. It's time to get to work."

Feeding our growing global population is a shared responsibility, and plant science continues to play a crucial role. Biotech crops are developed with improved traits such as increased yield, better resistance to pests and/or improved nutrition, among others. These traits are crucial tools that enable farmers to meet global challenges such as food insecurity. Meanwhile, farmers continue to rely on crop protection products to produce more food on less land and raise productivity per hectare. Without crop protection products, 40 percent of global rice and maize harvests could be lost every year[1] and losses for fruits and vegetables could be as high as 50-90 percent.

About CropLife Asia

CropLife Asia is a non-profit society and the regional organization of CropLife International, the voice of the global plant science industry. We advocate a safe, secure food supply, and our vision is food security enabled by innovative agriculture. CropLife Asia supports the work of 15 member associations across the continent and is led by six member companies at the forefront of crop protection, seeds and/or biotechnology research and development. For more information, visit us at

For more information please contact:
Duke Hipp
Director, Public Affairs
CropLife Asia
Tel: +65 6221 1615

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

New Study Underscores How Heated Tobacco Products Are Disrupting the Cigarette Industry

MANILA, May 31, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – A new study shows that the entry of heated tobacco products (HTPs) triggered a remarkable reduction in combustible cigarettes sales in Japan. "The decline in smoking rates among adults in Japan is astoundingly impressive when you realize that this has only come about rapidly with the introduction of HTPs," said Nancy Loucas, Executive Director of the Coalition of Asia-Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

Prof. David Sweanor, one of the study's authors

Canadian and American researchers looked at how trends in the sale of cigarettes in Japan between 2011 and 2019 correspond to the sales of HTPs that were introduced into the Japanese market in late 2015. Using data from the Tobacco Institute of Japan and Philip Morris International (PMI), the researchers concluded that the accelerated five-fold decline in cigarette only sales in Japan since 2016 corresponds to the introduction and growth in the sales of HTPs. Cigarette sales in Japan were declining slowly and steadily before HTPs were introduced in 2015.

Entitled "What Is Accounting for the Rapid Decline in Cigarette Sales in Japan?", the study was published on May 20, 2020 in the peer-reviewed open access scientific journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

HTPs are smoke-free devices that heat, instead of burn, specially-designed tobacco units to release a flavorful nicotine-containing tobacco vapor. As tobacco is not burned, the levels of harmful chemicals produced by HNB products are significantly lower compared to combustible cigarette smoke. The most popular HTP brand is IQOS, a product of PMI.

Consumers' interest and the regulatory environment shape markets, according to Professor David T. Sweanor of the Faculty of Law of University of Ottawa, one of the study's authors. He explained that Japanese regulations precluded alternatives to combustible cigarettes, such as nicotine-containing vaping products. However, HTPs generated huge interest among smokers in Japan. "As more [smokers] adopted the alternative, they helped speed switching by others. I think this gives us an indication of just how much more rapidly countries could reduce cigarette use if there were many different low-risk alternatives available and policies and public education campaigns facilitated a widespread move away from [combustible] cigarettes."

Prof. Sweanor believes Japan is a success story in tobacco harm reduction.

"We have seen the most rapid decline in cigarette sales ever witnessed in a major market. A third of the cigarette market was gone in a remarkably short period of time, and this was accomplished with a non-coercive measure. People who smoke cigarettes were simply provided with a viable alternative."

Governments in the Asia Pacific region that seek to ban or limit the access of smokers to HTPs and other safer nicotine alternatives should look to Sweden which for decades has promoted the shift to low-risk non-combustible alternatives to cigarettes, said Prof. Sweanor. "Now we have evidence that a range of low-risk products can help us rapidly achieve the smoking rate targets of the World Health Organization's Sustainable Development Goals. To seek to ban or limit access to such products protects the cigarette industry rather than public health."

Commenting on the future of smokers in Asia Pacific where HTPs will soon be available, Prof. Sweanor stressed that policies should empower people to take control of their health. "Ensuring that a range of low-risk alternatives are not only on the market but have regulatory and tax advantages over cigarettes has the potential to transform public health. We have long known that people smoke for nicotine but die from the smoke. Cigarette smoking is a public health catastrophe that can be massively reduced through science and technology if policies can be oriented toward replacing rather than protecting the cigarette business."

The publication of the new study is timely as it comes on the heels of the celebration of World Vape Day on May 30, 2020. Observed a day before World No Tobacco Day, World Vaping Day aims to raise awareness on e-cigarettes or vapes and encourage smokers who are unable to quit on their own or with currently available smoking cessation tools to switch to safer nicotine products.

"Safer nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, are the most disruptive influence on smoking in decades. These are the innovations that have the potential to save millions of lives in the Asia Pacific region as well as globally," added Nancy Loucas.

According to Loucas, the most popular form of safer nicotine products in northern Asia are HTPs. Like Japan, Korea has shown similar sales and uptake of HTPs, with corresponding declines in combustible tobacco use. These data show that the substitution of combustible tobacco with reduced-risk products has the potential to be a highly effective tobacco harm reduction strategy, she explained. "So, it is very disheartening that countries in Asia Pacific, like Korea and the Philippines, are looking to either ban and/or reduce access and choice of all forms of tobacco harm reduced products for their smoking citizens."

"Japan's success in reducing smoking prevalence through HTPs should be a wakeup call to local policymakers. Quit or die aren't the only choices for smokers," said Peter Paul Dator, president of The Vapers Philippines.

"This new study lends further credence to adopting tobacco control policies based on a harm reduction model," said Stephanie Thuesen, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at The Progressive Public Health Alliance in Australia.

"Policymakers in Thailand, which has been ranked the worst country in the world to be in if you are a vaper, should listen to Prof. Sweanor. Banning or limiting access to safer nicotine products only serve to protect the cigarette industry rather than public health," said Asa Ace Saligupta who runs the ECST.


The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) is an alliance of consumer organizations from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand that aims to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jena Fetalino (63)9178150324

Prof. David Sweanor, one of the study's authors
"We have seen the most rapid decline in cigarette sales ever witnessed in a major market."

Related Links
International journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

Captiva Verde Land Corp – Corporate Update

Vancouver, BC, Feb 27, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Captiva Verde Land Corp. (CSE: PWR) (OTC: CPIVF) (the "Company" or "Captiva"), is pleased to announce the following updates for each of its business segments.

Mexico Pharmaceutical License

Captiva has started construction on its new manufacturing plant in Mexico to supply a wide range of psychoactive, heath and wellness, and narcotic medicines pursuant to our comprehensive pharmaceutical license to sell and distribute over 300 different types of psychoactive (psilocybin) and non-psychoactive (CBD) products. The plant will be finished in June and ready to produce in October of this year for positive accretive cash flow. Further, we have an arrangement to sell all of our products to the Union of Health Care Workers plus the larger group within the Union Federation, as a buying club of 1.2 Million members. Our products will be exceptional quality but priced for the Mexico market in the price range affordable in Mexico at a special discounted price for the benefit of the Union members and their families. This is a long term and sustainable strategy.

Solargram Farms

As stated in our previous news releases, one of the few remaining value propositions in the Cannabis business is to blow up the current status quo of high priced indoor cultivation with extremely low cost high quality outdoor grow. Last year, four (4) public companies produced only 3% of the legal Cannabis supply in Canada with outdoor grow operations. Their respective public disclosures list their total cost to produce at between 10 and 24 cents per gram vs $1.00 to $13.00 per gram for indoor grow, not including their destructively high G&A costs. Solargram was built to supply compassionate Cannabis at retail values well below that of the grey market, which grey market stubbornly controls 75% of the market share. The Solargram operations are almost complete and ready to commence licensed operations in early May with a very large ultra-low cost harvest ready for sale in October of this year.

Miss Envy

Miss Envy is an award winning health and wellness organization with the biggest selection of organic products in the market. Captiva has the world-wide rights outside of Canada. Captiva is currently developing the Miss Envy product line in Mexico to coordinate with the opening of our Mexican facility in June of this year. Miss Envy provides another one of the remaining value added propositions left in the industry, which is a world recognized brand with a huge following. Every time any other LP in the US or Canada sells a Cannabis product, they sell at a loss according to their public disclosures. This is not sustainable. Miss Envy offers a sustainable and profitable solution to the compassionate needs of the industry.

Meanwhile, Captiva is in the process of tweaking Miss Envy's product lines to better appeal to Asian consumers and exploring opportunities to procure substantial sales from the Asian community with Miss Envy, where the products and themes are very well received. Updates will be released as they become available.

Sage Ranch, California

Captiva owns 50% of the sustainable and affordable one-thousand (1,000) housing unit Sage Ranch subdivision in Southern California. The project will have its final California Environmental Impact Report issued on March 4th for the 45 day public review period and then approval in front of the Planning Commission and City Counsel in June of this year. Upon approvals and completion of a 30 day appeal period, construction will commence at the annualized rate of 150 to 250 homes per year.


Captiva Verde is a highly efficient, nimble, extremely low overhead, high impact and sustainable socially responsible investment company with a multitude of high value projects that will all succeed due to a very loyal shareholder base and an execution oriented, sharply focused and dedicated management team.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors
"Jeffrey Ciachurski"

For further information, please contact:
Jeffrey Ciachurski
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Cell: (949) 903-5906

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Information

This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address events or developments that the Company expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "projects", "potential" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will", "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include regulatory actions, market prices, and continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company's management on the date the statements are made. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change.

To view the source version of this press release, please visit

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Food Empire’s FY2019 net profit jumps 44.9% to a record US$25.7 million

SINGAPORE, Feb 25, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Food Empire Holdings Limited ("Food Empire", together with its subsidiaries, the "Group"), announced today its financial results for the financial year ended 31 December 2019 ("FY2019").

Financial Highlights

Revenue by Markets

Revenue for FY2019 was US$288.6 million, a yoy increase of 1.5% as compared to US$284.3 million revenue recorded in FY2018. This was mainly due to higher sales in local currency terms in the Group's key markets partly offset by lower sales contribution from the Group's South-East Asia market mainly due to rationalisation of underperforming markets and lower translated revenue resulting from depreciation of the Russian Ruble against the US dollar.

Gross profit was US$111.8 million, up 0.8% as compared to prior corresponding period, with gross profit margin of 38.7%.

Selling and marketing expenses were lower by US$6.3 million or 13.3% from US$47.8 million in FY2018 to US$41.5 million. The decrease was mainly due to rationalisation of underperforming markets partly offset by higher manpower cost.

General and administrative expenses decreased by US$1.5 million, from US$41.4 million in FY2018 to US$39.9 million. The decrease was mainly attributable to lower provision for doubtful debts partly offset by higher manpower cost.

Pursuant to the above, the Group's net profit after tax for FY2019 was US$25.7 million, a yoy increase of 44.9%. Net profit margin was 2.7 percentage points ("pp") higher, at 8.9% for FY2019.

For FY2019, the Group generated net operating cash flows of US$39.3 million mainly due to better performance and better working capital management, bringing its cash and cash equivalents to US$54.7 million.

The Board of Directors proposed a first and final dividend of 1 Singapore cent per ordinary share and a special dividend of 1 Singapore cent per ordinary share. The proposed first and final dividend and special dividend are subject to shareholders' approval at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled for 23 April 2020. If approved, the first and final dividend and special dividend will be paid on 19 May 2020.

Commenting on the Group's results, Mr. Tan Wang Cheow, Executive Chairman of Food Empire said, "FY2019 was a spectacular year for the Group and we are pleased to deliver yet another set of stellar results. The favorable outcome is a testament to the effectiveness of the Group's strategies implemented to address identified problems and improve profitability. Moving ahead, we will remain focused on growing our key markets, streamlining our business operations and looking for strategic mergers & acquisitions opportunities to achieve sustainable growth."


The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in China has since spread to a number of other countries. While efforts have been made to limit the advance of the disease, there is still substantial uncertainty over the duration and severity of COVID-19, which is expected to adversely affect global supply chains and threaten economic growth.

At this moment, the Group assessed that the health crisis is unlikely to have any direct or significant impact on its plans for the year. The Group expects business in its key consumer markets to remain resilient against the backdrop of a moderately acute and well-contained epidemic.

The Group will continue to invest in branding, product development and expanding distribution networks to capture greater consumer mindshare. It will also carry through corporate transformation initiatives to restructure business operations and streamline the organisation into a more cost efficient and sustainable global business.

The Group may face currency volatility in core markets such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and CIS countries, which could impact the results of the Group.

Following the success of its first Non-Diary Creamer ("NDC") plant, which is currently fully utilized, the Group has unveiled plans to commence the construction of a second NDC project on its existing plot of land located in the Iskandar region of Malaysia. The project will leverage on existing infrastructures and resources and is expected to take place over the next 24 months. When completed it will increase the existing capacity and offer a wider range of NDC products.

The Group's Instant Freeze Dry Coffee plant in India is expected to be completed and will commence commercial production during the year.

The Group will take a cautious and targeted approach in evaluating M&A opportunities that are synergistic to the Group.

About Food Empire Holdings Limited (Bloomberg Code: FEH SP)

SGX Mainboard-listed Food Empire Holdings (Food Empire) is a global branding and manufacturing company in the food and beverage sector. Its products include instant beverage products, frozen convenience food, confectionery and snack food.

Food Empire's products are exported to over 50 countries, in markets such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, China, Indochina, the Middle East, Mongolia and the US. The Group has 24 offices (representative and liaison) worldwide. The Group operates 7 manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Russia and Ukraine.

Food Empire's products include a wide variety of beverages, such as regular and flavoured coffee mixes and cappuccinos, chocolate drinks and flavoured fruit teas. It also markets instant breakfast cereal, potato crisps and assorted frozen convenience foods.

Food Empire's strength lies in its proprietary brands – including MacCoffee, Petrovskaya Sloboda, Klassno, Hyson, OrienBites and Kracks. MacCoffee – the Group's flagship brand – has been consistently ranked as the leading 3-in-1 instant coffee brand in the Group's core market of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The Group employs sophisticated brand building activities, localised to match the flavour of the local markets in which its products are sold.

Since its public listing in 2000, Food Empire has won numerous accolades and awards including being recognised as one of the "Most Valuable Singapore Brands" by IE Singapore (now known as Enterprise Singapore), while MacCoffee has been ranked as one of "The Strongest Singapore Brands". Forbes Magazine has twice named Food Empire as one of the "Best under a Billion" companies in Asia and the company has also been awarded one of Asia's "Top Brand" by Influential Brands. For more information, please refer to:

Issued for and on behalf of Food Empire Holdings Limited.
by Financial PR Pte Ltd
Mr Ngo Yit Sung,
Ms Yong Jing Wen,
Tel: +65 6438 2990 Fax: +65 6438 0064

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Orders for NatShield(TM) Sanitizer Disinfectant Spike after Outbreak of Coronavirus

KUALA LUMPUR/PERTH, Jan 29, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – ASX-listed Holista CollTech (ASX:HCT, "Holista") announced today a strong spike in demand in Malaysia for it all-natural disinfectant spray NatShield(TM) Sanitizer, that contains the powerful Path-Away(R) anti-microbial compound. The increased demand follows the recent outbreak of the deadly coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China.


Letter from Malaysian MOH

Holista confirmed that since mid-January 2020 it had sold out all NatShield(TM) Sanitizer in its inventory. Each bottle of NatShield(TM) Sanitizer contains 5% of Path-Away(R) which is made from natural plant-based substances that have been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug of Authority and tested by World Health Organization ("WHO") approved laboratories in numerous countries around the world.

Developed by Global Infection Control Consultants LLC ("GICC LLC") based in South Carolina, USA, Path-Away(R) ( is distributed in Malaysia by Holista as NatShield(TM) Sanitizer. Holista is the exclusive distributor of Path-Away(R) for the ASEAN region. ASEAN countries with confirmed cases of the coronavirus include Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia.

Based on requests from seven chains representing over 3,000 pharmacies in Malaysia, Holista has ordered 60,000 bottles of NatShield(TM) Sanitizer to be air-freighted to Malaysia from the U.S.A. by mid-February.

The novel coronavirus was first reported to WHO on 31 December 2019 and has been under investigation ever since. Countries with confirmed infections include the U.S.A., Canada, France, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Nepal.

The active substance in the spray weakens the cell walls of the virus, causing the infectious organisms to clump together, in the process killing themselves, almost instantly. The potent compound is environmentally safe with very low toxicity and hence is not harmful to humans and pets even if accidentally swallowed. It is free of alcohol and other potentially toxic chemicals.

It is approved for use by Malaysia's Ministry of Health, with special reference to the H1N1 virus – another coronavirus, similar to one in this outbreak which led to more than 70 deaths in 2009. It has also been approved by the Food and Safety Authority of New Zealand, and the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority ("EPA"). It is also approved by the United States Pharmacopeia ("USP") and has undergone successful USP-51 testing as a disinfectant.

"This is not a drug. It acts by sanitising body parts. It had been consistently shown to be effective and safe to users and the environment in the most advanced biosafety laboratories in the world," said Dr Rajen Manicka, the CEO of Holista which is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX").

"NatShield(TM) Sanitizer was created to treat previously known coronaviruses. It can be used as a precautionary spray in crowded areas including public transport. Three to five sprays are all that is needed to disinfect hands, toilet seats, doorknobs, countertops and trolley bars, with efficacy lasting up to two hours. We plan to sell it in all infected ASEAN countries," he said.

Dr Arthur Martin, the President of GICC LLC ( said, "The Path-Away(R) formula has been proven in world-renowned laboratories including those working with WHO, to be able to kill over 170 deadly pathogens including previously existing forms of coronaviruses. Path-Away(R) is currently undergoing testing on the newly emerged coronavirus designated as the "Wuhan Virus."

Dr Martin is a globally respected scientist and a member of the WHO's Stop Tuberculosis ("T.B."). Board who had been previously nominated for the prestigious "Kochon Prize" for his work on T.B. "Humans of all ages can use Path-Away(R) with little or no risk of toxic effects. It retains its efficacy for hours even under extremes of temperature and is not corrosive and can be used even in sensitive installations," he said.

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About Holista CollTech Ltd

Holista CollTech Ltd ("Holista") is a research-driven biotech company, the result of a merger between Holista Biotech Sdn Bhd and CollTech Australia Ltd. Headquartered in Perth and with extensive operations in Malaysia, the company is dedicated to delivering first-class natural ingredients and wellness products globally. Holista is a leader in the research of herbs and ingredients for the making of healthier food.

Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX"), Holista researches, develops, manufactures and markets "health-style" products to address the unmet and evolving needs of natural medicine. Holista's suite of ingredients, among other things, includes low-GI baked products, reduced-sodium salts, low-fat fried foods and low calories sugar without compromising taste, odour and mouthfeel. Holista remains the only company to produce sheep (ovine) collagen using patented extraction methods. For more information, please refer to

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