Eco-Business wins media industry awards for work on food innovation and fair financing

Its ‘Future of Food’ podcast series commissioned by nutrition and taste firm Kerry won the top prize at the WAN-IFRA Asian Digital Media Awards. The sustainability media publication dominated the ‘Best Podcast’ award category – its bilingual podcast on Orang Asli filmmakers picked up the runner-up prize.

Wan-Ifra Asian Digital Media Awards 2023_best podcast
Associate editor Robin Hicks (second from right) and regional correspondent Liang Lei (second from left) on stage to receive the Asian Digital Media Awards for Best Podcast. Image: Eco-Business 

Eco-Business picked up three awards at this year’s Asian Digital Media Awards, among which its podcast series on alternative protein and the Asian consumer’s shift to a more sustainable, plant-based diet won the top prize for ‘Best Podcast’. 

The four-episode “Future of Food” series hosted by a team of Eco-Business journalists – including associate editor Robin Hicks, regional correspondents Liang Lei and Samantha Ho  – looked into the bumps and barriers that the booming alternative protein sector has run into in recent years, explored what it might take to get people to shift to sustainable plant-based diets and discussed new hybrid food products and dairy substitutes. 

It was produced in collaboration with nutrition and taste firm Kerry and featured expert voices such as Dr Brent Loken, global food lead scientist at WWF and Jennifer Morton from the Good Food Institute APAC. 

At the annual awards organised by World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the Singapore-based media company was also recognised for another of its brand studio’s campaigns for Fair Finance Asia (FFA), a regional network of over 90 allied civil society organisations engaged in sustainable finance advocacy. 

The year-long partnership between the two entities, which brought to light issues like how governments in Asia are not investing enough in financing a just and equitable energy transition and how Asian banks are turning a blind eye to poor social practices in their investments into agribusinesses, won runner-up recognition for Best Sponsored Content Campaign. Eco-Business was involved in the curation and moderation of roundtable discussions on these topics, and produced long-form stories that supported and amplified FFA’s messages. 

The top prize went to Singapore-based financial news website DealStreetAsia for its ‘Deals Barometer’ platform which provides access to analysis-driven reports on dealmaking across Southeast Asia, India and China. 

Jessica Cheam, founder and managing editor of Eco-Business, said she was proud of the regional newsroom and brand studio team for punching beyond their weight to deliver solid, engaging content on a wide range of complex topics. 

“The recognition from WAN-IFRA also shows how content that is commissioned in partnership with other organisations can also be impactful. The work that we do can improve policy and convey narratives that inspire,” she said. 

EBStudio, Eco-Business’ branded content offer, produces a variety of content in collaboration with partners who are aligned with the company’s mission to support and push for sustainable development in Asia Pacific. These include feature stories, long-form reports, executive interviews, as well as multimedia content such as podcasts and videos.  

Eco-Business_Wan-Ifra 2023

Eco-Business bagged three awards at the WAN-IFRA Asian Digital Media Awards 2023. From left: Associate editor Robin Hicks, regional correspondent Liang Lei, assistant editor Ng Wai Mun and managing editor Jessica Cheam. Image: Eco-Business

Amplifying Indigenous voices 

This year’s Asian Digital Media Awards saw Eco-Business dominating the ‘Best Podcast’ award category – a bilingual podcast recorded in Bahasa Melayu and English that featured a group of Orang Asli filmmakers picked up the runner-up prize. 

The young female filmmakers were involved in the production of a series of short films to highlight the stories and plight of Malaysia’s Indigenous tribes. In the podcast, they tell Eco-Business why they picked up the camera and chose to tell the narratives of their communities in their own language, Malay. 

Regional correspondent Samantha Ho said it was her first time producing a podcast and it was both a steep learning curve and a great professional development opportunity. She had listened to other bilingual podcasts which featured non-English languages like Spanish and Greek to prepare for the recording – an experiment to weave different languages in a single podcast episode. 

She said: “Interviewing the filmmakers was fun! Their films were unique and spoke to their own lived experiences. I am also excited by how they have gone on to represent themselves on bigger stages and carry the important message of social justice to the world.” 

Last year, Eco-Business won gold for its revamped news website at the Asian Digital Media Awards. The media publication contests in the small- and medium-sized company categories at the awards, which assesses the work by media companies with an annual revenue of less than US$10 million. 

Kerry future of food

The “Future of Food” podcast series curated by a team of Eco-Business journalists, in collaboration with taste and nutrition firm Kerry, won “Best Podcast”.

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