K&L Gates commence engagement through their pro bono program as global counsel for AgUnity and AgriUT Foundation.
Headquartered in the US, with offices on five continents and with offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, K&L Gates was one of the 15 Australian firms named on Australasian Lawyer's 2020 Innovative Law Firms list at the forefront of innovation.
"Commencing our engagement with AgUnity and the AgriUT Foundation, through our pro bono program, will allow us to support the vision for a transparent and fair global ecosystem.”— Tom Young, Partner, K&L Gates
K&L Gates believe environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors affect every company today and is no longer a secondary consideration, it has become imperative that businesses and their investors take a proactive approach to their role as global citizens, not only out of ethical considerations, but also because it is in their financial interest.
AgUnity is an Australian fintech innovator that has developed low cost blockchain technology solutions to build efficient digital supply chains from smallholder farmer to consumer. They take ordinary smartphones and turn them in to a relevant device by removing existing operating systems in military grade phones and replacing that with their own simple-to-use human interfaced platform for smallholder farmers which is simple to use, works with no connectivity and provides functions that they actually need to use every day - for payment invoicing, for payment receipting, synchronising and accounting for crops/harvests exchanged with co-ops, minimising food wastage and more. It is essentially an easy-to-use accounting platform for these farmers. AgUnity has undertaken work with USAID, Fairtrade, GIZ and the UN World Food Program and have a footprint in 18 countries, across 9 commodities with new projects due to commence in Ethiopia, PNG and Indonesia.
The AgriUT Foundation is an independent, not for profit entity with the vision for a transparent and fair global ecosystem where positive social and environmental impact projects benefit from digital inclusion and have direct access to resources needed to build sustainable solutions to solving some of the most challenging issues our world faces today. The Foundation's mission is to create a highly scalable, distributed and incentivised system that connects millions of forward-thinking and like-minded benefactors, consumers and corporations (that are committed to making the world a better place) to the farmers and community projects that are undertaking the in-country work on the ground.
With today's continuously shifting business markets the world is pivoting from past standards and methods of operation, models and outcomes. With the advent of new innovations such as crypto currency and blockchain technology we are highly appreciative of the K&L global expertise, approach and guidance provided.
"We work with the lowest income farmers in the world, of which there are over 1.9bn, 'Financial inclusion for the last mile' as we call it. The AgriUT Foundation is therefore privileged and highly appreciative to have the support and guidance of K&L Gates as we scale our projects globally and our expand our utility token, AgriUT, and our blockchain technology to address UN SDG #1 No Poverty. We are in great company with the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations, the Environmental Science Centre, Sustainable Remediation Forum and the Centre for Sustainable Energy as other recipients of K&L pro bono support." - Paget Hargreaves, CEO, AgriUT Foundation.
"Commencing our engagement with AgUnity and the AgriUT Foundation, through our pro bono program, will allow us to support the vision for a transparent and fair global ecosystem. Using innovation to drive outcomes for farmers and grass roots community projects aligns with our pro bono objectives to provide avenues for access to justice, for all. As a firm we are in tune with how ESG factors intersect between not for profits and their benefactors and we will use this experience to frame our legal advice to secure optimal outcomes for all stakeholders " - Tom Young, Partner, K&L Gates.