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“Not all Pastures are Just Grass” Spain, CAP, the Omnibus & the Pastoralists

CAP's way to address diverse rural spaces under a broad policy umbrella has many shortcomings, including the discrimination against wood pastures as eligible land for direct payments. This impacts pastoralists and the landscape negatively. So will this be addressed by the new reform of the CAP? Or has something else emerged which might actually act as a tool for change? by Flora Sonkin. [...]

12 December, 2017 // 0 Comments

Drones & CAP Compliance – savvy surveying or surveillance state?

Somewhere between convenience, efficiency, cost saving and a comprehensive EU surveillance mega state, the use of drones and other in-the-sky technologies for ensuring CAP compliance represents, as it were, a Brave New World. Helene Schultz unpacks the details. [...]

10 December, 2017 // 0 Comments

Ireland’s “Livestock-Industrial-Complex”

This long read by Frank Armstrong gives a background into what he calls the livestock industrial complex. Part history, part contemporary agri-food overview, part health and environmental case and part personal note, this article is speaks of power and how it operates in different spheres. These include politics, media and nutritional advice, all through the prism of livestock farming in Ireland. [...]

6 December, 2017 // 0 Comments

CAP Communication – reactions

Here we present a range of perspectives on the recent CAP Communication by Commissioner Phil Hogan. A range of farmer organisations, NGOs, experts and others are represented. [...]

5 December, 2017 // 0 Comments

Hogan’s CAP Communication & ARC2020 Analysis

The new CAP Communication betrays a lack of ambition, a worrying move towards reliance on the financial sector, a lack of focus on rural areas or on some major issues. However, the results based initiative - which risking re-nationalisaiton to an extent - is at least novel and thought provoking. It potentially involves give and take by Member States with justifications accompanying subsidiarity. [...]

29 November, 2017 // 0 Comments

Turns Out Organic Can Feed The World – Sustainably

Changes over to 40%, 60% and even 100% organic farming can feed the world. Interestingly, this is only possible if we also do two things we're supposed to do anyway. So what are these two crucial components of a truly sustainable diet, which would need to accompany organic farming? [...]

28 November, 2017 // 0 Comments

Texting Cows, AGTech & the Future of Farming in Germany

Automation and digitisation are rising in farming and the broader agri-food sector. Germany - industrial powerhouse of Europe - seems an obvious place to embrace AGTech. From precision farming and data ownership to embodied energy and cost, what are the opportunities, the impacts and the implications? And how are agroecologists responding? [...]

26 November, 2017 // 0 Comments

Omnibus Passes Ag Committee – Analysis

what amounts to a mini CAP reform has just passed a crucial stage towards becoming law. There is but a single plenary (all MEPs) vote in the Parliament left, most likely in December. So what was agreed and what does it mean? [...]

23 November, 2017 // 2 Comments

Why Did MEPs Reject 3 GM Crops Last Month?

One of a series of significant votes in the European Parliament on 24th October last involved the rejection of the authorisation of GM crops. So what reason did the MEPs give for reject these crops? [...]

21 November, 2017 // 0 Comments

What Farmers Know – & Optimising This Knowledge

Agricultural knowledge systems, particularly formal knowledge institutes, and agricultural policy makers still need to increase their acknowledgement of the value of local farmer knowledge. The more recent emergence of multi-actor knowledge networks and closer collaboration between formal knowledge institutes and farmers indicates the development of more participatory, inclusive and comprehensive knowledge and learning processes. [...]

21 November, 2017 // 0 Comments

What is Resilience in the Rural Context?

"resilience strategies can only be fully judged when we make clear and explicit our values, the specific qualities we wish to preserve, and the price we are willing to pay in the long run." [...]

19 November, 2017 // 0 Comments

Birdlife Europe – 4 Policy Instruments for CAP overhaul

BirdLife Europe & Central Asia have made proposals to substantially overhaul the CAP. The NGO proposes four instruments in the areas of farming; food, biodiversity and what they call "Space for Nature". Also proposed is the end of the two pillar system, parity for environmental legislators, a radical change in farmer payments and in risk management. [...]

14 November, 2017 // 0 Comments

Carry on with the Currywurst? Factory farming enters coalition debate in Germany

How realistic is the Green Party demand in the current coalition talks for an agricultural turn, including the phase out of factory farming in 20 years? In the land of the near ubiquitous bratwurst, main ingredient in Germany's' number one fast food currywurst, how strong is the undercurrent of opposition to factory farmed pork and poultry? [...]

12 November, 2017 // 0 Comments

What is Rural Prosperity?

As part of our rural sociology RETHINK Modernisation series, we present an article on prosperity. What does it mean in the rural context? Is it about income, or is there more to it than that? [...]

9 November, 2017 // 0 Comments

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