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Ireland | More Organic Producers Would Improve Farming’s Overall Sustainability

With Ireland edging towards reopening its organic farming scheme – closed since 2015 to new entrants, and closed in 2014 for a year too too – the context of organic farming within the overall agri-food sector is worth exploring. What would it mean for Irish agriculture in general to have a bigger, more vibrant organic sector? Particular attention is paid to the public goods of biodiversity and water quality. […]

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Pressure mounts for opening of Organic Farming Scheme in Ireland

Our own Oliver Moore has been busy in Ireland talking and writing about about the (lack of an) Organic Farming Scheme in recent weeks. He was on the TV: with demand for #organics growing, why is demand way outstripping supply in Ireland and is it time to reopen our organic scheme #ettg @ellamcsweeney pic.twitter.com/uhFnAwo409 — Paula Williams (@paulawilliamss) February 22, 2018 You can watch the full show here (national restrictions may apply) And you can listen to him on the radio too on the Saturday morning show Countrywide. Last week he told us about the confusion the Irish Department of Agriculture has with regard to opening or not opening the Organic Farming Scheme. Schrödinger’s Cat and the State of the Irish Organic Farming Scheme While this week he covered the recent Biofach 2018 event – the world’s largest organic trade show for the Irish Farming Examiner. Below is what he wrote about what the Irish organic certification bodies – IOFGA and the Organic Trust  – have to say about the lack of an Organic Farming […]

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Agroecology | A Tale of Two Continents

Agroecology is commonly understood as a science, a movement, and a practice, jointly transforming agroecosystems to less fossil fuel dependent, more autonomous and more resilient farming systems. Agroecologic practices and research have evolved and are being applied around the globe. What unites these movements, what separates them? How is it different in Europe compared to Latin America? Is there a universal approach to agroecology? […]

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“Technical Rectification”, Trade & UK’s Brexit Double Act

Mainstream UK media have presented Brexit minister David Davis (left, without negotiating papers) as the public face of the country’s progress with Brexit talks. However, the press has studiously overlooked the back-room activities of the international trade minister Liam Fox, who has been rolling up his  sleeves and starting to size up Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) held by the European Union at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In an extraordinarily wide-reaching plan described as a “Technical Rectification”, Fox is planning to unilaterally carve out what he judges to be the UK’s share of TRQ  tonnages for third country imports such as New Zealand sheepmeat and register the results with the WTO. The story emerged thanks to Sky News journalist Faisal Islam, but only because the TV chain was filming Fox in action at the WTO headquarters in Geneva. In the past, technical rectifications have been more limited in scope, but this editing is on an industrial scale: Fox is not waiting for Davis to get round to discussing trade with the European Commission before trying […]