Main stories

  • The European Parliament recently proclaimed its support for organic farming and food, by an overwhelming majority. However, delving into the details a little, it turns out that our MEPs could be accused of offering pie in the sky – salvation via organic farming’s great sustainability performance some time in the future, provided no real significant changes are made in the here and now. Here we critically assess the language used line by line, to help decode the more hidden  motivations behind the eurospeak.  […]
  • Last week, French students at Agro Paris Tech  – France’s most prestigious agro-engineering school – staged a “call to desert” during their graduation speech. To desert? Yes, to desert the environmentally destructive engineering positions the university sets them up for after graduation. But these inspiring words and actions of these young people don’t match up to the government’s actions, nor the school’s response. A recap and analysis by Ashley Parsons. […]
  • As labour shortages loom, the agricultural sector is preparing for yet another tough season, especially in countries like Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Some farmers and officials hope to alleviate this crisis with labour-capable Ukrainian refugees. But are these expectations realistic? As perceptions of Ukrainian labourers change, instead of stopgap solutions, more systemic change is needed, argues PĂ©ter JĂłzsef Bori. […]
  • In a context of crises compounding, the annual Feeding Ourselves gathering in Cloughjordan took on a renewed urgency this year. So how are the strands of people from food sovereignty, cooperative and environmental areas coming together to amplify their collective work? Oscar Mooney reports. […]
  • For a year, a process to generate feedback from European citizens on how Europe should change, develop and unfold has been underway. This Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), launched in the spring of 2021, aimed to provide future guidance, while calling on the EU institutions and national parliaments to take action. […]
  • With many farms specialising, mixed farming in Ireland is now at only 3%. This compares to an EU average of 21%. Such specialisation has made Ireland vulnerable to global events as it relies heavily on feed and fertilizer imports for an export driven agri-food sector. Meanwhile, there has been a deterioration of ecosystems and a failure to reach climate targets. So what level of agri-food diversification is possible – and desirable – in Ireland? […]
  • The European Parliament voted this month to endorse the EU Action Plan for Organic Agriculture. The adopted action plan garnered 611 votes to 14, with five abstentions. What is missing however is any specific mention of the Farm to Fork target of shifting 25% of agriculture to organic. So, where’s the action in this action plan? Or is it all just hot air? Ashely Parsons has more.  […]
  • Digitalisation is progressing in rural areas around Europe in different ways. There are a number of reasons for variability in style and substance, as MarĂ­a Alonso-Roldán and Mar Delgado-Serrano of the DESIRA project show. The pair have engaged with experts in 15 countries. Here’s what they’ve found.  […]
  • Trade liberalisation enforced by the WTO, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and several bilateral trade agreements largely contributed to the current economic instability in agriculture, but also to the climate and biodiversity crises. Family farmers in the EU and the Global South face unstable low prices and lose access to their land because of priority to export-led production. […]

Vision and Strategy for Rural Europe

For just and sustainable Europe, rural considerations have to be integrated into the plans for Covid-19 recovery, for CAP and for the EU Green Deal. Find the series here.

This Month’s Articles

Missed an article of ours? Or would like to read it again? Find all our articles from this month here. Or browse through our chronological archive that stores all articles here.

War in Ukraine

While the situation is still a changing one, the war in Ukraine is already destabilising food security in Europe. Find all articles here.

Rural Perspectives on Digital Agriculture

Connecting farmers, advisors, policies, nature conservationists, and critical thoughts around the trajectories of digitalisation. Get involved!

CAP Strategic Plans

Each EU Member State, at present, is writing its National CAP Strategic Plan. Will they pave the way for sustainable agriculture, forestry, and rural development? Read our policy analysis.

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