Latest from key partners

Fast Track Signed by Obama

On June 29th US president Barack Obama signed Fast Track, better known as the Trade Promotion Authority. This follows the vote on 23rd June – by the narrowest of margins possible – in the US Senate to approve this controversial procedure. […]

Latest from key partners

Milk price drops threaten viability of small to medium sized producers

While global issues inevitably influence milk price and dairy farmer viability, the end of the EU’s milk quota regime has made it especially challenging for small to medium sized dairy farmers to survive.  Milk prices are below 30 cents per litre in many countries. Small to medium sized producers inevitably suffer with such a sudden price drop. For some, increasing acreage and expanding production by going further into debt is the only solution. But this is only a solution for the few, while also having social, environmental and economic consequences for Europe, and rural Europe in particular. According to the Milk Market Observatory’s milk market bulletin from June 2015 “The weighted EU average farm gate milk price decreased in April 2015 by 0.8% to 31.3 c/kg, which is 18% lower than in April 2014 and 6% lower than the average of the last 5 years.” Developments in China and the Russian food embargo have also shaped the price drop. As the Western Daily Express reported on 10th June, this crisis has an impact on real people. Mark Oliver, […]

Recent updates

All you ever wanted to know about TTIP…

Arc2020 has this week updated our briefing notes on TTIP. This means you can be fully informed with all of the major aspects, controversies and issues related to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, especially from an agri-food perspective. We explain the background – the spin about jobs and growth, in essence, and then begin to unpack all the main problems we see with this corporate power grab. These notes feature the work and publication of key organisations on both sides of the Atlantic including Friends of the Earth Europe, the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy, Corporate Europe Observatory. We unpack the threat of lowered standards and regulations; corporate influence on negotiations especially ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ (ISDS) and similar regulatory chill developments; the relationship between bad diets and trade deals; lack of transparency, and also the good news – the fact that we are making progress. Here are some of the highlights you will find if you pop over to the briefing notes page: Poland had to pay E2 Billion in an ISDS settlement trying […]

Latest from Brussels

ttip: EP vote postponed – US Congress rejects fast track

BREAKING (12/06/2015, 20.30 hrs): House Rejects Trade Bill, Rebuffing Obama’s Dramatic Appeal First comment from IATP: Following months of intense public opposition to Fast Track, the House of Representatives today defied the Obama administration’s trade promotion package. The debate over Fast Track blurred party lines. “It took real courage for those Democrats and Republicans who stood up to the President and Republican leadership and opposed the free trade package. They defended working families, farmers, natural resources, the environment and most importantly, democratic principles,” says Juliette Majot, President of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). “This is a clear rejection of the free trade agenda that favors big business over workers, farmers, consumers, and our environment. It’s time to bury this failed approach. I just hope the administration is really listening to what was said today, and what citizens groups around the world have been saying for years. We need very different rules that enhance local economies and jobs and advance efforts to rebuild our food system so it is fair and sustainable,” according […]

Recent updates

CAP Simplification – simply destroying greening?

According to the EU Commission, a first set of specific actions towards CAP simplification have been announced by Commissioner Phil Hogan, on issues related to the guidelines for Direct Payments this year. Hogan explained: “Some of the proposals which concern direct payments do not require changing the legislative rules, but can be implemented at the level of our current guidelines, and applicable already this year. I intend to follow-up on these proposals by making 6 concrete changes which should facilitate the lives of farmers and national administrations.” These six changes proposed relate to the EFA-layer (Ecological Focus Area), adjacent EFAs, the LPIS (Land Parcel Identification system) and compensation of EFAs in case of wrong declaration. More specifically, the Commission intends: to accept that Member States, that so wish, only need to map declared EFAs; to allow flexibility as regards the identification of EFA’s in the EFA-layer (concerns hedges or wooded strips and trees in line); to allow hedges or wooded strips with gaps up to 4 metres; as regards the implementation of adjacent EFA, in […]