ARC NEWSFLASH SEPTEMBER 2013

 

Dear friends and supporters,
Hello from Oliver and Shirin, the new ARC2020 communications team! Although sad to say goodbye, all of us at ARC2020 are happy to wish Kate the best on this next, exciting step in her career. She has stepped over to work with Slow Food in Italy, so is remaining in an important area of food and farming politics. This communications role will now be split between the two of us : Oliver, as EU Correspondent, and Shirin as Communication Manager.  We look forward to working closely with many of you!
And so to the main news. Despite the substantive CAP agreement during the Irish presidency, there is still much to fight for in the remaining negotiations. September will see Trilogues on CAP budget issues including flexibility¬†between pillars, while late September or October will likely see the Council and Parliament finalising texts and translations. What’s clear already, however, is that many CAP decisions have been left to national and regional authorities. This means that we can all direct much energy and focus onto this terrain now. It is more important than ever to let us know what is going on in your region or country on CAP (as our coordinator Samuel Feret has done inthis recent post¬†on CAP in France) ¬†and on other issues, so do get in touch.
National ¬†and regional authorities will have the right to modulate (that’s transfer) revenue from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2, but also from Pillar 2 to Pillar 1. The latter would be a negative for civil society, rural communities and the environment. What’s more, the proposed cuts to CAP look like they will be more severe for Pillar 2 than for Pillar 1. This too must be campaigned against in the days and week ahead. Watch out for our upcoming ToolKit, which will outline many of the key areas we can campaign on in the remaining time, and see our most recent post on the CAP¬†here.And remember – keep in touch!
Oliver Moore
EU Correspondent
Shirin Kiamanesh
Communications Manager

Latest from Brussels
At their first meeting after the Summer break in Lithuania, the Parliament and Ministers sparred over CAP. While the Ministers wanted to move on and conclude the CAP¬†negotiations, Parliamentarians felt it important to flex their¬†muscles¬†and¬†insist¬†that much is still open to debate. COMAGRI’s Paulo DeCastro said that closing off debate now would “set a dangerous precedent” for future budgetary¬†discussions. Trilogues will continue.
The European Parliament voted on 11th September, by a narrow margin, to finally start taking into account indirect land use change (ILUC) in its biofuels policy.
What this means is that,
while maintaining renewables targets, there are limits on the kind of biofuels that may have negative impacts on climate change, poverty and the environment in general. This includes land-based biofuels, support for which will be  phasing out of these by 2020. For more details, including lots of useful links, see here.
16th and 17th September sees The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (ComAgri) meet. On the agenda are plant and animal issues, plus the crucial money issues: that the overall  budget, CAP and rural development supports.
Finally, after the historic decision by the EU commission to limit the use of neonicotinoids, Syngenta announced that they are suing the EU body. This may have the effect of delaying the ban, though this to is unclear.

NEW tools for your use! Please send us your questions. 
2000 m2
If we were to divide the global surface of arable land by the number of people on the planet, we would each get 2000m2. ¬†How big is that, really? ¬†What can be grown on a field of that size? ¬†What is being grown right now? ¬†And what difference does in make, in terms of how much of ‘my field’ I would use, if I eat tomatoes or pork? ¬†We’ve put together a new website to get people talking and thinking about these questions. ¬†And of course, together we look for answers! ¬†You can see the website, still in test phase, here:¬†http://www.2000m2.de
Please take a look, and send use some of the questions you’d like to see answered about your 2000m2 field!¬†
CAP national/regional level implementation toolkit
We’re in the process of developing a “Toolkit for implementing key measures towards a greener, fairer, local and smarter CAP at national/regional levels”. ¬†This toolkit explains what remains to be done with the reform; provides and overview of key measures for a fairer, greener, local and smarter CAP implementation in each Pillar 1 and Pillar 2, and provides plenty of ideas for organizing advocacy and campaigns for the CAP you want at your national or regional level.
We think you’ll find the toolkit very useful. ¬†Please send any suggestions for tips or explanations you’d like us to include in the toolkit!¬†

Spotlight issue : Phosphorus

A non-renewable resource with no substitute, phosphorus is a key nutrient in modern agriculture and an essential component in many fertilisers and animal feeds.
The world’s food consumption is expected to peak in the 2030s, and without phosphorus food prices could soar, leading to a critical food security situation. ¬†On the other hand, phosphorus run-off from farm fields to watercourses can lead to increased growth of aquatic plants and algae, a phenomenon know as eutrophication.
The European Commission’s¬†Phosphorus Consulation¬†asks how to use phosphorus in a ¬†more sustainable way.
European institutions, citizens, NGOs and businesses are welcome to contribute until December 1, 2013.
Results will be integrated into pertinent policy areas, from agriculture, to water and waste, to work on raw materials.

Upcoming Public and Policy Events

The Latest News in Agriculture on Your WebsiteFor any of you who would like an easy way to keep your website up-to-date with the latest news in agriculture, we’ve developed and brand new Newsticker. ¬† Installing it on your page is just a matter of copy/pasting the javascript text into the source code of your page.The Newsticker comes in two different sizes, so chose the one you prefer.You can see which one you like and copy for javascript from¬†this page.