Latest from key partners

Reversing Rule and Exception – Transformative New Integrated Policy for Rural Agri & Food presented in European Parliament 

A book filled with “extraordinary examples of ongoing transformations of our rural world” was launched in the European Parliament this week. Key political stakeholders – including European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, Isabel Estrada Carvalhais, and Dacian Ciolos – agreed on the need to start to build a process to explore and develop ideas contained therein- including a radical new Regulation. So what are these ideas? […]

Latest from Brussels

France, Food Sovereignty and Feed(ing the World)

In a roundup of recent news, Ashley Parsons find that words and personnel can change, but business-as-usual can keep replying on the institutions to bail them out – no strings attached.  Whatever the level of exposure and risk, whatever the talk of transitioning away from dependencies on agri-industrial inputs, money, it seems, will always be found for keeping the show on the road, whatever the crises.   […]

Latest from EU Member States

Graduation then Desertion – French Ag Students Opting for a Different Path

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. […]

Latest from Brussels

All Hot Air? An Organic Action Plan without Farm to Fork Targets

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.  […]

Latest from EU Member States

France | Why Did Le Pen Reap Record Numbers of Rural Votes?

Europe let out a sigh of relief on Sunday night with the announcement of Emmanuel Macron’s victory over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen for the French Presidency. But since her previous bid in 2017, Le Pen’s popularity has increased steadily, especially in rural France. Does her growing appeal point to a rejection of Macron’s techno-solutionism and the failures of his first term? What does it tell us about rural attitudes to Europe? Analysis by Ashley Parsons. […]

Main stories

A Leaked Pesticide Regulation and a Political Merry Go Round

The AGRIFISH Council delayed tabling the legislation meant to reform plant protection products (SUR) on March 23 until ‘before summer,’ to the dismay of campaigners. ARC has a leaked version of the revised proposal. So what’s in it? And what’s next in the political wrangling around pesticides in the EU institutions – are EU member states now playing a game of pass the pesticides parcel?    […]

Latest from Brussels

Green Deal-ing – Mid February EU News Round

With the French Presidency of the EU, some specific areas have come to the fore for farming, food and rural Europe. Under a broad-if-wooly EU Green Deal framework, carbon farming, pesticides, geographical indications, and reciprocal standards (mirror clauses) for third countries have received added impetus in this six month presidency. Ashley Parsons takes us though some of these, and some other hot topics, in this mid month round up for us. […]

Latest from Brussels

Commission’s Pesticide Proposals – what’s in them?

Current legislation on pesticide use and data collection is insufficient both for reaching reduction targets, and for assessing whether or not the goal was even reached. Now, a leaked version with new elements of the proposed reform to the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directives (SUD) has escaped into the Brussels bubble. The document outlines options for planned reforms by the EU Commission set for March 23.  So what’s in the leak?  Ashley Parsons reports. […]

Latest from Brussels

Ministers Move to Make Pesticide Reduction Targets Meaningless, New Reports Reveal

Imagine having a target to reduce pesticide use and risk by 50%, an aim to collect reliable data, the basic groundwork in place to reach it, and then working to make it far harder to actually collect the data to meet this target? Led by a group of 10 member states, the Council of Ministers has adopted a mandate for trilogue negotiations that does just this. […]