Latest from Brussels

New Genetic Engineering – Small Cause, Big Effect

The European Commission is proposing that plants that have been genetically modified at up to 20 different sites of the genome should be “considered equivalent to conventional plants”. This would be the end of the precautionary principle and transparent genetic engineering legislation as we know it. Op-ed by Benny Haerlin. […]

Recent updates

–Good Food – Good Farming Conference 2015

Civil Society and grassroots gathering in Brussels 10th – 11th February 2015 Register here. Follow the event live on twitter and facebook. The Agricultural and Rural Convention 2020 (ARC2020), Friends of the Earth Europe and IFOAM EU invite you to a civil society gathering and conference on February 10th and 11th 2015 in Brussels, hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). This event brings together representatives from civil society, grassroots groups, researchers, national and regional authorities and policymakers to: 1. Assess the implementation of the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2014-2020 and its prospects of agricultural sustainability and of rural renaissance. 2. Identify milestones to support transition of food and agriculture systems based on agroecological approaches. You are invited to participate in the development of a Civil Society roadmap towards good food, good farming and a living countryside! Now is the time for the good food – goods farming movement in Europe to assess where we are, to develop a vision for where we want to be in 2020 and agree on a strategic roadmap how to […]

Phil Hogan at EP Agri Committee
Latest from Brussels

Hogan at EP – keep it simple and …

Everything went well for Commissioner designate Phil Hogan at the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee on Thursday 2nd October. Instead of being “grilled” the conservative from Ireland could feel at home: With 32 against 10 votes there seems to be comfortable support for his new approach. “Simply simplify everything” in order to increase production, investments, even jobs in European Agriculture was his simple message, and added: “the one thing Simplification is not – is simple!” “Over the coming years,” Hogan said “the abolition of the remaining production constraints, quotas for sugar and dairy, will put EU agriculture in a much better position to respond to market signals and global challenges.” The incoming Commissioner made it sufficiently clear that the “greening and ecological focus area committments of the outgoing Commission” where not his and that he would review direct payments and eventually propose changes already within one years time. “I am aware of concerns about ‘greening’ and ‘ecological focus areas’. And I want to keep a close check on how the system works as we try it out.” […]

Main stories

UNCTAD: Wake up before it is too late!

A United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report  published on September 18th calls for radical changes in agriculture and food production. Farming in rich and poor nations alike should shift from monoculture towards greater varieties of crops, reduced use of fertilizers and other inputs, greater support for small-scale farmers, and more locally focused production and consumption of food, the report recommends. The UN Trade and Environment Report 2013 warns that continuing rural poverty, persistent hunger around the world, growing populations, and mounting environmental concerns must be treated as a collective crisis. It says that urgent and far-reaching action is needed before climate change begins to cause major disruptions to agriculture, especially in developing countries. More than 60 international experts contributed to the report’s analysis of the topic. The report cites a number of trends that collectively suggest a mounting crisis: • Food prices from 2011 to mid-2013 were almost 80 per cent higher than for the period 2003–2008; • Global fertilizer use has increased by eight times over the past 40 years, although global cereal […]

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Latest from key partners

EPHA: Against Tobacco-Subsidies

EU agriculture budget must favour healthy foodstuff, not chronic disease in the form of tobacco subsidies Brussels, 4 March – In the run up to next week’s European Parliament (EP) vote on the 2014-2020 EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), national delegations from the three largest political groups in the EP (1) are set to decide their negotiating mandate for the agriculture funds: a budge heading that will consume 38 percent of the next seven-year EU budget. The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) calls on Europe’s political ‘families’ not to support the return of coupling subsidies to tobacco production. “Pumping taxpayer’s money to a harmful industry once more is a step backwards for Europe, and does nothing to support efforts to move farmers from producing one of Europe’s greatest killers, to a more sustainable crop, ” said Monika Kosińska, Secretary General of EPHA. Following the entry of the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, the CAP is, for the first time, decided on equal footing between the EP and the European Council. It is high time for Members […]