Latest from Brussels

How will CAP & EU Green Deal Strategies Integrate?

Hidden away in a footnote, away from the fanfare of the launch of the EU Green Deal’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, was a nonetheless crucially important document. A document that links vision to the practical CAP work member states are currently conducting. So what’s in it, what’s missing, and what does it say about power relations between the Institutions and the Member States? […]

Latest from EU Member States

Ireland | Remote Work Could Rejuvenate Rural Communities

We don’t know yet what the “new normal” will look like, but we do know that remote work can work – with the right supports. In Ireland, the pull of jobs in the city and abroad has hollowed out rural areas, and young graduates have little incentive to return home after completing their studies in Dublin. Many young graduates from rural areas would jump at the chance to stay put and pursue their careers remotely, rather than facing crippling rents in Dublin, or a crippling commute. Now is the time for a paradigm shift in working life to rejuvenate rural communities, argues Luke Kent. […]

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Farm 2 Fork and Biodiversity Strategies Hold Firm on Real Targets

Despite enormous lobby pressure, the EU Commission’s flagship Green Deal strategies – the Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity Strategies – have retained their initially leaked targets for a reduction in fertilizers, pesticides, antimicrobials, and concurrently, for an increased in organic farming to 25% – and all by 2030. The 10% target for high diversity landscape features has also been retained.  […]

Main stories

Covid19, Meat Processing Plants and the Limits of the Intensive Farming Model

While the exploitation of agri-food sector workers is a longstanding food system issue, the emergence of slaughterhouses across Europe and the US as coronavirus hotspots has brought renewed urgency and heightened awareness to issues relating to the conditions to which meat-plant workers are exposed. Alison Brogan rounds up the Covid19 news on this topic from the US, Ireland and Germany. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Letter From The Farm | The Resilience and Privilege of a Rural Homestead

We’re back on Brindusa’s farm in Romania, where the Covid-19 crisis has halted her main sales. On the flip side she’s seeing a lot more interest in local food. She’s been doing a lot of thinking about food justice and the informal economy. The lockdown has made her take stock of her privilege. And so this year she’s determined to feed more people than ever. The only question is, how will she distribute this year’s bumper crop? […]

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Bayer Beware | Pressure on Pesticides as Green Deal Date Looms

This week the European Commission will reveal how it plans to work towards the pesticide reduction targets as set in the Green Deal, via the  Farm to Fork strategy and also the Biodiversity strategy. However chemical giant Bayer CropScience has made clear it does not want any binding legislation as part of the new EU Biodiversity Strategy. With specific numbers for reduction in the use of pesticides and fertilizers in the biodiversity strategy in particular, will real targets be dampened down on the 20th May?   […]

Latest from EU Member States

Rough Ride for East European Workers in Seasonal Veg

Low cost labour intensive vegetable production has been under strain in recent weeks. Tens of thousands of seasonal workers have moved from east to west –  as they do each year. This year is not, however, a typical year. Covid19 has added new dimensions, while also shining a spotlight on an otherwise hidden army of harvesters. But is harvesting the white gold more valuable than the health of Romanian farm workers? […]

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CAP Transitional Regulation – Running to Stand Still

Some things move fast while others can seemingly be delayed indefinitely. And sometimes, as if by magic, both can happen at one and the same time. So it is with the CAP transitional regulation, where real transformation in agri-food is delayed by a further two years – but the process to do this is itself being fastracked at breakneck speed. The CAP process it seems, is running to stand still. […]

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Scrap the CAP and give Farmers a Fresh Start – Greenpeace

“Scrap the current CAP proposal and start fresh to build a truly just and sustainable food system in Europe.”  This is the message at the heart of Greenpeace’s call for complete reform of European food and farming policy. In a recently published statement, the Europe Unit of the global campaigning organisation pulls no punches in castigating the CAP driven model of food and farming in Europe and proposes its vision of alternative policy measures to bring about the necessary food system transformations.  […]

Latest from EU Member States

EU Pesticide Risk Assessment Practices Slammed in New Study

A new peer-reviewed paper has identified systemic failings in Europe’s pesticide risk assessment process. Written by Claire Robinson and a group of experts in law, policy, and toxicology, our paper outlines how these failings could seriously undermine ambitions for sustainable agriculture and a “green recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic – and proposes a comprehensive agenda for reform. […]