Main stories

UK | Hemp – Overgrowing the Regime part 1

Hemp is an ‘ecological wonder plant’ with almost endless potential as a sustainable raw fibre material, not to mention its intriguing nutrient profile and therapeutic benefits. It can even decontaminate radioactive soil. Yet in many jurisdictions, hemp production is hampered by baffling constraints. Where UK farming policy appears to bypass common sense, growers are taking the law into their own hands. […]

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Food Security: Are the CAP Strategic Plans up to the Task?

Soaring grain prices, alongside gas, oil, fertilizers and pesticides, have sparked an unexpected debate on food production in the EU. A dependent and completely overexposed agricultural system has brought with it fear of food insecurity. In this article, we explore the tools that the commission is using to assess the potential of CAP Strategic Plans in reaching food security and propose our own analyses. […]

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Food Security Communication – some key aspects

A key EU Commission Food Security Communication  has been circulating, which outlines some emergency measures the EU Commission proposes to in part deal with the food crises stemming from the war in Ukraine. The document, entitled “Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems” is due for formal release tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd). So what’s in it?  […]

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A Food, Feed and Fertilizer Crises | Ukraine

The agri-food system is very exposed  – and was even before the war in Ukraine and its implications. Nitrogen fertilizer has been the bedrock of how farming happens, and its availability has led to a very specific type of food production to flourish. Decisions must be made – about feeding people, about feeding pigs, about how a grass-based system can really function sustainably. Op-Ed from Stuart Meikle.   […]

Latest from Brussels

A Loud Lobby for a Silent Spring

It has emerged that the SUR – Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation – may not be announced next week, as initially planned. Rather, on Monday 21st a decision will be made to postpose or not. This is just one example of how the EU Farm to Fork strategy is in a perfect storm: the agribusiness lobby against sustainable policies is now reinforced by war in Ukraine. Op-ed by Nina Holland, researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory. Hans van Scharen, press officer at Corporate Europe Observatory. […]

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French CAP Plan: What Opportunities for Change During the New 2022-27 Presidential Term?

With the war in Ukraine, the discourse around the CAP has shifted towards approving unambitious, business-as-usual strategic plans that serve the interests of agri-industrial block and lobby groups. As French elections are only a few weeks away, “Pour un autre PAC” (PUAP) outlined its positions on the opportunities that will arise throughout the next presidential mandate. […]

Latest from EU Member States

France | Cooking Up Fairer Food & Farming Part 2

The Sustainable Food Consortium is a collective of local people working to make the food transition a reality in the territory of Redon, Brittany. It began as an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of a popular farming festival. One of its co-founders, slow food cook Xavier Hamon, tells us about the journey so far, and shares his latest fair local food project – an on-farm restaurant. Part 2 of a conversation with Valérie Geslin. […]

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More Food less Feed – Agriculture and the War on Ukraine

An appalling war on Ukraine has manifold impacts. The direct human cost is immense and incalculable. The impacts on the world’s agri-food trade and commodity systems will be huge. The 4 F’s  – fuel, feed, fertilizer and of course food are all heavily implicated. So what to do? Will Europe suspend progress on rerouting the food system towards more resilience, by doubling down into the worst aspects of these 4 F’s? Or can some aspects of a deeper iteration of food sovereignty emerge?  […]

Latest from the ARC network

Time To Rethink ‘Plant-Based’ – Part 2

The mere fact that a product is ‘plant-based’ is no guarantee of sustainability. Whether our food comes from plants or animals, in terms of sustainability our choices would be better informed by nutrient cycles. Much of our agriculture depends on monoculture crops which are unable to feed themselves as, in the absence of plant biodiversity, they are starved of nature’s bounty of nutrients. Second in a two-part series by Stuart Meikle. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part III

Rural Hungary has been Viktor Orbán’s ticket to three terms in power. With the April 2022 elections approaching, is there a chance for emancipation from authoritarian populist rule to arise from this very same countryside? Drawing on original research, Péter József Bori and Noémi Gonda argue that by reforming our ways of producing food, we can also initiate a radical reform of the undemocratic systems that govern us. Final installment of an exclusive three-part series. […]