NewsFlash July 2015


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Hello and welcome to our July newsletter!

We’d like to introduce you to our  a new correspondent from Greece – Pavlos Georgiadis. Pavlos is a real polymath, being as he is an ethnobiologist, farmer, agri-food business person, thought leader and all round media person. We’re delighted to have our first, timely post about his home country Greece and agri-food from Pavlos.

While the long TTIP battle continues, there have been developments. In the US, after a House and Senate rejection of FastTrack, Obama finally got the bare 60 Senators to agree to give him – and the next president – this incredible amount of largely unchecked power on trade matters for six years. E200 million was spent by corporate lobbyists to help convince those same few senators who were wavering, as our post reveals.

Following the spectacular non-vote on 10th June, the European Parliament votes again on TTIP in Strasbourg this coming week. This follows 13 Committees’ opinions being written into report which is being voted on. It will be interesting to see how the ISDS amendments in particular perform: the S&D group have adopted a compromise amendment which many see as ISDS lite – ominously, this may go through if enough S&D MEPs back it. Be sure to follow our TTIP news feed for updates this week.

We continue to make improvements to our Arc2020 website, to make it even easier to navigate. There is now also a CAP section for posts, while our newsfeeds  also gives better access now to all our themed articles.

There’s also a dedicated milk crisis section, with help from the European Milk Board, while there are lots of highlights from the month past:

Court ruling gives Save Kishantos campaign hope
Illegal stocking rates at #1000vaches
and also
Forest Grabbing in Romania – where an incredible 2/3 of Europe’s remaining old growth forest is. A shocking story.

Enjoy the read!

Dr. Oliver Moore and Lusie Kroner (Communications, Arc2020)
#Arc2020 on twitter
#Arc2020 on facebook


All you ever wanted to know about TTIP…

We have updated our briefing notes on TTIP. This means you can be fully informed with all of the major aspects, controversies and issues related to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, especially from an agri-food perspective. We explain the background – the spin about jobs and growth, in essence, and then begin to unpack all the main problems we see with this corporate power grab.

These notes feature the work and publication of key organisations on both sides of the Atlantic including Friends of the Earth Europe, the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy, Corporate Europe Observatory.
You’ll find our briefing notes on TTIP here.

Romania farmers under pressure

The new Romanian Food Market Law: driving peasant farmers out of business?
On the surface, this new law seems to favor small food producers in local markets. It requires that at least 40% of market surfaces must be dedicated to authentic producers. Therefore, there will be more space in the markets for them and resellers (non-producers) will be easily identified by consumers because they are required to have a cash register. Yet another advantage claimed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is better integration of small producers in the fiscal system.

But, here is a consequence that was well summarized by a participant in the RNDR meeting, “even madam Floarea from the village who sells three piles of parsley needs to pay taxes”!
Read the full article here.


Europe Starts Taking Glyphosate off the Shelves

In France, a review of retail products containing glyphosate used by gardeners around their properties was organised. The outcome is a ban on these products that will  take effect in 2018. Glyphosate products will only be available through licensed outlets, where integrated pest control methods will also be promoted. Preparations for this change will start with the retailers concerned in 2016. Other countries are following the trend. Read more here.


Upcoming Events and Policy Dates

July 07
Soil Conference in Galway, Ireland

July 15 Leadership Workshop for Rural Youth in Herrsching am Ammersee, Germany

July 15-16 
Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
in Brussels, Belgium

Find all events listed on ARC2020 here.


Mandatory Meat Country of Original Labelling Disappearing

Representatives  voted 300 to 131 on Wednesday to drop Country of Origin Labelling  – COOL – for US food. The US faces $3.7 billion a year in “retaliatory actions” from Mexico and Canada because of COOL.
“Consumer advocates, among the biggest supporters of the labels, say international trade deals should not trump consumers’ access to information about their food.”, says the Wall Street Journal. Read our conclusion here.

Dr. Oliver Moore – 
Communications Manager

Luise Körner –
Communications Team


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