Latest from Brussels

Poking Holes in Farm to Fork: Health Groups Take The Strategy’s Temperature

The Farm to Fork strategy aspires to fix our broken food systems while advancing the EU’s sustainability goals. In this three-part series we hear what environmental, health and farming organisations have to say about Farm to Fork so far. Here, Natasha Foote reports on some of the key voices in the health sector to bring us their take on the strategy as it currently stands. […]

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Poking Holes in Farm to Fork: Environmental Groups Seek a Coherent Vision

Healthy ecosystems are the foundation for food production, but they are pushed to breaking point by the current system. In the face of existential threats, Farm to Fork needs a coherent vision. Friends of the Earth Europe, WWF, Birdlife Europe, Greenpeace, ClientEarth and Pesticides Action Network weigh in on the European Commission’s Roadmap to food sustainability. […]

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Nothing “mini” about U.S. Plan to Unravel Europe’s Precautionary Principle

The real goal of the United States and European Union’s so-called “mini-deal” on trade is unambiguous and goes to the heart of Europe’s way of life and approach to the rule of law. U.S. trade negotiators, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and American farm interests have all been crystal clear: the precautionary principle must go, and now is the time to finally axe it. […]

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Reviewing Ecological Focus Areas: A Cross Pollination of Ideas

Insect pollinators continue to decline across Europe despite the Common Agricultural Policy’s increased focus on environmental protection. In response, a group of experts are calling for the improved quality of wildlife habitats through more targeted management and a robust monitoring framework, and a diversity of habitats to meet the resource requirements of our pollinating insects. […]

Latest from EU Member States

France Sees World’s Biggest Increase in Organic Land Area

The organic market in France was worth E 9.1 billion in 2018, according to “The World of Organic Agriculture 2020” which comes out every February. Organic land area in France grew by 16.7% in 2018 – a huge increase for a single year. This growth of 290,000 hectares brings France to 2.04 million hectares, now second only to Spain in Europe, and the sixth highest land area farmed organically in the world. […]

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Commission’s Dodgy Calculations Improve CAP’s Climate Impact

The “Green Deal” Commission promises big spending on climate. If climate markers are to be believed, the current CAP accounts for 22% of the EU’s climate spending. The post-2020 CAP is poised to take even more climate credit. But the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) claims the Commission’s climate markers miss the mark. In a report released earlier this month the IEEP sounds the alarm on faulty climate accounting and greenwashing of direct payments. […]

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Awkward Alignment – How will Green Deal Momentum and the CAP Process Work Together?

There are a number of policy imperatives coming together, all of which related in some way to farming, food and rural Europe. While CAP clanks on, the EU Green Deal and its Farm2Fork component have more ambition and perhaps momentum. But how will these policy proposals work out their differences, with pressure from some many angles bearing down on them? Oliver Moore sketches out the terrain. […]

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Book Extract | Of Seeds and Land Seizures in Sicily

Platforming the dynamic ways rural Europe has responded the key challenges of this time, the new book by Forum Synergies is an call to get stuck in. Read the final chapter on how Sicilian youth have organised access to land for young people, how to confront political uncertainty, why to pay attention to seeds and the value of an experimental spirit. […]

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Rural Europe: Which Way to Go?

With the ongoing work on the CAP reform, Europe will have to respond to a wide range of new challenges, reflecting the ambitions of the EU Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategy. To this end, an event was held on 22nd January which took a rural perspective on what’s needed in the months and years ahead.   […]

Latest from EU Member States

Bad Czechs and Balances: Commission Audit Confirms Czech PM in Conflict of Interest

In a glaring failure for checks and balances, a leaked European Commission audit concludes that Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš continues to profit from his business empire. The billionaire premier is in conflict of interest under both Czech and EU law, say the EC auditors. The EU seems set on making an example of the Czech PM. Will this mean a clampdown on corruption in Central Europe? […]

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The EU’s Green Deal – Farming, Food Analysis

Here we present key facts and statements from the EU’s Green Deal document, with brief analysis from ARC2020. From an agri-food perspective, the Green Deal document in the main refers to an as yet undeveloped document, the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy document. This is due in 2020, after  a period of consultation. However we can already read between the lines and see where the fault lines for future discussions and battles are. […]