Latest from EU Member States

Letter From The Farm | A Conscientious Objector to the Meat Industry

Meet Josef, a Czech livestock farmer who is a conscientious objector to the meat industry. For ethical reasons he slaughters his animals on farm and sells the meat locally to friends and neighbours. On-farm slaughter is not legally possible for small farmers in the Czech Republic, where the only ways to kill a cow are via big processors, investing in your own on-farm facility – which is prohibitively expensive – or live exports. In order to speak freely about his activities, Josef (not his real name) chose to remain anonymous for this conversation with Louise Kelleher. […]

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 Brussels

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?   […]

Main stories

European Food Forum: Industry’s Brand New ‘Lobby Platform’ in the European Parliament

If you can’t beat them, join them. Perhaps this was the thinking behind consultants and lobbyists working for the agrochemical and food industry, who have joined the newly created European Food Forum, a so-called MEP-industry forum. In this article written by Hans van Scharen, Nina Holland and Martin Pigeon of Corporate Europe Observatory, the role of the European Food Forum is examined in detail. […]

Latest from Brussels

IPES-Food on Covid-19: Protect the Vulnerable, Build Resilience, Stay Vigilant

The Covid-19 pandemic has put our food systems to the test, exposing the vulnerabilities of an unsustainable status quo. In a communiqué released on Tuesday, IPES-Food slams shortsighted solutions to the crisis. Calling for a paradigm shift to agroecological farming, it says now is the time to transform the seeds of change into the foundations of a resilient new food system. Industrial food systems are being peddled as solutions when in fact they are the problem. Louise Kelleher reports. […]

Latest from key partners

Whoever does not have Peasants, Should find Them: The Food Injustice of Pandemics

European Coordination of Via Campesina’s call to join the#StayHomeButNotSilent call to action on April 17 to commemorate the International Day of Peasant Struggle, reiterates the fundamental role of peasants in feeding people, even in the most difficult times. It takes a crisis for alternative food systems to emerge. Is our food system, dominated by trade ideology instead of human rights, ready to face pandemics? […]

Latest from EU Member States

Winning the Battle with the Agri-Giant Next Door

Czech organic farmer Libor Kožnar has won his yearlong battle with Agrofert, the agribusiness empire operating next to his small holding. He lost the organic certification for his wheat due to fertiliser drift from an Agrofert sprayer. Agrofert is a multimillion euro conglomerate with ties to the Czech prime minister, currently under investigation in a conflict of interest case by the European Commission. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Trouble With The Neighbours: Living Next Door to an Agri-Giant

How do you get an organic farm off the ground with an agri-giant operating in the neighbouring field? Coming back to the land after a high flying career in New York City, Libor Kožnar expected the first year to be the hardest. What he didn’t expect was to find himself in a legal dispute with Agrofert, the sprawling agribusiness empire founded by the Czech prime minister. […]

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? […]