Latest from EU Member States

Letter From The Farm | Instead Of Noise, Symphony

We’re back on the Montado do Freixo do Meio in Portugal, where exciting plans are afoot to have the community farm recognised as a Private Protected Area. Farmer and owner Alfredo Cunhal Sendim, a member of the Freixo do Meio Users Cooperative, explains their vision of a strong and organised community to safeguard the natural system, and how this ties into the cooperative’s broader visions of agroecology, permaculture and food sovereignty. […]

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Patrick’s Rants – Agroforestry? It’s the Bees Knees.

Patrick Worm’s sets his sights on the armyworm, and how to cope with it. Turns, out, providing patches of natural and semi-natural habitats around farms can attract some of the many critters that are the armyworm’s natural predator. Trees are a handy technique to better manage crop and, bonus, not poison people the water or the soil. Patrick Worm’s is the Senior Science Policy Advisor of World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and the President of the European Agroforestry Federation. […]

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Organics, Agroforestry, Eco-schemes – for a Just Transition in Ireland

ARC2020’s Oliver Moore spoke to JOCECA – the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Climate Action – a Committee in the Irish Parliament. This comes just as the CAP trilogues start to finish, and as the Irish Parliament (Dáil) approves an ambitious Climate Bill which aims for 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. Below is a transcript of what he said. A longer version of an accompanying paper is also in the article.   […]

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Agroecology Grows in Hungary

Agroecology is gaining more and more support from different actors around the world and is inspiring new collaborations such as the recently formed Hungarian Agroecology Network. The network was created 5 months ago and has already more than 60 active members from all over Hungary; among them farmers, representatives of producer and consumer groups, of NGOs and short supply chains, academics and researchers. Lili Balough has more. […]

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“It’s More A Call To ‘Armies’ Than Arms” – Interview with Pat Mooney, Lead Author of ‘A Long Food Movement’

In this exclusive interview, Ursula Billington speaks to Pat Mooney, co-founder and executive director of the ETC Group, expert with IPES-Food, and lead author of the new report ‘A Long Food Movement: Transforming Food Systems by 2045’. Adamant that we can find opportunity in crisis, Pat shares his insights on Grey Swan events, grassroots versus global strategies, and building muscle to fight for change together. […]

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Climate Crisis | EU Agriculture Needs Systemic Solutions, Not New GM Technology

As the debate around genetically-modified “super crops” heats up, tried-and-tested solutions to tackling the climate crisis are in danger of being left out in the cold. Any deregulation of new GMOs threatens to undermine diverse and self-determined approaches to seed and food production that enhance biodiversity and soil health, and strengthen the resilience of entire agro-ecosystems, argues Stefanie Hundsdorfer. […]

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A Soil Scientist’s Perspective – Carbon Farming, CO2 Certification & Carbon Sequestration in Soil

Carbon farming is a new buzz word, hotly debated in the EU Commission, in European Ministries and Chambers of Agriculture, and the subject of numerous projects and movements. It is in fact proposed as an ecoscheme by the Commission.  So far, however, there is no binding definition of “carbon farming” and there seem to be many different understandings of the term. What most approaches have in common is the objective of storing carbon in the soil in some way. Soil Scientist Dr. Andrea Beste unpacks some important points for this contested approach to soil and land management. […]

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Labour Pains – are Workers Exploited in Ecological Farming?

Over 100 organisations including trade unions, NGOs, and organisations representing small farmers have signed an open letter highlighting the need for social conditionality in the next CAP. Unsurprisingly the major farming organisations in Europe have not signed the letter. But how are labour standards on smaller farms at the ecological end of the spectrum? The picture isn’t always rosy, as Brendán Ó Conchúir find out, though there are some tentative solutions emerging.  […]

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Letter From The Farm | Welcome To The Herdade

Welcome to Herdade do Freixo do Meio, a 600-hectare community farm in Alentejo, Portugal. Run by a cooperative, the farm prides itself on agroecological food production that is local, responsible and conscious. Alfredo Sendim explains how the farm is building resilience through a collective approach. […]

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European Committee of the Regions Adopts Opinion on Agroecology

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has adopted an opinion on agroecology suggesting a comprehensive set of measures to foster agroecology in the EU. The opinion highlights problems with European agriculture, including global warming, soil degradation, biodiversity destruction, as well as needs – protecting natural resources, reducing GHG emissions, fostering biodiversity and moving from extraction to circularity. […]

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Agroecology Can Shape and Transform EU Food Systems – Joint Policy Paper

Agroecology can be integrated into EU policy making – and it needs to be. To back this claim up, 25+ organisations have come together – including ARC2020 – with a concise new publication to show how this can be done. Using the FAO ‘10 Elements of Agroecology’ and ‘13 Agroecological Principles’ as a framework, the paper introduces how to to develop the appropriate instruments and targets for EU policies. […]

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Planning for Food Commons in a Post-COVID World

How can we learn from Covid-19 to make our food systems work better? Broadly, there are two strands, argue Stephen Leitheiser and Lummina Horlings. One, an eco-modernist tech utopianism, which sees an increased use of digital and technological tools which will increase the power of corporations. The other is a food commons approach. This values-based approach needs to be nourished by more holistic, decentralised policy making for a truly resilient response to current and future crises. […]