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Letter From The Farm | The Slower Path To Paradigm Change

We’re back on Chiara Garini’s farm at the foot of the Italian Alps. After her ambitious plans to open an on-farm restaurant, Chiara reflects on the benefits of taking the slower path to paradigm change. Paradoxically this setback serves well her overall vision of agri-food systems as the farm continues to reap the benefits of diversification. Meanwhile in local politics, divisive narratives around farming have led to a disappointing development, leaving Chiara more convinced than ever that agroecology is the way forward.   […]

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Letter From The Farm | Meet The New Peasants

Isabella Lang has been working on her friends’ farm in the Austrian Alps since the spring. After four years in the Brussels bubble, she was keen to get her hands back in the soil. It’s been several months of hard work, long days, amazing food, and a healthy pace of life. In this first letter Isabella introduces us to the farm. Meet the new peasants. […]

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Farm to Fork Strategy: Ambitious, Realistic Innovation Pathway for the European food System

Since the release of the Farm to Fork strategy, the Commission has faced a considerable amount of criticism, which generally cites the potential economic and food security impacts of F2F. Here IDDRI experts analyse the methodological limitations underlying this criticism and shows that a more systemic approach instead reinforce the relevance, coherence and realism of the Commission’s strategy. […]

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Agroforestry and CAP – all Talk, no Trees

Agroforestry is positively highlighted in many adopted texts and directives from Brussels and is also mentioned in the framework of the CAP and proposed as a possible measure of the Eco-Schemes. Despite its undisputed benefits, it is still largely unknown. What’s more surprising is that the current process of CAP strategic plans seems to virtually overlook it – so is it all spin, no substance?  Andrea Beste has more. […]

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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 (DĂĄil) 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 BrendĂĄn Ó ConchĂșir find out, though there are some tentative solutions emerging.  […]