Latest from EU Member States

Coping with Covid – Struggles and Resilience of Small-Scale Cheesemakers in Italy

For Raflazz farm resilience is a way of life. The Adami family has been making artisanal cheese for generations here in the hills of Piedmont. When Italy shut down its restaurants on March 9, the farm had nowhere to sell its cheeses and meat. In another brutal blow, receipts from the farmhouse restaurant and B&B disappeared overnight. Raflazz is adapting fast, but like many small-scale farms it will need life support to survive the lockdown. Emanuele Amo reports from Piedmont. […]

Latest from Brussels

Commission Announces Return of Private Milk Storage

The EU Commission announced today private storage aid for meat and dairy, flexibility for market support programmes in wine, fruits and vegetables, olive oil, apiculture and the EU’s school scheme (milk, fruits and vegetables) and derogation from some EU competition rules in milk, flowers and potatoes. […]

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Coping with Covid19 – Disruption, Protectionism and a People’s Agroecology

While it can feel undeniably overwhelming at times, its also important to remain informed and focused on how we can achieve better food, farming and a rural space – even in our new context. Much of the last month has been rightly focused on going back to basics – food, shelter, medicine. If we must go back to basics, and refocus on primary production, so be it. So what does this mean? […]

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. […]

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What will the World be like after Coronavirus? Four Possible Futures

Where will we be in six months, a year, ten years from now? I lie awake at night wondering what the future holds for my loved ones. My vulnerable friends and relatives. I wonder what will happen to my job, even though I’m luckier than many: I get good sick pay and can work remotely. I am writing this from the UK, where I still have self-employed friends who are staring down the barrel of months without pay, friends who have already lost jobs. The contract that pays 80% of my salary runs out in December. Coronavirus is hitting the economy badly. Will anyone be hiring when I need work? […]

Latest from EU Member States

Effects of Coronavirus on Agricultural Production – a First Approximation (part 2)

Agricultural production is on track for this year, and the EU is self-sufficient in most areas. Despite the challenges of the coronavirus crisis we have little reason to worry about food supply in the EU. This was Sebastian Lakner’s tentative conclusion in part 1 of his review of the available data. But his findings come with some major caveats. Trade in commodities must continue to flow to guarantee food supply in the context of the EU’s interconnected agribusiness model. Here in part 2 Sebastian Lakner examines another critical factor: labour and seasonal migrant workers. […]

Latest from Brussels

Effects of Coronavirus on Agricultural Production – a First Approximation

As public life shuts down around Europe and health systems buckle under the strain of the Covid-19 pandemic, concerns over food supply are the latest scare to make headlines. In recent weeks speculation is rife as to the potential impacts on agricultural production. In part 1 of this series, Sebastian Lakner crunches the numbers to identify the real risks to Europe’s food supply. […]

Latest from EU Member States

UK | Coronavirus Diary: the Virus That Did a No-Deal Brexit on our Food Supply

It seems inconceivable that it was only a year ago when the UK was due to crash out of the EU under a no deal Brexit. Thankfully that crisis was averted. Leading up to that momentous non-event, I wrote about what might happen to our food supply in the event that our smooth trading relationship with the EU broke down utterly. One year on, we find ourselves in a remarkably similar position […]

Latest from EU Member States

Framing Farming – Nationalism, Food Security and Food Sovereignty

As the Covid-19 outbreak hits the economy, we may experience a paradigm shift that no one expected. Now is the time to unpack the difference between food security and food sovereignty. And better understand how these terms are used by different groups. Igor Tomasz Olech looks at how these concepts are framed in the EU, and how Poland is ripe for a conversation about food sovereignty. […]

Latest from EU Member States

UK | Coronavirus: Rationing Based on Health, Equity and Decency now Needed

Food security is no laughing matter at the best of times, but TIm Lang gasped when he first read the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) annual food civil contingencies infrastructure report in 2018. It is barely a page long (in public at least) and assures us everything is OK and that the food system is resilient and able to withstand shocks. As the coronvirus racks the nation and panic buying continues, this complacency is about to be tested. […]

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Coping with Covid19 – Commoning as a Pandemic Survival Strategy

The pandemic now sweeping the planet is one of those historic events that will change many basic premises of modern life. Let us act swiftly to deal with the emergencies, but let us also seize the opportunity to think about long-term system change. If there is one thing that the pandemic confirms (in tandem with climate change), it is that our modern economic and political systems must change in some profound ways. […]