Latest from Brussels

Pesticide Regulation too Important to Delay – Civil Society Orgs

ARC2020, along with 28 other organisations, wrote and co-signed a letter on the unacceptable delays in introducing the EU’s pesticide regulation, called SUR (Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products). Below is the full text of the letter, which was sent to Ministers for Agriculture, Environment and Health, the President of the European Parliament, AGRI and ENVI coordinators, and members of the AGRI and ENVI Committees.  […]

Latest from EU Member States

Rural Europe Takes Action | Much More Than Our Daily Bread

To celebrate the forthcoming launch of the new ARC2020 and Forum Synergies book “Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual” we’re sharing extracts of the policy actions it calls for and the stories that underscore the importance of such action. Today we have the story of the Free Bakers Association (Die Freien Bäcker), an independent professional organisation of artisan bakers and confectioners founded in Hanover, Germany in 2011. […]

Main stories

EU Organic Action Plan – Decoding Texts of Supposed Support

The European Parliament recently proclaimed its support for organic farming and food, by an overwhelming majority. However, delving into the details a little, it turns out that our MEPs could be accused of offering pie in the sky – salvation via organic farming’s great sustainability performance some time in the future, provided no real significant changes are made in the here and now. Here we critically assess the language used line by line, to help decode the more hidden  motivations behind the eurospeak.  […]

Main stories

A Leaked Pesticide Regulation and a Political Merry Go Round

The AGRIFISH Council delayed tabling the legislation meant to reform plant protection products (SUR) on March 23 until ‘before summer,’ to the dismay of campaigners. ARC has a leaked version of the revised proposal. So what’s in it? And what’s next in the political wrangling around pesticides in the EU institutions – are EU member states now playing a game of pass the pesticides parcel?    […]

Latest from Brussels

A Loud Lobby for a Silent Spring

It has emerged that the SUR – Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation – may not be announced next week, as initially planned. Rather, on Monday 21st a decision will be made to postpose or not. This is just one example of how the EU Farm to Fork strategy is in a perfect storm: the agribusiness lobby against sustainable policies is now reinforced by war in Ukraine. Op-ed by Nina Holland, researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory. Hans van Scharen, press officer at Corporate Europe Observatory. […]

Main stories

More Food less Feed – Agriculture and the War on Ukraine

An appalling war on Ukraine has manifold impacts. The direct human cost is immense and incalculable. The impacts on the world’s agri-food trade and commodity systems will be huge. The 4 F’s  – fuel, feed, fertilizer and of course food are all heavily implicated. So what to do? Will Europe suspend progress on rerouting the food system towards more resilience, by doubling down into the worst aspects of these 4 F’s? Or can some aspects of a deeper iteration of food sovereignty emerge?  […]

Latest from Brussels

Commission’s Pesticide Proposals – what’s in them?

Current legislation on pesticide use and data collection is insufficient both for reaching reduction targets, and for assessing whether or not the goal was even reached. Now, a leaked version with new elements of the proposed reform to the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directives (SUD) has escaped into the Brussels bubble. The document outlines options for planned reforms by the EU Commission set for March 23.  So what’s in the leak?  Ashley Parsons reports. […]

Latest from Brussels

Ministers Move to Make Pesticide Reduction Targets Meaningless, New Reports Reveal

Imagine having a target to reduce pesticide use and risk by 50%, an aim to collect reliable data, the basic groundwork in place to reach it, and then working to make it far harder to actually collect the data to meet this target? Led by a group of 10 member states, the Council of Ministers has adopted a mandate for trilogue negotiations that does just this. […]

Main stories

MEPs have a final plenary CAP vote this week – what’s at stake?

Despite the spin, after years of negotiations, the CAP that will be voted on this week in Strasbourg does little of substance to really address the crises – climate and biodiversity – and does as little as possible to address fairness. And there will be much talk of the greenest CAP ever, but this is mostly hot air unfortunately. Here we outline what’s being voted on in plenary, present related survey data from EEB/Birdlife, IFOAM EU and share the views of Sommer Ackerman of the Withdraw the CAP movement.  […]

Latest from key partners

Netherlands | Reducing the Food System’s External Costs

The food environment, a shift towards vegetables, and true cost true prices. There are the themes our colleagues in the Dutch Food Transition Coalition focused on in a submission on sustainable food systems in the EU. You can read an adapted version of the Dutch submission below, written by Willem Lageweg (director) Joost de Jong (strategic advisor) Dutch Food Transition Coalition. […]

Latest from EU Member States

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.   […]