Latest from EU Member States

Swiss Study Backs Water Clean-Up

As part of Switzerland’s groundwork for its Clean Drinking Water Initiative, the Swiss federal government’s food and  environmental agency Agroscope has completed a second, detailed study on the environmental impact the clean drinking water initiative can achieve. Peter Crosskey found that Agroscope’s preliminary findings suggest that while the country could indeed reduce pesticide levels in its drinking water, the gains would be eroded by the current carbon footprint of imported foods. […]

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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. […]

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Poking Holes in Farm to Fork: Environmental Groups Seek a Coherent Vision

Healthy ecosystems are the foundation for food production, but they are pushed to breaking point by the current system. In the face of existential threats, Farm to Fork needs a coherent vision. Friends of the Earth Europe, WWF, Birdlife Europe, Greenpeace, ClientEarth and Pesticides Action Network weigh in on the European Commission’s Roadmap to food sustainability. […]

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IPCC | Climate Chaos and Land Use: Is Livestock a Liability?

Is livestock a liability in the climate game? Not if it’s done right, says the IPCC. In its Special Report on Climate Change and Land Use that came out over the summer, the IPCC weighs up the solutions agriculture can offer to the challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation, desertification, land degradation and food security. Sustainable livestock is just one of the responses examined in this sweeping analysis of the possible scenarios. […]

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Ireland | Beef Plan Movement Steps up Protest

On Wednesday the 10th of July an estimated 2,500 farmers took to the streets of Dublin to protest against the proposed Mercosur deal. The protest was organised by Beef Plan, a voluntary not for profit organisation set up in October 2018 by a small group of farmers from Meath (in Ireland’s centre-east). Since then, its membership has grown to over 20,000. So who are they and what do they want?  […]

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Brussels | Farmers, Environmentalists tackle EU-Mercosur Deal

Several organisation representing farmers and environmentalists came together in Brussels to protest against the Mercosur trade deal yesterday. Responding to a call from the Belgian farmers group FUGEA, farmers and activists gathered outside the European Commission to protest against the threat posed by Mercosur to farmer incomes, the environment, and the rights of indigenous peoples in South America. […]

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The Challenge of Making UK Ruminant Production Sustainable

Ruminant livestock farmers have the unique potential to manage the British countryside to deliver a number of public goods, alongside profitably producing environmentally-sustainable premium-quality meat. The potential ‘prize’ is a carbon-neutral UK ruminant livestock sector, as part of a rural landscape that delivers a number of publicly-desired ecosystem services. […]

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20 Essential Earth Day Reads from ARC2020

Its Earth Day Monday 22nd and to celebrate we’ve selected our twenty favourite, most appropriate, most thought-provoking and compelling reads to get in the mood. From rewilding to climate change, pesticides bans to the role of livestock in climate-friendly farming, and a gripping personal account of front line action in the Paris COP 21 climate change talks….it’s all here! […]

Latest from Brussels

MEPs Mean Business on Live Exports

The European Parliament last week called on member states to step up enforcement of existing rules on protecting livestock during transport. MEPs are urging member states to ramp up spot checks, use tracking technology to monitor compliance, and apply tougher penalties for offenders. Transport times should be cut, but the preference is to phase out live exports altogether in favour of local slaughtering. And when animals are transported to non-EU countries, EU standards should be applied. […]