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.  […]

Latest from Brussels

All Hot Air? An Organic Action Plan without Farm to Fork Targets

The European Parliament voted this month to endorse the EU Action Plan for Organic Agriculture. The adopted action plan garnered 611 votes to 14, with five abstentions. What is missing however is any specific mention of the Farm to Fork target of shifting 25% of agriculture to organic. So, where’s the action in this action plan? Or is it all just hot air? Ashely Parsons has more.  […]

Main stories

Farming with Benefits – Building Soil and Community

“Am I really prepared to poison the kids?” wondered American wheat farmer Klaas Martens, after an injury that he suspects was caused by herbicides. He has since converted the whole farm to organic. These days, he pays attention to the story his ‘weeds’ tell him, nurturing the community of organisms in his soil – and building community knowledge among farmers. Excerpt from a book by Marianne Landzettel. […]

Latest from key partners

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.   […]

Main stories

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.  […]

Latest from EU Member States

Letter From The Farm | Between Hotbeds And The Hungary Gap

Meet Matthew Hayes, an organic-biodynamic-biointensive farmer originally from the UK, who has lived and farmed in Hungary for the last 25 years. He runs a market garden with his wife Kata in Zsámbok, a village in Pest county to the east of Budapest. In his first Letter From The Farm, Matthew writes about the struggle between light and darkness, the hung(a)ry gap, and lessons in patience. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Letter From The Farm | Half The Price Of Your Food Is Paid By The EU

We hear again from Czech livestock farmer Josef who is disillusioned with the sector’s refusal to move with the times. He’s found he can do more ecological farming without the red tape of organic certification and senseless inspections. And although income supports were a huge help to him as a new entrant, he would be happy to see direct payments cut for established farmers. […]

Main stories

Letter From the Farm – of Seeds and not Reseeding

Madeline McKeever has been farming in west Cork, on the edge of the Atlantic, since 1999. First in dairy and cheese making, then beef, and now mostly selling organic vegetable seeds. Madeline has seen a lot – like the return of mushrooms, white clover, and dozens of plants in her unploughed sward. […]

Latest from EU Member States

France Sees World’s Biggest Increase in Organic Land Area

The organic market in France was worth E 9.1 billion in 2018, according to “The World of Organic Agriculture 2020” which comes out every February. Organic land area in France grew by 16.7% in 2018 – a huge increase for a single year. This growth of 290,000 hectares brings France to 2.04 million hectares, now second only to Spain in Europe, and the sixth highest land area farmed organically in the world. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Organic Land Area in Germany Passes 10%

Growth in organics in Germany continues on all fronts, bucking trends in conventional farming and food markets.In Germany, the organic land area has now passed 10%, having grown 50% in the last five years. Where is the growth occurring, and does the market match or exceed the land area? […]

Latest from the ARC network

Stefan Doeblin Talks Organic Seeds

The EU’s rules on certified organic seeds are finally due to change from 2021. Why is this happening, and what is the sector doing to prepare? Stefan Doeblin works in the development of organic seeds. Here Hannes Lorenzen interviews him on this fascinating topic. […]