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. […]

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Nothing “mini” about U.S. Plan to Unravel Europe’s Precautionary Principle

The real goal of the United States and European Union’s so-called “mini-deal” on trade is unambiguous and goes to the heart of Europe’s way of life and approach to the rule of law. U.S. trade negotiators, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and American farm interests have all been crystal clear: the precautionary principle must go, and now is the time to finally axe it. […]

Latest from EU Member States

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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Part 2 EU-Mercosur Trade Deal | A Road to Nowhere for Farmers?

Behind closed doors the European Commission is negotiating about a massive trade deal with the South American block Mercosur. Talks continue despite increasing concerns for farmers and the environment. Are farming interests and consumer standards being sacrificed for the benefit of the motor industry? Part two of a two-part article with Hans Wetzels. […]

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United States | The Real Future of Agriculture

The US ambassador to the UK has called American farming “the future of agriculture” to encourage the opening of European markets to US products. But what does this food system actually look like? What are its implications on public health, the environment and rural communities? Our partners at IATP report from the states.  […]

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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. […]