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 Ă“ ConchĂşir find out, though there are some tentative solutions emerging.  […]

Main stories

European Committee of the Regions Adopts Opinion on Agroecology

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has adopted an opinion on agroecology suggesting a comprehensive set of measures to foster agroecology in the EU. The opinion highlights problems with European agriculture, including global warming, soil degradation, biodiversity destruction, as well as needs – protecting natural resources, reducing GHG emissions, fostering biodiversity and moving from extraction to circularity. […]

Main stories

Covid19, Meat Processing Plants and the Limits of the Intensive Farming Model

While the exploitation of agri-food sector workers is a longstanding food system issue, the emergence of slaughterhouses across Europe and the US as coronavirus hotspots has brought renewed urgency and heightened awareness to issues relating to the conditions to which meat-plant workers are exposed. Alison Brogan rounds up the Covid19 news on this topic from the US, Ireland and Germany. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Rough Ride for East European Workers in Seasonal Veg

Low cost labour intensive vegetable production has been under strain in recent weeks. Tens of thousands of seasonal workers have moved from east to west –  as they do each year. This year is not, however, a typical year. Covid19 has added new dimensions, while also shining a spotlight on an otherwise hidden army of harvesters. But is harvesting the white gold more valuable than the health of Romanian farm workers? […]

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 communiquĂ© 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. […]

Latest from key partners

Whoever does not have Peasants, Should find Them: The Food Injustice of Pandemics

European Coordination of Via Campesina’s call to join the#StayHomeButNotSilent call to action on April 17 to commemorate the International Day of Peasant Struggle, reiterates the fundamental role of peasants in feeding people, even in the most difficult times. It takes a crisis for alternative food systems to emerge. Is our food system, dominated by trade ideology instead of human rights, ready to face pandemics? […]

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. […]

Main stories

“Batting Away the Baddies” – Organic Food, Cancer, Herbicides and History

Cancer is an emotive topic, so when a team of French researchers say a higher frequency of organic food consumption was associated with a reduced risk of cancer people will inevitably take note – and try to take apart the study. Meanwhile, Roundup, a tool of conventional farming and land management is in the dock – and loosing – over it relationship with cancer. Oliver Moore reports, adding some broader and historical context. […]