30 July 2012
“The performance of the non-supermarket sectors builds a lot of confidence in the future potential. Where there is extensive choice and availability, organics are selling well.”
Soil Association trade consultant Finn Cottle – Fresh Produce Journal – 27 July 2012
Read the Organic Market Report 2012
Organics find reasons to cheer
Despite overall supermarket sales looking sluggish for organics, producers are upbeat that certain sectors of the market are seeing promising growth.
Fresh Produce Journal (27 July, p.14)
Find out more about the Organic Market here.
Organic farm incomes compete with conventional
Organic farm incomes are competitive with those of comparable conventional farms, despite challenging organic market conditions, says a Defra-funded report. Farm business data for 212 organic farms in England and Wales shows higher Farm Business Income for most organic farm types than for their conventional counterparts. The gap was widest on LFA cattle and sheep holdings while profitability did not differ significantly between other organic and conventional farm types.
Farmers Weekly Business Blog (24 July)
Study to explore how cows make friends
You might think a nice patch of grass and a regular milking is enough to keep a cow happy – but it turns out the humble heifer needs her friends just as much as we do. And it’s not just the cows themselves that benefit from having a tight group of mates. Happy bovines make more milk, helping to satisfy the British thirst for the white stuff that runs into billions of gallons a year.
The Metro (30 July)
Don’t buy milk from Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl or Londis, say dairy farmers
Dairy farmers are telling consumers not to buy milk at Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl or Londis – and think twice about Asda and the Co-operative – as the battle over prices spills on to the high street. The row centres on the "farm gate" price paid to Britain's 14,500 dairy farmers, most of whom will, from 1 August, receive just 25p a litre for the milk they produce compared with around 30p before.
The Guardian (27 July)
School gardens: growing greener kids
Traditionally, children are said to hate eating their greens, but a school garden can transform their attitude to cabbage, worms – and the world.
The Telegraph (27 July)
Find out more about the Soil Association’s Farm Academy Programme.
David Beckham meets David Cameron for world hunger summit
David Beckham highlighted the urgent need to provide food for the world's poorest children when he met the prime minister for a hunger summit at Downing Street. The former England footballer, now a Unicef ambassador, met David Cameron who announced that world leaders would meet on 12 August - the last day of the Olympics - to thrash out plans designed to help starving people across the globe.
Huffington Post (26 July)
GM food poses no risk, says EU chief scientist
Genetically modified organisms pose no greater risk than those farmed in a conventional way, the European Commission's chief scientific advisor has said. Anne Glover said there was no evidence GMs had any impact on human, environmental or animal health and said science around the technology had to play a stronger role in European policymaking.
Farmers Weekly (28 July)
Farmers step up stubble burning campaign
A group of farmers has vowed to continue its campaign for a return to stubble burning - even though the idea has been ruled out by farm minister Jim Paice. The farmers - from Lincolnshire and Yorkshire - are calling for field trials to assess the effectiveness of stubble burning as a means of controlling blackgrass amid a decreasing armoury of chemicals against the problem weed.
Farmers Weekly (30 July)
Should more have been done to involve farmers in Olympics?
Ahead of Friday’s Olympic Games opening ceremony, Olivia Midgley asked is the showcase of Britain’s ‘green and pleasant land’ a missed opportunity for farming? The Olympic Games opening ceremony has been criticised as a ‘wasted opportunity’ to reconnect farmers with the public at a time when the dairy industry is ‘on its knees’.
Farmers Guardian (27 July)
One person dies every month in a farming accident in Northern Ireland. Almost half of those dying on farms are over the age of 65. The cost of producing chicken and eggs has increased by around 1/3 due the drought in America and the delayed harvest in the UK - according to poultry producers. Farmers have written to supermarkets to ask if the increased cost can be reflected in the price. And a change in tariffs for green energy could mean farmers will soon be cashing in on growing energy crops.
BBC Radio 4, listen again (30 July)
And finally…Photos: Garden pests in the rain
Macro photographs of snails and insects in the rain, by Vadim Trunov.
The Telegraph (27 July)