03 October 2012
“We are proud to partner the Soil Association, which represents independently minded, environmentally aware farmers who are determined to work in harmony with the land."
Juliet Davenport, Good Energy Founder – Farmers Weekly – 2 October 2012
How GM crops have increased the use of danger pesticides and created superweeds and toxin-resistant insects
Planting GM crops has led to an increase rather than a decrease in the use of pesticides in the last 16 years, according to US scientists. The findings dramatically undermine the case for adopting the crops, which were sold to farmers and shoppers on the basis that they would reduce the need to be treated with powerful chemicals.
The Daily Mail (2 Oct)
Read the Soil Association’s comment.
Bhutan aims to be first 100% organic nation
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, famed for seeking "happiness" for its citizens, is aiming to become the first nation in the world to turn its home-grown food and farmers 100 percent organic. Peter Melchett, policy director at Britain's organic Soil Association commented that Bhutan's organic policy would "start to give the country a reputation of high quality organic food which in the long-run would give them a market advantage and the possibility of price premiums."
Agence France-Presse (3 Oct)
Good Energy named as Soil Association's official energy partner
100% renewable electricity supplier Good Energy has been named as the official energy partner of the Soil Association. As a result, the company will provide sponsorship to the charity, special renewable electricity offers to its members and help farmers who want to generate their own renewable energy on their farms. The company will donate £10 for every Soil Association member who signs up as a new customer, as well as offering them £40 off their first electricity bill.
Farmers Weekly Business Blog (2 Oct)
Read more about the Soil Association’s partnership with Good Energy.
Health secretary shuns food forum
Jeremy Hunt, the new health secretary, has shunned a meeting of food industry and public sector chiefs designed to tackle the issues of obesity and poor diet – the first such get-together since he assumed his new role.
The Financial Times (2 Oct)
Peter Madden, Chief Executive of Forum for the Future, writes that as home to The Soil Association, the Emvironment Agency, and the Natural History Unit, Bristol has an enviable environmental reputation, and the city’s new mayor will have to show leadership on ecological issues.
Bristol Post (2 Oct, p.12)
Scottish farmers 'to help clear roads' this winter
Transport Scotland, the National Farmers Union and local authorities have agreed a national code of practice to make better use of farmers’ support this winter.
Farming UK (2 Oct)
Staffordshire councillor in food poverty row
A Staffordshire councillor has been criticised after lashing out at claims some people in the UK were "starving".
BBC News (2 Oct)
School earns award for growing food
Ravenscliffe School has got a silver award for Food For Life Partnership - to reward their work with children who source and grow their own food and then cook it.
Halifax Courier (2 Oct)
Find out more about the Food for Life Partnership
India's peasant farmers gather for protest march on Delhi
Activists want to highlight the plight of India's landless, who have been swept aside by rapid industrialisation
The Guardian (2 Oct)
Farmers used to growing grain or raising livestock are being urged to consider algae as a farm crop
Science writer Julian Cribb presented his idea to the International Rural Network conference at Whyalla in South Australia, saying algae farming can provide fuel and the food supply for fish farming.
ABC News (3 Oct)
Food manufacturers need a proper ‘agri-food strategy’
Skills, research and development (R&D) and access to funding need to be combined into a ‘proper agri-food strategy’ in order to feed people in Britain and abroad in the years to come. That was the consensus of a debate held at the Labour Party Conference, featuring shadow secretary of state for Defra, Mary Creagh , NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond and director general of the Food and Drink Federation, Melanie, Leech.
Food Manufacture (2 Oct)
Scientists at Cambridge University have identified 16 species which could be the next big invaders of the English countryside, among them Killer Shrimp and Quagga Mussels. Farming must shed its manual labour image in order to bridge a looming skills gap according to the principal of Easton College in Norfolk. Two Northern Ireland Assembly members are calling for breathing masks to be developed for farmers to use in slurry storage areas.
BBC Radio4, listen again (3 Oct)
And finally…The week in wildlife – in pictures
The Guardian (28 Sept)