Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, November 23, 2017 09:50:14 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Building sustainable food supply chain

By
15th-Jul-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Olivier De Schutter, Oscar Rivas and Karin Nansen :
Once again, the debate on reforming the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has got off on the wrong foot. After indications that CAP spending might be scythed to plug the black hole left by Brexit, we are talking once more about the size of the pot - and not what it should be used for.
Another CAP reform could come and go, therefore, without focusing on the critical question of how to put EU and global food systems on a sustainable footing in the face of climate change, ecosystem degradation, pressures on farm livelihoods and a rising obesity epidemic.
That is why the 'European Soya Declaration' is such a breath of fresh air. The German-Hungarian initiative, tabled earlier this month and up for adoption by EU agriculture ministers on 17-18 July, calls for a series of steps to increase European protein feed production (particularly soy) and to diversify agriculture in the process. As well as identifying major potential for increasing soy production in Central and Eastern Europe, the Declaration insists that soya imports - which will still be required to meet European demand - should be drawn from certified sustainable production systems. The Declaration may be imperfect, and is yet to receive the formal endorsement of agriculture ministers. However, it is highly promising for several reasons.
Firstly, because it refocuses our attention on the problematic division of labour in global food systems. Europe is highly dependent on soy imports to feed its livestock. Demand for soy requires a production area outside Europe equivalent to 90% of Germany's entire agriculture land. 73% of these soy imports come from the Southern Cone of South America, mainly Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
The expansion of GM soybean monocultures in these regions has led to deforestation, biodiversity loss, displacement of small-scale farmers and diversion of land away from local food needs, as well as increased use of pesticides, contaminating the water of nearby populations and putting their health at severe risk.
The individuals and communities facing these threats - the 'Pueblos Fumigados' - have joined the voices of peasant movements in Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina to denounce these trends - taking their message as far as the National Institution for Human Rights in the case of Uruguay. These are the systematic impacts of export-led commodity production, and Europe - as a major consumer of those commodities - therefore has a responsibility to address them. Secondly, the initiative is promising because it represents bold, transitional thinking. Although the Declaration does not address the CAP directly, it is highly relevant to the debate, and shows the kind of evolution needed in EU agricultural policies. Rather than shifting subsidies between different sectors or regions, or cutting away red tape, the Declaration is about sparking a major shift in the dynamics of global supply chains and the industrial production model they underpin. It maps out a set of integrated steps to plan the land uses, the production patterns and the food systems that we want in Europe and beyond.
This kind of thinking is needed to break the current deadlock, where subsidies can be used to prop up ailing sectors, but longer-term planning is conspicuously absent. Indeed, these changes cannot take place overnight, and must be carefully sequenced to avoid sudden shifts that would be economically damaging for importers and exporters alike.
However, the Soya Declaration is only the first step. It provides a glimpse of the kind of thinking that must ultimately drive a new round of CAP reforms and reshape food and farming systems in Europe and beyond.
While sustainable feed chains are a good starting point, further steps are urgently required to reduce the environmental and health impacts of the livestock sector. Industrial livestock production continues to be plagued by poor animal welfare conditions, water and soil pollution due to high manure levels, and the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance due to excess use of antibiotics on farms. A wholesale shift away from this model is urgently required, including steps to support those diversifying their production and practicing sustainable small-scale agriculture.
Ultimately, total livestock production and consumption in Europe must also be reduced. Animal protein makes up about 60% of European dietary intake. In November 2016, 24 MEPs proposed reducing EU consumption of animal-based foods by at least 30% by 2030 in order to help meet climate targets and address the chronic health conditions linked to high animal-protein consumption.
In light of these challenges, it is necessary to think beyond CAP reform and to develop ambitious, joined-up policies for sustainable food and farming systems. This vision is what underpinned the joint declaration from Friends of the Earth Europe and more than 100 civil society groups in March 2017, and IPES-Food's call for a 'Common Food Policy'.
The context of budgetary cuts makes the Soya Declaration and further moves in this direction all the more relevant. Transitioning to sustainable food systems is one of the great challenges of our time. Showing how this challenge can be addressed head-on, with ambitious and integrated actions, may be the best way to justify the CAP budget and to ensure that well-resourced EU policies for food and farming systems continue into the future.
(Olivier De Schutter is UN special rapporteur on the Right to Food (2008-2014) and co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food). Oscar Rivas, former Environment Minister of Paraguay. Karin Nansen, chair of Friends of the Earth International & founding member of REDES/ Friends of Earth Uruguay).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Forces Mugabe relied on threw him out


ZIMBABWE'S President Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday ending his 37-year rule of the African nation as independence leader from British colonial rule in 1980. He started as a hero but ended as a most unpopular despot through his years of misrule, repression of dissent, election rigging and quarrelling with the ...

International »

Lebanon`s Hariri suspends resignation as PM, easing crisis


Reuters, Beirut :Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri on Wednesday suspended his decision to resign as prime minister at the request of President Michel Aoun to allow for dialogue, easing a major political crisis.Hariri made his announcement after returning to Beirut on Tuesday night for the first time since his Nov. 4 shock ...

Sports »

Ranjit Sarkar of Bangladesh in action during the boys' singles match of the Bengal Plastic Asian Under-14 Series Tennis Championship at the National Tennis Complex in the city's Ramna on Wednesday.


City »

Pedestrians walking through the very busy road adjacent to foot-over bridge at Banani's Kakoli area in the city risking the life but traffic police remain indifferent to stop the walking. This photo was taken yesterday.


Entertainment »

Kriti Sanon’s hair game sets major goals


A new hairstyle can instantly turn around your look and even your day and actress Kriti Sanon is surely setting some hair goals.  We are stunned by Kriti Sanon’s look, which combined the fun of braids with the elegance of blow-dried waves and some casuals at its best.  Here’s a ...

Entertainment »

Gulbadan from Firangi brings back the ‘Old School Mujra’ back


Kapil Sharma is gearing up for his next movie Firangi which is all set to release on 1st December 2017. A historical period drama set in 1920. The movie is produced by Kapil Sharma’s production while it is directed by Rajiev Dhingra. As the movie is ready to release in ...

Editorial »

HC verdict is well meaning: Hospitals must appreciate


THE High Court ordered hospitals and clinics not to hold body of a deceased if his or her family fails to immediately pay the medical bill to release the body. It has also asked the Health Secretary and the Director General of the Directorate of Health Services to issue a ...

International »

Putin, Assad for political solution to Syria`s conflict


Reuters, Moscow  :Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to talk about the need to move from military operations to the search for a political solution to Syria's conflict, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.Russia is actively trying to build an international consensus around a peace deal for Syria, ...

Sports »

A scene from the opening ceremony of the Omicon Group 43rd National A Chess Championship held at Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room on Tuesday.


Sports »

Sharapova named in India luxury housing fraud probe


AFP, New Delhi :Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova is under investigation in India for cheating and criminal conspiracy after the collapse of a luxury housing project that she endorsed, police and a lawyer said Tuesday.The firm behind the development is alleged to have taken millions of dollars from homebuyers ...

Entertainment »

Janhvi dazzles at IFFI in ethnic wear


Janhvi Kapoor who is all set mark her Bollywood debut with Karan Johar’s Dhadak opposite Ishaan Khatter makes a dazzling entry at 48th IFFI 2017 in Goa. Janhvi was accompanied by her mother Sridevi and father Boney Kapoor. Janhvi looked elegant wearing Anamika Khanna lehenga choli. It is probably Janhvi’s ...

City »

Uphold image of Armed Forces: President


President M Abdul Hamid on Tuesday asked the members of Armed Forces to uphold their image at national and international levels by ensuing utmost professionalism. "Uphold the image of the armed forces . . . Help continue the country's ongoing development trend in the days to come," President's Press Secretary ...

Editorial »

Use of toxic tannery wastes in poultry feed


MEDIA reports said an increasing number of poultry feed mills using dangerously toxic tannery wastes laced with poisonous chemicals as raw materials remain the biggest threat to public health. They are moreover flouting is a ban of the High Court for producing and marketing the toxic feed for animals which ...

International »

Putin plan to rejuvenate Russian politics makes slow progress


Reuters, Moscow :Poised to run for a fourth term, President Vladimir Putin has started clearing out the old Russian political elite and says he's bringing in young people with "fire in their eyes."But a Reuters analysis shows that he has made limited progress so far.In the run up to March ...

Sports »

Participants run during the Delhi Half Marathon in New Delhi, India on Sunday. Ethiopia's Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana won the men's and women's elite categories, respectively.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news