Brian Gardner's Blog

Archives for Food & Consumers

Much official attention and taxpayers money has recently been devoted to the perceived ‘problem’ in the European Union’s dairy farming sector. Incomes are chronically low, it is claimed, and therefore measures must be taken to prop up markets and therefore incomes The real problem is however probably insoluble: the inevitably low incomes of too many… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Whether or not organic farming can feed the future world is one of the big questions of agricultural and environmental politics. It is of major importance to the future development of European and developed world agriculture and of even greater importance for the food-short less developed countries. The question of how the agriculture industries of… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

A majority of the European Union’s agriculture ministers is clearly determined on modification of the Union’s basic market legislation in what is likely to be a vain attempt to bolster farm incomes. This is the major conclusion to be drawn from a paper from the Spanish Presidency issued in the wake of last week’s farm… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

World meat production is not the major contributor to green house gas emissions claimed by certain sectors of the green and vegetarian movements . Experts at The UN food and Agriculture Organisation have conceded that earlier accusations of an 18 per cent share of total AGHG were considerably inaccurate. Writers of the FAO’s famous –… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The recent update of the European Commissions’ Scenar 2020 analysis of agricultural and rural development over the next ten years provides a stimulating background to the current debate on the future of the CAP. As of course it is intended to do. It provides a very useful analytical background to critical assessment of all the… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The proposals for a reformed agricultural and rural policy from the Socialist and Democratic group in the European Parliament are confused and confusing. The group’s plan for a post 2013 CAP is claimed to be an “innovative and integrated system which would make the allocation of resources fairer among farmers and member states”. In fact,… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

WORRYING ABOUT BIOFUELS

The impact of biofuels on food supplies present and future is one of the latest worries of the environmental lobby. Once favoured a s a means of reducing finite fossil fuel dependency, it is now seen as snatching basic foods from the mouths of the poor to feed the fuel tanks of the affluent. The… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Discussions at this week’s meeting of European Union agriculture ministers had an inevitable predictability. The major subject was the farmers’ disadvantaged position in the food marketing chain. Unsurprisingly, the answer to the ‘problem’ of farmers’ perceived inadequate share of the profits of food production and marketing for the majority of the Council is more –… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

European farm ministers this week faced up to one of the most insoluble problems in agricultural economics: how do large numbers of small producers sell to a few large buyers without being ripped off? The major item on the agenda of this week’s Agriculture Council was an examination of the European Union’s food delivery chain… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner