This post is focused on a segment of a more far ranging article in DieM25 regarding the platform economy and unionization in the European Union. We focus on how, in Germany, a group of food delivery riders set up the Kolyma2 collective that has been able to successfully operate on a local level with the use of Coopycyle, an open source software platform that helped them go from 60 orders on a weekend to 80 orders a day.
Alexandre Segura, who goes by the moniker Mex, thought that…
cooperatives belonged in the 19th century, as he vaguely remembered some socialist writings by thinkers like Charles Fourier or Robert Owen. However, he suddenly realized that the concept makes perfect sense in the modern world.
The idea arose that he could develop an app that belonged to delivery riders and that it could act as the “factory” they commonly own. Riders could run the platform on a local scale without global structures involved. “Technology is not everything, for sure”, he adds, “but you need to have an app and a functional website to compete.”
Sofia News Agency announces that “At least 30% of the EU funds earmarked for agriculture will go to “green” measures.”
According to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), the reform, which is to take effect as of 2014, envisages a 25% aid supplement during the first 5 years in addition to the existing assistance for young farmers.
Green measures include agri-environmental measures, measures for supporting organic farming, and measures aimed at supporting environmentally-friendly projects. Continue reading →
The Associated Press announces a new US-Japan deal that could lead to more organic options.
The United States and Japan have agreed to make it easier to import each other’s organic products, the latest step in a global effort that could give consumers access to more — and cheaper — organic food.
The Agriculture Department announced an agreement Thursday between the United States and Japan that will allow organic products to be certified in one of the countries and be sold as organic in both. The agreement will allow producers to sell their products in both countries without going through the lengthy process of getting certified twice.
The agreement is similar to a 2009 deal with Canada and a 2012 deal with the European Union. Agriculture officials say they are looking at agreements with other countries — South Korea, and possibly India, Brazil and Mexico down the road — that could also make it easier for U.S. organic farmers to sell abroad. Continue reading →
The Dominican Republic recorded in the past six years a steady 30 percent increase in the production of organic food, with which it has established itself as one of the world leaders in the marketing of these items.
The Ministry of Agriculture expressed in a statement today that the country is the largest exporter of organic bananas towards all international markets, especially the European Union (EU) and the United States (US), who are the main buyers of the Dominican fruit. Continue reading →
Caroline Stocks reports, in the Farmers Weekly, on plans by the EU Commission to review regulations on organic farming, which were agreed upon in 2007:
The commission is due to start work on an organic roadmap in September…The roadmap is expected to look at several policy areas, including enforcement and monitoring of organic foods certification and labeling, as well as setting international standards on organic production in trade matters.
The review is also likely to look at the effect of genetically-modified seeds on organic production, with particular focus on cross-fertilisation of GM and non-GM crops.
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements welcomed the upcoming roadmap as a potential to strengthen the sector.
‘The commission’s review of the legislative policy and framework for organic food and farming provides the opportunity to build on the success of the organic sector,’ Christopher Stopes, IFOAM EU president, told the European Organic Congress in Lithuania.
‘These must shape the development of the organic regulation in a way that enables expansion – more land organically farmed, more organic food eaten by all European citizens.’
The ‘Kurultaj Festival’ is traditionaly held in Hungary to celebrate the culture and history of the Hun-Turkic-Hungarian peoples.
This year the festival started on Aug. 9 and ended on Aug. 11. The Kurultaj Festival is usually held in the village of Bugac. Many festival goers wear traditional dress, and take part in such activities as horse-riding and archery. Visitors can also see various displays and exhibitions dedicated to Hungarian folklore.
Mandy Adwell at The 9 Billion blog notes that “it has been a rough year for Monsanto, especially in Europe.”
After several countries banned the use of genetically modified seeds and several others banned the use of certain pesticides, the company has announced it will withdraw all pending approval requests for new genetically modified crops in the European Union, due to a lack of prospects for cultivation.
In an interview with Reuters, Monsanto president Jose Manuel Madero cited this as a strategic business move, saying it will allow the company to focus more on conventional seeds such as maize, soybeans, and sugar beets in Europe. It will also maintain the application to renew the approval of MON810 maize, the only GMO crop that is commercially cultivated in parts of Europe. France, Italy, and Germany have all passednational bans on the crop, even though it is still approved by the EU.
Despite recent bans and widespread public opposition to genetically modified crops, the company’s seed business still accounts for more than 98% of its $1.72 billion turnover in Europe.
While this isn’t a drastically huge move that will forever change the food industry, it’s still a sign of the possibility that Monsanto is feeling pressure from the public to change its ways or get out. It will be a long time before we see a positive shift in how it is incorporated into the food industry – if that ever happens – but small steps in our favor are always good news. Maybe the March Against Monsanto back in May did send them a loud message.
Today the European Commission adopts a new proposed €3.8 billion Public Private Partnership for Biobased industries in Europe, aimed at ensuring smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and at enabling Europe to become a world-leading Innovation Union . The proposal comes as part of an innovation investment package of new Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) under Horizon 2020.
At the announcement, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “These initiatives not only strengthen our economy, they are an investment in a better quality of life. Working together will enable us to tackle issues that no one company or country can deal with alone.” Continue reading →
To answer the author’s question, “who should we believe?” – people are right to be skeptical. The industry itself has been the main source of information on the efficacy of GMO products. First they claimed it would provide higher yields. That was proven to be untrue. Now they’re selling it as an answer to global warming. Their assurances of the product’s safety is also proving to be false. Impartial data is hard to come by as industry patents prohibit independent testing of their products. And, of course we should trust the science – as long as it is independent and unbiased.
The UK Government wants to change the rules on GM crops based on political and commercial interest as Australia beefs up the scientific checks and balances on GM production.By: The Leader
A recent study by Warwick University, working together with Glasgow University, examined why people who understand t he dangers of global warming do little or nothing to change their behaviour.
We persist with our self destructive behaviours, apparently, because we don’t trust the science that offers evidence for global warming, we don’t trust the politicians who support measures to ameliorate global warming, we don’t trust the media who spin and trivialise their reports on global warming and we don’t trust the energy companies who are pushing alternative forms of energy production.
We are facing a similar conundrum over whether we allow humans to eat genetically modified (GM) foods. In the same week that ministers of the current UK government have embarked on a mission to allow GM foods for human consumption, the Australian government is not only tightening up controls on GM food production, but boasting that they lead the world in this area.
Who and what should we believe? Continue reading →
The recent revelations concerning widespread US government access to electronic communications data (including the PRISM system apparently run by the National Security Agency) leave many questions unanswered, and new facts are constantly emerging. Thoughtful commentators should be hesitant to make detailed pronouncements before it is clear what is actually going on.
Nevertheless, given the potential of these developments to fundamentally reshape the data protection and privacy landscape, I cannot resist drawing a few high-level, preliminary conclusions, from a European perspective:
Legal protection without political commitment is insufficient to protect privacy. In the regulation of data flows across national borders, trying to resolve conflicts between privacy regulation and government access requirements solely through legal means puts more pressure on the law than it can bear. In addition to strong legal measures, we need greater commitment to privacy protection at the political level, which unfortunately is lacking in many countries.
Government access to personal data is a global issue. International Data Privacy Law recently published a detailed legal analysis last year of systematic government access to private-sector data in nine countries (Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, the UK, and the US), and concluded that a lack of adequate transparency and clear legal standards in this area is a global problem. Revelations about the US programs should not distract attention from issues regarding government access to data in other countries. Continue reading →