The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.


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30% of EU Funds Earmarked for “Green” Measures

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


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US-Japan agree to make it easier to import each other’s organic products

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


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Dominican Republic Records 30 Percent Increase in Organic Food Production

From the Fresh Plaza website:

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


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EU Commission to Review Regulations on Organic Farming

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.’


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Kurultaj Festival Celebrates Culture and History of the Hun-Turkic-Hungarian Peoples

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.

 


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Monsanto Feeling Pressure from the Public

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.


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Euroactive Publishes Press Release on new EU Biobased Industry Initiative

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