Week 23 datacrumbs

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A world first: on-farm biogas liquefaction was demonstrated by Sublime Energie in the comfort of the sixth arrondissement of Paris this week. It may be good enough to put in a bottle, but, like the genie, you wouldn’t want it to get out…

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After a year and a half of reflection and planning, the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has announced that it will implement a new operational structure on October 10. Details here.

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With no more than a month to go before the election, War on Want is writing to party leaders to remind them of the sort of changes that ordinary people want to see. Find out more here.

Week 24 datacrumbs

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Global warming is primarily the result of damaging policies and economic choices made by rich countries, while the impact is felt most acutely by poor countries and economies in the south. Tuesday June 11 is a Global Day of Action for Climate Finance, during which campaigners around the world seek justice for the victims of this imbalance. In the UK, War on Want is supporting a march from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street at 12 noon. Marchers will deliver a demand for positive action by prime minister Rishi Sunak at a summit of G7 member states in Turin next week. Link to the campaign here.

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LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) is celebrating 30 years of sustainable farming on the weekend of June 26/27 with the return of the Groundswell festival event. More details here

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AHDB UK clean pig slaughter numbers for week 24 recorded a week on week rise to 11,000 head, bringing year to date slaughterings up to 151,000 head as of June 1 this year. (estimated figures) The year to date figure is up by 1,000 during this time, while carcase weights have hardly moved over the past week at 90.58kg with just over 11mm back fat. AHDB pig market data is here.

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Oil giants BP and Exxon are sufficiently frightened by grassroots campaigners to be planning to send 200 lobbyists to Canada this November in an attempt to delay a major international treaty that will reduce plastic packaging waste. International campaigns group Eko has a cunning plan to thwart their plans. More information here.

Week 21 datacrumbs

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Commodities news service ZMP is running an item from Morocco, where a 43% drop in harvest has been preceded by a 33% decline in planted area.

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After three years of low stocks and poor crops, Brazil’s orange juice industry is starting to look around for alternative citrus fruits that do not succumb to citrus greening. This condition first appeared in Florida 20 years ago, wrecking the state’s headline crop. Today, Brazilian producers face a devastating combination of bad weather …and citrus greening. There is a big article in the Financial Times that brings readers up to date with an ongoing crisis.

week 19 datacrumbs

The descriptions and content of these brief items are kept as short as possible: if you want to follow up the details of a story, click the link that will always be provided.

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Is Labour doing the right thing when it accuses the Tories of “gaslighting” the state of the British economy, that is to say querying the tory grasp of economic indicators to unsettle conservative assumptions? Top of the list: will Thursday’s meeting at the Bank of England really decide to keep interest at 5.25%?

Read it here: https://news.sky.com/story/government-gaslighting-public-about-state-of-economy-labour-claims-13130738

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Livestock farmers are facing the threat of wind-borne midges carrying a new strain of blue tongue virus across the North Sea, potentially infecting British sheep and cattle. The illness is established in northern Europe, where it causes significant livestock losses.

Read it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-68944155

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Tea time: Manchester Evening News parent editor Emma Gill compares retailer brand tea bags after a series of substantial price rises.

The outlook for olive oil supples is as grim as ever. Sarah Butler lines up the industry’s international data and tells readers of The Guardian to expect more of the same. Urban Food Chains ran an overview a a few months ago.

Read it here: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/reviews/i-tried-cheapest-supermarket-tea-29098610

Read Sarah Butler’s piece here: https://www.theguardian.com/business/article/2024/may/07/extra-virgin-olive-oil-prices-global-production

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Defection of the week: Dover MP Natalie Elphicke crossed the floor of the House of Commons to join the Labour party benches. It will be interesting to see how her position will change on things like the Brexit border tax. To help readers spot the changes, I downloaded a couple of posts on May 9 from https://natalieelphicke.com, laying out her position before she jumped ship. The original posts were here: one makes the case for providing adequate funding to allow Dover Port Health Authority to maintain its biosecurity targets and the other highlights ways in which Blockchain applications can speed up border checks. Just in case the originals disappear, download the May 9 versions here and here.

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Strong European cheese is a taste challenge to consumers in south east Asia, where the strong flavours and live textures literally get up the noses of potential export customers in cities like Singapore. The BBC filed this report about the seasoned export cheese sales teams from countries such as France, Italy or Switzerland. They are very careful not to push their challenging products until they have earned the confidence of prospective customers. British cheese sales teams headed for Asia with high hopes of conquering sales prospects with cheeses like Stinking Bishop. The broadcasters learnt that the British team was only allowed to promote their strong-smelling cheese at the show because they paid to exhibit at the show on the spot with their own money.

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Good news from pesticide campaigners: PAN Europe has become the first civil society to win a substantive case in Europe’s highest court. Pesticide Action Europe challenged the absence of any new scientific data in support of product approval renewals. The EU Court of Justice found in favour of the campaigners, adding that authorisations and renewals at national level should be fully documented and should no longer rely on the work of other member states when renewing product licences. The decision should stop the endless re-use of data going back decades. Read more on the PAN Europe website.

Read the full story here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c03ded49zw2o

Oxford Real Farming Conference 2025 supporter tickets are now on sale: follow the link…

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How many of us knew that IKEA is a major landholder in Romania? Click the link and find out why this might matter. https://action.eko.org/a/stop-ikea-from-destroying-europe-s-last-ancient-forests

Representatives of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) have been meeting DEFRA ministers and officials to request a post-Brexit review of water quality standards, according to The Guardian. (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/article/2024/may/10/farmers-union-lobbied-to-increase-pesticide-limit-in-uk-drinking-water). 

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The NFU knows the rules on water and reminds its members of their obligations. (https://www.nfuonline.com/updates-and-information/farming-rules-for-water-what-you-need-to-know/) Shame they want to move the goalposts, though.