Hi,A handful of corporations own our food. They decide what farmers can grow and how much we have to pay for it.
Giant companies like @Bayer-Monsanto and @Carlsberg can do this because they patent our seeds: from melons and tomatoes to barley used to make beer.
We campaigned for five years to get the office which decides on patents (European Patent Office – EPO), to ban patents on plants and animals. And we won! But companies are cancelling our win by taking advantage of where the rules are not 100 percent clear.
All it would take to block these companies is for ministers to make patent rules watertight. The very rules they put in place thanks to public pressure from people like us.
And we know we can do this because this time around, our community is even stronger. We also have 50 organisations including local breweries from across Europe joining the fight.
Together let’s call our ministers to schedule an official conference and take bold decisions that will stop companies from manipulating the rules.
The Soil Association highlighted the issue of peak phosphorous and its threat to food security in their report: A rock and a hard place, in 2010 (which appears to be no longer available on-line?). And made several recommendations for the UK Government, it would like to implement. In an article I posted in 2013, I highlighted the work Wessex Water was doing to recycle nutrients. Using the waste from their bio-digester plant, which also produces electricity and bio-gas. They also employ chemists to work with their customers, to ensure their land gets the right amount of nutrients.
Unfortunately, the Agra-chemical companies, who produce the fertilisers (mostly from fossil fuels) for industrialised farming industry. Have the money and the lobbying might, to try and prevent, the large scale uptake of organic farming practices. In fact, one of the issues being highlighted at the present time, is the pharmaceutical drug residue, that might be present in the recycled waste? In September 2016, the European Commission’s Science for Environmental Policy, published a news alert. It was titled: Applying sewage sludge to soil may spread antibiotic resistance. It has been widely acknowledge, that their has been an abuse of the use of antibiotics in humans and animals. From which the chemical companies also benefit from, as well as their trade in fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Back in 2007, Green Alliance examined the challenges and opportunities for the more sustainable use of nutrients, chiefly nitrogen and phosphorus, in the UK. It recommended a suite of policy principles to make a more circular system a reality.
Little has happened since in the UK. But last month I was asked to present Green Alliance’s policy principles to a conference of Nordic countries in Malmo, and to discuss how to take the agenda forward. I discovered that the ideas remain relevant and useful.
Nestlé is guilty, like so many multi-national corporations of many crimes, especially in selling foodstuffs that are actualy totally unhealthy. But one of its’ worse crimes is its’ continued support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
I had only been in the Algarve for a week, when I found out about Faro’s first beer festival. It was during the weekend of Friday 3rd July till 0200hrs, Monday 6th July with the temperature in the high 30s. It was opposite the police station and entry was free. It was €2.50 for a festival glass (copo), and beer and food was purchased by vouchers. They had a number of kiosk, where money could be exchanged for vouchers. There were individual stalls for the different artisan breweries and food outlets, with plenty of space to sit down.
On the first day, I tried a pork dish and like festival in the UK, it was short on vegetables. But it could be described as a square meal, 250mm x 250mm (10 sq ins), bread was included.
The food outlets, were all selling bottles of Samual Adams and the Faro Motorcycle club selling, Trooper! There were a large number of Portuguese and Spanish artisan brewers represented:
Sovina, Cabbeer (Spanish), Moura, Octava Colina, Praxis, Rolls Beer, Ballut, La Cibeles, Rapada, Maldita, Deck Beer Lab, Post Scriptum, Letra, Mammooth (Spanish), Amphora, Zézé Blond, Marafada, Seleccáo 1927, Boheme and Vadia. Unfortunately, the weekist beer was 4.8% with most in the 7 and 8%. They were especially keen on stouts and porters, with some only selling the dark beers. Because of the heat, I stayed with the IPAs and wheat beers. The Spanish Mammooth’s wheat beer, was ‘interesting’, a very orange colour. One brewery, Deck Beer Lab, had a badge a bit like Brew Dog with Bath Ale’s hare in it. I was informed, it was an adaption of their restraunts sign, but instead of a pig, they have a rabbit. They also mentioned, the restraunt had being a around a lot longer than Brew Dog.
Also available in the park was a gym and puddings for people to really comfortable in. Though I would imagine, most CAMRA members would not be able to get to their feet again. There were also scenes of mothers openly breast-feeding the children, which might have brought about an early demise for some CAMRA members. Musical entertainment and cookery lesson went on throughout the day. It was very much a carnival atmosphere, with families very much in evidence.