• Could Irish dairy sector be hit by fraud and illegal activities?

    Concerns over the potential for illegal activity in Ireland’s dairy sector have prompted a host of key government stakeholders to conduct a vulnerability analysis of the sector. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is undertaking a project in conjunction with safefood, DAFM and the Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland. The analysis which will be undertaken on an all-island basis aims enhance consumer protection by conducting a Food Chain Vulnerability Analysis of the Dairy sector on the island of Ireland, from feed to fork. This project will review the dairy sector to identify potential vulnerabilities which could provide opportunities for illegal activity that will impact consumers’ health and/or interests. The analysis will produce a documented analysis of the
  • Northern California farmer who plowed wetlands is fined $1.1 million

    A California farmer will pay $1.1 million for plowing federally protected wetlands and streams, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday, closing a years-long legal battle that made him a rallying figure for critics of environmental regulation. The government announced the consent decree for John Duarte, who owns land and a nursery in the Northern California town of Red Bluff. The settlement with federal authorities, who had been due to start the penalty phase in Duarte’s legal case Tuesday, includes civil penalties and money to restore wetlands and streams. The case began after Duarte bought fallow land within federally protected wetlands and streams in 2012, and paid a contractor to deep till it, or rip it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cited Duarte. A federal court found
  • Brazil farmers run out of space as bumper crops pile up

    At a warehouse in the heart of Brazil's agriculture sector, farmer Rafael Bilibio watches truck after truck line up to unload corn onto the ground outside the huge storage bins. His own corn, ready for unloading from a 50-tonne truck that has just pulled in, is destined to join the pile that has reached 65-feet high, as the bins remain stuffed with soybeans collected earlier this year in Mato Grasso state. "For the first time in history, producers here will pile one harvest on top of the other," said 33-year-old Bilibio, who cultivates some 4,700 hectares of soy and corn near Vera, in the mid-North of the state. From Iowa to China, years of bumper crops and low prices have overwhelmed storage capacity for corn, wheat and other basic foodstuffs. The situation is dragging down
  • About 200,000 contaminated eggs have been eaten, says French agriculture ministry

    About 200,000 eggs contaminated with an insecticide have been eaten by French consumers, according to the French agriculture ministry on Friday. The first batch of about 200,000 eggs contaminated with Fipronil imported from the Netherlands and Belgium by two different egg-product manufacturing factories have been eaten, French Minister of Agriculture and Food Stephane Travert told reporters on Friday. He said these eggs were sold between April 16 and May 2, but added there was little harm to the health of those who ate the eggs. Affected supermarkets are recalling the second batch of about 48,000 contaminated eggs from Belgium sold between July 19 and 28. It remains unknown how many of them have been eaten.
  • 'Sustainable beef' coming to a supermarket near you

    Steaks sold at your local grocery store could be labelled “sustainable beef” as early as next year as the Canadian beef industry comes to grips with consumer demands to know where their food comes from and how it was grown. The industry has also come under pressure by campaigns pressing consumers to eat less beef due to environmental and animal welfare concerns. But Alberta producers believe a new sustainable beef program can help them fend off these criticisms. While “sustainability” is a buzzword that lacks meaning, a beef industry association backed by environmental groups, meat packers, producers and retailers has been defining the rules the industry must meet to source sustainable beef. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef expects to finalize
  • From farm to tablet? How technology can help agriculture

    Agriculture has been at the core of the evolution of human civilization, thriving alongside humanity. However, despite its crucial role, the agricultural industry has advanced at a slower pace as compared to other trades. This is partially because of the complacency in the farm sector. However, this is fast changing. Here are some of the challenges facing agriculture, and how advanced technologies are getting integrated to benefit the farming sector.
  • Philippine agriculture grew 5.72% in first half of 2017

    The agriculture sector expanded by 6.18 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, bringing the first-half growth to 5.72 percent, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed. Value of farm production amounted to P210 billion (at constant prices or after adjusting for the effects of inflation), sustaining its growth from the first quarter after a series of declines in 2016. The agriculture sector shrank 2.34 percent in the same period last year due to a prolonged dry spell and damage caused by typhoons “Lando” and “Nona.”
  • Asian dairy boom herds New Zealand tourism against agriculture

    New Zealand markets itself to international tourists as “100 per cent pure,” but a rapid expansion of its dairy industry is endangering its clean, green image. The shift threatens to pit the nation’s No 2 export, tourism, against dairy, its No 1. “Agriculture is the major cause of issues we have with fresh water,” said John Quinn, chief freshwater scientist at the country’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. “Dairying is part of that.” Seven out of 10 of New Zealand’s monitored rivers — mostly in lowland areas — are now potentially unsafe for swimmers, according to a government report this year on freshwater quality, which highlighted increased nitro­gen levels and algal blooms. Some in
  • Factory farming in Asia creating global health risks, report warns

    The use of antibiotics in factory farms in Asia is set to more than double in just over a decade, with potentially damaging effects on antibiotic resistance around the world. Factory farming of poultry in Asia is also increasing the threat of bird flu spreading beyond the region, with more deadly strains taking hold, according to a new report from a network of financial investors. Use of antibiotics in poultry and pig farms will increase by more than 120% in Asiaby 2030, based on current trends. Half of all antibiotics globally are now consumed in China alone. The Chinese meat and animal feed producers New Hope Group and Wen’s Group are now among the 10 biggest animal feed manufacturers in the world. The growth of Asian meat production in intensive units is also producing a
  • 84,000 job losses in the SA agriculture sector

    There have been 84 000 job cuts this past year in the agriculture sector according to a report by Agbiz. The Agribiz report shows that 44 000 jobs were lost in the first quarter and a further 40 000 in the second quarter of 2017. These job losses can be attributed to lowered activity in labour intensive sectors such agriculture and some field crops. The agriculture experienced the same effects last year in the second quarter where 44000 jobs were lost. Most of the decline in employment occurred in the Northern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces where the majority of the the labour intensive crops are grown. A notable cutback in employment of 23% quarter-on-quarter occurred in the Northern Cape.
  • EU agriculture chief calls on UK to stay in customs union

    Ireland’s EU commissioner has hit out at the UK’s “conflicting messages” over Brexit, saying London should consider staying in Europe’s customs union to reduce risks to trade and the Northern Irish peace deal. Phil Hogan, who is close to the Dublin government, spoke to the Financial Times before the publication of an article by two UK ministers that called for Britain to leave both the customs union and the EU’s single market on exiting the bloc in 2019. The ministers, Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, and Liam Fox, international trade secretary, also urged a “time limited interim period” to avoid a “cliff edge”. “I think that there’s a high level of delusion in London at the moment about what is
  • China’s love of US chicken feet proves a recipe for a perfect trade

    Americans eat about 9bn chickens a year, but not the feet. Southern Chinese, on the other hand, import about 300,000 tonnes each year of the delicacy known to diners as "phoenix claws" and to the industry as "chicken paws". It's a match made in free trade heaven. And yet this perfect trade of paw to claw was only reached this year, thanks to a small item included in the "early harvest" of deals announced by the Trump administration this spring. That's despite intense negotiations under way since George W Bush was in the White House. The item is "cooked chicken", or chicken sold in cans and frozen dinners. And no, it does not mean that Chef Boyardee is about to sell canned chicken feet at ShopRite. Instead, the US poultry industry has succeeded in opening the US market to
  • "Donald Trump is making American farming great again"

    Donald Trump is often portrayed as the devil incarnate in global media with notable negative focus in Australia that borders on obsession and that’s not just fake news. But experienced Australian and US agribusiness consultant David Farley says a major contrast is occurring at grass roots level in regional America, where lived reality is contradicting the media’s constant, frenzied attack on the US president. The former Australian Agricultural Company boss has had an extensive relationship with the US over 35 years.
  • Dutch family farms teeter as a recall of tainted eggs widens

    Diligent family farmers like Marjan van de Vis have made the Netherlands the global leader in egg exports. But now she, like many others, finds her livelihood threatened since using a local company this year to rid her chickens of pesky lice. That company, the authorities believe, appears to have mixed a controlled poison, fipronil, into its cleaning solution. Since last week, the resulting contamination has been found in exports of eggs and egg products to 16 European countries and China. “Our beautiful family farm is hanging by a silk thread,” said Ms. van de Vis, who will now have to destroy 100,000 eggs that cannot be sold. The scandal is now one of the biggest food scares in Europe since 2013, when horse meat was discovered being passed off as beef. As much as 20
  • Farmers raise concerns about Serbian agriculture law

    The Association of Farmers welcomed changes to restrict farmland sales to foreigners - which it demanded during protests in 2015 - but said it had not been consulted on the legal amendments which are to be adopted urgently and without public debate. “We heard from the minister that the new amendments to the law, which will be restrictive to foreigners who want to buy Serbian agricultural land, which was one of our proposals during the protests, but we never got any document from them [the agriculture ministry],” Miroslav Kis from the Serbian Association of Farmers told BIRN. The Association of Farmers was one of the mass protests in 2015, when Serbian Government announced the adoption of the new Law on Agricultural Land which gave more power to agricultural companies
  • EU leaders under fire on Mercosur beef proposals

    EU plans to negotiate on beef with the South American Mercosur bloc have prompted a backlash from MEPs and farmers’ groups. Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness (pictured) said that Brexit complicated the talks and that there was still “work to be done” before a beef offer should be tabled. “Any potential offer by the EU must take account of the sensitive nature of beef not just for Ireland but also for France and the EU in general,” Ms McGuinness said. “There is the additional complication that the EU continues to negotiate for 28 member states until such time as the UK leaves the EU in March of 2019. This is another issue which will need to be take account of.” The Irish Farmers’ Association voiced concerns again last week
  • EBay's founder has a new idea: Build a dairy in Hawaii

    If Pierre Omidyar gets his way, 699 dairy cows will soon enjoy a glorious view of the Pacific Ocean, framed by a pristine beach. Mr. Omidyar, the founder of eBay, wants to build a dairy farm on the island of Kauai. He is one of many tech billionaires who have established a presence in Hawaii, which is only a five-hour flight from Silicon Valley. Others include Larry Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder, who bought all but a tiny amount of the island of Lanai and turned it into a resort — investing millions, but frustrating some islanders by driving up rents — and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who was called a “neocolonialist” after he sued some locals over beachfront land he bought. (He dropped the suits.) The goal of Mr. Omidyar’s farm —
  • Factory farming in Asia creating global health risks, report warns

    The use of antibiotics in factory farms in Asia is set to more than double in just over a decade, with potentially damaging effects on antibiotic resistance around the world. Factory farming of poultry in Asia is also increasing the threat of bird flu spreading beyond the region, with more deadly strains taking hold, according to a new report from a network of financial investors. Use of antibiotics in poultry and pig farms will increase by more than 120% in Asiaby 2030, based on current trends. Half of all antibiotics globally are now consumed in China alone. The Chinese meat and animal feed producers New Hope Group and Wen’s Group are now among the 10 biggest animal feed manufacturers in the world.
  • Alberta agriculture groups see opportunity to 'improve' NAFTA with start of talks

    Several of Canada's most prominent agricultural organizations offered last-minute advice to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in Edmonton Friday, ahead of the first round of NAFTA talks, set to begin in Washington August 16. The North American Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1992 under then prime minister Brian Mulroney, and took effect in January 1994. It established a system to freely trade goods and services between Canada, Mexico and the United States and a method to settle disagreements through a dispute resolution system. But since NAFTA was signed, times and technology have come a long way, said Dennis Laycraft from the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.
  • Green revolution poised to boost agriculture production in Pakistan

    A declining economy and growing food insecurity in the country, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik has called for Green Revolution since one of the best solutions would be heightened research and investments in the agricultural sector to boost yields. He also demanded the government to grant interest free agricultural loans on soft terms and conditions to farmers at their doorsteps besides especial relief in water and power consumption. Iftikhar Ali Malik, who is also Chairman United Business Group and veteran trade leader, has made this observation in context with the 70th Independence Day during his meeting with a delegation of progressive farmers headed by Muzaffar Ali Sial here at his residence on Friday.

News source: Farming UK