Europe tagged posts

Keep up-to-date with 4 European agriculture events in 2017

The agricultural sector is thriving in Europe. From Paris and Brussels to the corridors at Edinburgh University. Right now, concepts such as #PrecisionAgriculture and #SmartFarming are becoming more common among farmers and consumers alike. Agriculture needs to innovate, while focusing on sustainable practices, if it is to meet the demands of a growing population. The following is our choice of four European agriculture events to attend in 2017. Remember if you can’t make it in person, you can still follow the updates online.

25 February to 5 March 2017: Paris – Salon International de l’Agriculture (International Agricultural Show)

International Agriculture event

This French agricultural event is taking place at the Paris expo Porte de Versailles.

From the organisers: “The agricultural sector is changing...

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European Union: Please make up your mind on organic, for the sake of the environment

Derek 's quote on organic farming practicesBy Gary Frewin

Is the practice of organic farming supposed to be about eco-farming at its best or is it supposed to be all natural? It’s important to know because it cannot be both at the same time. Such is the confusion on this question today that everybody seems to have a different answer. Even the European Union (EU) has defined organic in radically different ways depending where you look, for example the Organic Legislation 2007 says this:

1) Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices […] and a production method in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes.

The appeal to nature should be obvious to most of you...

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Monsanto launches #CO2MUCH campaign: Combating Agriculture’s Carbon Footprint

Image of #CO2Much Campaign banner.Agriculture’s carbon footprint totals about six billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) each year, making up 13% of global emissions. In fact, after the energy sector, agriculture is the world’s second-highest emitter.

Looking ahead, mitigating emissions and the effects of climate change will be crucial to preserving our planet. But with a growing global population and changing consumption habits, set to rise to over nine billion people by 2050, demand for food and in turn food production will also rise. With this in mind, it’s clear that reducing the impact of the agriculture sector will play a particularly crucial role in keeping global temperature targets below a 2oC rise.

That’s why Monsanto, in Europe and the rest of the world, is working to spread awareness and highlight to t...

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Farmers more pessimistic about Europe’s agriculture future

A farmer uses glyphosate on barley with no till farming techniques to reduce their environmental impact.

A farmer uses glyphosate on barley with no till farming techniques to reduce his environmental impact.

The future of farming in Europe looks bleak, according to a survey of over 8,000 farmers released on 16 June 2016 by the European Farmers and European Agri-Cooperatives lobby group Copa-Cogeca. These farmers, based in 11 European Union Member States and surveyed between January and April 2016, shared their thoughts on their dissatisfaction with farming income and their disappointment of an economic turnaround. Of all the EU Member States, only farmers in Denmark and Sweden were optimistic about the current and future situation.

Currently one sign that events may get worse for European farmers is the issue around herbicides containing glyphosate...

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My First March Against Monsanto

By Jaden Elsasser

Growing up as a small town farmer’s daughter in Illinois, I only understood the basics of the farming business (and quite frankly I was never urged to learn about it, as hard as my dad pushed). I could answer the simple questions such as, “How many acres does your father farm?” and “Where is your farm located?” But when any further questions were sent my way, I simply nodded my head with a smile and pretended I knew exactly what they were talking about.

WhatsApp-Image-20160521 (3)I hadn’t fully understood the debate around Monsanto until my first year at the University of Missouri. I paid little attention to what friends, acquaintances and others had said about the big, bad multinational company because Monsanto products had always played a vital role for a large farming family...

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Monsanto launches #RootedInScience campaign

Darwin_misrepresentationEvery day in Europe seems to bring a new attack by non-governmental organisations, Greens and others on everything from plant breeding techniques to pesticides (think: glyphosate) to genetically modified seeds and ingredients. Yesterday, European governments failed to reach an agreement on the renewal of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the world’s most widely used herbicide, as the result of an epic onslaught of NGO spin and fearmongering ominously echoed by some misinformed European politicians. Tomorrow marks the annual March against Monsanto, in which angry mobs–especially in France–plan to demonstrate against Monsanto for presumed grievances, most based on conspiracy theories.

Given this context, it’s probably timely that Monsanto is launching a social media campaign celebrating the...

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Biodiversity area size of Latvia saved by European plant breeders

European plant breeding has delivered millions of metric tons of food over 15 years. Image courtesy European Seed Association.

European plant breeding has delivered millions of metric tons of food over 15 years. Click on the image to view the larger infographic. Image courtesy of European Seed Association.

The variety of crops that farmers grow, from maize and peppers to cotton, are created by plant breeders. These experts are matchmaking alchemists that mix art and science to change plant traits in order to bring out their best characteristics. Tolerance to disease is just one example. Over the past 15 years plant breeder techniques have saved global biodiversity equivalent to an area of 6.6 million hectares of Brazilian rainforest, or 66,000 km2 — put another way that’s a habitat the size of Latvia.

This factoid is one of many from a recent study commissioned by the European Technology Platform Plants for ...

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The CEO Magazine features Leticia Gonçalves (EN/FR)

Leticia GoncalvesThe February issue of The CEO Magazine features an interview with Leticia Gonçalves, CEO of Monsanto’s operations in Europe and the Mideast, about the company’s challenges in Europe, its ongoing transformation into an agricultural technology company and her personal vision for the future.

A chemical engineer by training, Leticia started working for Monsanto in her native Brazil, then moved on to various leadership roles in the United States before moving to Europe. The interview covers the situation in Ukraine, a major market for Monsanto despite the ongoing political instability; the company’s culture of collaboration and focusing on the big picture need for transformational innovation in agriculture; and the challenge of helping nourish the world’s growing population.

To read the full ...

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Innovation? No, thanks! Some EU countries opt out of GM seed cultivation under new law (EN/FR) 

by Brandon Mitchener

Since the European Union first authorised GM crops for cultivation in 1998, EU-level approval was enough to plant them anywhere in the Union, which now counts 28 countries. Several individual nations weren’t happy with that and banned GM crops on political grounds. These bans were systematically struck down as lacking any legitimate scientific basis.

Now, under a new EU law passed earlier this year, countries require no scientific justification for bans on the cultivation of GM crops on their territory and can do so for arbitrary reasons. In fact, some EU countries have begun doing just that.

Monsanto has been made aware of requests (“demands”) to the European Commission from Latvia and Greece to be removed from the scope of our request for EU re-authorization allowi...

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Monsanto Fund gives USD 96K to Junior Achievement’s European Young Enterprise programme

By Rachel Moore

The Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE) recently received a USD 96,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund for their European programme “Fostering Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship.”

JA-YE is an organisation that provides young people with the necessary experiences, skills, understanding and perspective to succeed in a global economy. The grant will help fund an already-established project that has been running for 10 years.

The START UP Programme is the main project of JA-YE, and “uses hands-on experiences to help young people understand the economics of life. In partnership with business and educators, JA-YE brings the real world to students and opens their minds to their potential.”

According to their website, the goal of this project is “to promote long-term g...

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