Backed up by its substantial experience of the Indian Ocean, CIRAD has just signed a general agreement confirming the creation of a regional agricultural research for development (AR4D) platform (PReRAD), in partnership with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the préfecture in Réunion and the Réunion Regional Council. The aim is to mobilize local and regional players more effectively with a view to boosting food security in the Indian Ocean. CIRAD is increasingly committed to the agricultural and economic development of Réunion, with the support of the international community. The creation of a regional agricultural research for development (AR4D) platform (PReRAD) is the most recent example.
Every 2 years, policy makers, industry, consumer organisations and many others from across the world gather to discuss how to cooperate in order to reinforce product safety. The aim of the International Product Safety Week is to promote the safety of consumer products and international cooperation. This year focus of attention is on strengthening international co-operation and supporting approaches such as "seamless surveillance" to strengthen consumer safety at every point of the supply chain from design to destination.
The April 2014 edition of "Commodity price dashboard" is now available. Every month, a Commodity price dashboard for the most representative agricultural products and consumer food prices is published. These monthly reports will be complemented with an in depth analysis on price developments that will be published twice a year. The price dashboard provides a monthly summary of commodity price data for the most representative agricultural products and consumer food prices, at EU and world level. Although not all the products are comparable at both EU and world level, this document is intended to give an indication on the most recent price developments.
On the initiative of the Netherlands and Swedish delegations the Council discussed food loss and food waste in the European Union and ways to reduce its scope. Ministers considered action to reduce food loss and food waste useful, as long as food safety is not undermined. One of the suggestions made by the Netherlands and Swedish delegations is to exempt more products, which have a long shelf live and retain their quality for a very long time, from the requirement to provide a "best before" date on the label (9755/14).
Olivier de Schutter, a Belgian academic, is the United Nations' special rapporteur on the right to food. In 2013, he won the Francqui Prize, sometimes referred to as the 'Belgian Nobel Prize' and one of the country's most prestigious awards in the biological, medical and social sciences. On Thursday and Friday (8-9 May), he convened the Francqui International Conference in Brussels under the title 'The EU's Fifth Project: Transitional Governance in the Service of Sustainable Societies'. He spoke by telephone to EurActiv's Marc Hall, the day before the conference.
EurActiv Germany reports that NGOs and investors are at odds over the effects of food speculation, causing the European Parliament to propose limiting direct stakeholder purchases, and Deutsche Bank to cover its tracks amid "a flood of accusations." Deutsche Bank does not want to draw any conclusions regarding the correlation between its business policy, and the risk of food price speculation. But this is precisely the accusation coming from numerous NGOs, after a meeting with representatives on Wednesday (16 April) in Frankfurt.
A rice paddy field of 2.500 newly developed hectares in M’Bewani, in the Niger Office area, was water-filled during a ceremony presided over by the Malian Prime Minister, Oumar Tatam Ly. The European Union provided funding of 11.2 billion FCFA for this project which brings the total of irrigated areas with total water control in the Niger Office to 110.000 hectares. This European aid is part of the cooperation program to provide technical assistance in the areas of water management and development maintenance. The European Union also granted 28 million Euros towards local irrigation in the regions of Sikasso and Koulikoro.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) revealed the results of their joint work to develop targets and indicators for a new global development paradigm for sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition. This is a critical contribution to the ongoing intergovernmental discussions on the post-2015 development agenda which will follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
On the 2nd April 2014, The Commission announced the EU will increase to EUR 200 million a year the budget for the promotion of food products and will be aiming at targeting non-European consumers. Following an agreement between the European institutions, the EU will also finance, under certain conditions, the promotion of processed products, including wine, beer and pastry products.
As the world's largest agri-food market, the EU has ability to take a 'proactive' approach in coordination of global food policies, writes Paolo De Castro. According to him, food security has gained a renewed centrality in the political agenda since the peak in food prices in 2008. There was an implicit recognition that a more sophisticated policy coordination at global level is needed to meet the new challenges in the food supply scenario.