This week in the news, 2016 sales of U.S. certified organic agricultural production were up 23 percent from previous years. California continues to lead in certified farms, acres, and sales. On Tuesday the European Parliament, representing 28 countries and more than 500 million people, voted in support of phasing out glyphosate over the next five years and immediately banning its use in households. Ben and Jerry’s announced its pledge that products will be free from ingredients tainted with controversial herbicide after traces were found in its ice cream. The company also pledged to source only organic dairy for a new line. The British Beekeepers Association released a survey revealing a worrying drop in honey yield, with 62 percent of beekeepers saying neonicotinoids are to blame. Meanwhile, in the U.S., 1 million farmers could retire over the next five years. Unless more young farmers step up to take their place, 400 million acres of farmland could disappear, and with it, the nation’s food security. In Milwaukee, communities are embracing urban gardening and demonstrating how it can heal a city. And lastly, a new report from a broad coalition of environmental groups showed only two restaurants got an A for antibiotic-free meat – many of the other chains tested failed miserably.
British Beekeepers Association survey reveals worrying drop in honey yield, with 62% of beekeepers saying neonicotinoids are to blame.
The average US farmer age has risen steadily over the last 30 years, placing the typical farmer at age 60. One million farmers stand to retire over the next 5 years—and the number of young farmers has been steadily dwindling. Unless more young farmers step up to take the place of those that retire, 400 million acres of farmland could disappear, and with it, the nation’s food security. At the same time, U.S. veterans —45% of whom come from rural areas—face unemployment when they return home from active duty.
The European Parliament, representing 28 countries and more than 500 million people, voted Tuesday in support of phasing out glyphosate over the next five years and immediately banning its use in households.
The city is taking on hunger, poverty, and blight through a vibrant network of urban ag efforts and more farmers’ markets per capita than any other U.S. city.
Sales of organic agricultural production continued to increase in 2016, when U.S. farms produced and sold $7.6 billion in certified organic commodities, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Results of the 2016 Certified Organic Survey show that 2016 sales were up 23 percent from $6.2 billion in 2015. During the same year, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased 11 percent to 14,217, and the number of certified acres increased 15 percent to 5.0 million.
A coalition led by principal bill authors Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and Sean Maloney (D-NY), introduced the Local Food and Regional Market Supply Act (the “Local FARMS Act”) to catalyze the 2018 Farm Bill’s investment in programs and policies that spur economic development in rural and food-producing communities nationwide. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), one of the bill’s leading non-profit partners, praised the bipartisan coalition for prioritizing the development of new markets for farmers and expanded healthy food access for American families.
Company pledges products will be free from ingredients tainted with controversial herbicide after the survey found traces in its European ice creams. The company also pledges to source only organic dairy for a new line.
A report by the Natural Resources Defense Council along with its allies Friends of the Earth, Consumers Union, Food Animal Concerns Trust, and Center for Food Safety came out this past September with a new report on reducing the rate of antibiotic use in meat supply used by popular restaurant chains.