Friday Feed by Eva Perroni bringing you the latest food and farming news from Australia and abroad.

Friday Feed

This week: ⅕ Australian honey samples prove fake, France adopts a “field-to-fork” law, Brazil protects 13,000 square kms from destructive bottom trawling and global indigenous peoples make their voices heard at the Global Climate Action Summit.


Almost One in Five Australian Honey Samples Found to Be Fake
ABC News
Almost one in five Australian honey samples, including some expensive boutique honey, are fake, according to a ground-breaking study that tested samples of local and international branded honey.

Backpackers Share Australian Farm Horror Stories
ABC News
In order to stay a second year in Australia, backpackers need to do 88 days of work either on a farm, in construction or in mining. Some have horror stories to tell.

Small Farm Success Is Hard Yakka for Beginners, but It Has Its Own Rewards
Newcastle Herald
Anna Featherstone and her husband Andrew Campbell have published two books, Honey Farm Dreaming, a very personal memoir of anecdotes and observations, and Small Farm Success Australia, a combination business and lifestyle guide, that reflect on their decade-plus experience as small farmers.

Event: Women in Environmental Activism: Conversations and Networking, Canberra
Join Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia – WELA and guest speakers Julie Armstrong and Phoebe Howe for a night of insights into their experience of being a woman in the environmental activism sphere.


France Adopts Food Bill, Retailer Says Will Lead to Price Rise
France’s parliament gave final approval this week to a “field-to-fork” law aimed at raising farmers’ income, improving food quality and fighting waste, but opponents say it will push up consumer prices and only benefit retailers.

Victory in Brazil Protects 13,000 Square Kilometers from Destructive Bottom Trawling
The state of Rio Grande do Sul has passed a law to ban bottom trawling in state waters. These new protections extend along the entire length of the state’s 620-kilometre coast and cover a distance out to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from shore.

Cleaning up Toxic Soils in China: A Trillion-Dollar Question
International Institute for Sustainable Development
China has enacted a Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law outlining preventative measures government authorities and land users should take to protect soil from future pollution.

‘We’ve Bred Them to Their Limit’: Death Rates Surge for Female Pigs in the US
The Guardian

With sows producing 23 piglets a year on average, intensive farming is called into question over the rise in animals suffering prolapse.

‘Guardians of the Forest:’ Indigenous Peoples Come Together to Assert Role in Climate Stability
A half mile from the din of the Global Climate Action Summit and its 4,000 attendees in San Francisco, indigenous peoples from around the world came together in a small space for a summit of their own.

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Friday Feed

This week: Introducing Indigenous branded beef products, the Indian state that banned pesticides, down-to-earth policy improving soil health and new research asks what is the best way to reduce food’s environmental impacts?


Macquarie Harbour farmed salmon die from disease
The Australian
About 1.38 million farmed salmon have died – mostly from disease – in Tasmania’s Macquarie Harbour, as the regulator orders a 20 per cent cut to fish stocks in response to environmental damage.

Thalanyji Pastoral Company bridges the gap with beef business
ABC Rural
The Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation is establishing its own beef brand and supply chain to directly benefit indigenous communities in WA.

Global and Australian food companies failing to deal with climate, health issues
Renew Economy
A new study analysing a $300 billion group of the world’s largest food companies has revealed that a vast majority are deemed “high risk” and are failing to manage critical risks such as greenhouse gas emissions and antibiotics.

How to eat your way to happiness
Studies from Deakin University show that people consuming food and drinks high in sugar and sodium are more likely to develop mental health conditions such as depression. Diets higher in plant foods, healthy forms of protein and fats are consistently associated with better mental health outcomes.


SF Soda Tax Providing $10M Annually For Programs
California News Wire
San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell and Supervisor Malia Cohen announced Monday that the city will use $10 million of soda tax revenue annually to address health inequalities for the city’s low-income residents.

Europe’s Neonic Ban is a Big Step—But it Won’t Be a Cure-all for Bees
Civil Eats
The new ban restricts the use of three major pesticides that harm bees and other pollinators, but some scientists say it could lead to farmers using other types in increased quantities.

An Indian state banned pesticides. Tourism and wildlife flourished. Will others follow?
The Washington Post
Fifteen years ago, the tiny Indian state of Sikkim launched a radical experiment: Its leaders decided to phase out pesticides on every farm in the state, a move without precedent in India — and probably the world.

Down-to-earth policy: Improving soil health
Sustainable Food Trust
Unprecedented policy and soil data developments are helping to fill critical gaps in soil governance worldwide. However, concrete action and strong leadership are still needed to guarantee healthy soils for a food-secure future.

New Research: The highly variable and skewed environmental impacts across food supply chain
Given the heterogeneity of producers, what is the best way to reduce food’s environmental impacts? Researchers analysed the multiple environmental impacts of 38,000 farms producing 40 different agricultural goods around the world and found the environmental cost of producing the same goods can be highly variable.

Photo courtesy of Future Feeders


Eva Perroni is an Australian-based researcher and writer reporting on the frontline of food and farming issues

Friday Feed

This week: Aussie people power wins back local milk contract, beef farmers go high-tech to fight food-fraud, France’s Food Bacteria Banks preserving beneficial microorganisms and how corporations perceive their role in the GMO debate.


People power wins back Norco milk contract
Farm Online National
People power has swayed the NSW government to reinstate Australian-owned Norco as its primary milk and dairy supplier to hospitals on the northern and mid-north coasts.

Australian farmers told to get off social media to reduce anxiety
ABC Rural
Too much time spent on social media is increasing anxiety and stress for some primary producers, and they are being warned to reduce their online interactions and instead focus on what is within their control.

Beef brands turn high-tech to fight food fraud thieves
Country Life, Queensland
New nano-scale ‘fingerprint’ technology helps overseas buyers confirm a product’s Australian authenticity and supply chain history.

Live-ex sheep reforms fall short AVA says
Farm Online National
The peak body for veterinarians, the Australian Veterinary Association says the Government’s response to the McCarthy Review falls short, failing to guarantee stronger animal welfare provisions on live sheep voyages to the Middle East.


The US Farm Bill Could Be A Huge Blow To Animals
Huffington Post
As Congress fights over the latest farm bill, one proposal has animal welfare and food safety advocates ― and even some farm industry groups ― sounding the alarm.

Welcome to the Food Bacteria Bank
The Conversation, France
Although many microorganisms, commonly known as microbes, are known to be pathogenic, environmental bacteria can be used for “bioremediation” – techniques to treat polluted soils or to seed digesters.

Income Inequality Threatens Food Security in India
Future Directions International

According to a new research paper, it is the rise in income inequality, rather than the unavailability of food, which is the main driver of food insecurity in India.

How do corporations perceive their role in the GMO debate?
Part of a five-part series on the polarised GMO debate and their role in global food security, Devex speaks to the large multinational corporations – Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto – about their work in low-income countries and their motives.

In-depth analysis: Threats Loom Over Global Food Trade
The ability of global trade to feed the world is one of the great success stories of the past generation. But the planet is at rising risk of choking on its good fortune.

Photo courtesy of Future Feeders