Friday Feed by Eva Perroni. Bringing you the latest food and farming news, research and feelgood features from Australia and across the globe.

Friday Feed

This week: Australian Labor Party plan to review Murray-Darling Basin Plan, calls for a ‘food production zone’ in Melbourne, Britain’s widespread loss of pollinating insects and reducing the environmental footprint of rice production.

Australia

Murray-Darling Basin Plan to Be Reviewed If Labor Elected
ABC Rural
Federal Labor has signalled it will withdraw support for a major part of Murray-Darling Basin Plan, if elected.

Calls for Dedicated ‘Food Production Zone’ to Preserve Farming Areas in Melbourne’s Food Bowl
ABC News
Melbourne’s food bowl is at serious risk of disappearing to housing development unless significant changes are made, according to a new report.

‘Common Sense’: Littleproud Backs Victoria Plan to Earn Carbon Credits by Forest Conservation
The Guardian
The agriculture minister, David Littleproud, is breaking ranks on federal forest policy and backing a long-stalled proposal for Victoria to earn carbon credits through native forest conservation – a move which suggests curbing logging.

8 Aussie Teachers and Students Explain Their Passion for Agriculture
Weekly Times
Teachers and students explain why they are passionate about agriculture, why it deserves more prominence in schools and what needs to be done to improve education about the industry.

Abroad

New Consortium to Reduce Environmental Footprint of Rice Production
UN Environment
A new global consortium, the Sustainable Rice Landscapes Initiative, will bring together expertise from international organizations, research institutions and business groups to tackle the enormous environmental footprint of rice production.

Widespread Losses of Pollinating Insects Revealed Across Britain
The Guardian
A widespread loss of pollinating insects in recent decades has been revealed by the first national survey in Britain, which scientists say “highlights a fundamental deterioration” in nature.

In Indonesia, a Company Intimidates, Evicts and Plants Oil Palm Without Permits
Mongabay
A state-owned plantation company is evicting farmers to make room for an oil palm estate on the eastern Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The case is one of thousands of land disputes simmering across Indonesia, as President Joko Widodo attempts to carry out an ambitious land reform program.

Desert Green: Jordanians on Frontline of Climate Change Turn to Permaculture
Middle East Eye
Facing drought and rising temperatures, Jordan is on the frontline of climate change. Abu ElHajj’s mission is to green the desert in Jordan.

Photo Essay: Puerto Rico’s Small Farmers Rebuild, with Help from Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen
Civil Eats
A year and a half after Hurricane María struck the island, grants from World Central Kitchen are helping dozens of small farmers start fresh.

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

Friday Feed

This week: More than 50 Australian plant species are facing extinction, NSW farmers lop trees to feed cattle, Japan set to resume commercial whaling and National Geographic’s running list of action on plastic pollution.

Australia

NSW Farmers Take up Tree Lopping to Feed Drought-Stricken Cattle
ABC Rural
Farmers in the north-west of New South Wales are lopping hundreds of kurrajong trees in an effort to feed their cattle the trees’ leaves before the trees drop their leaves and reshoot.

More Than 50 Australian Plant Species Face Extinction Within Decade
The Guardian
More than 50 Australian plant species are under threat of extinction within the next decade, according to a major study of the country’s threatened flora.

Hemp Seed Demand Growing but More Education Needed About Difference to Cannabis, Experts Say
ABC Rural
The Australian industrial hemp market is steadily growing, but industry leaders in Queensland say the public needs to be better educated about the difference between cannabis and hemp, for the industry to really excel.

Life on the Land with the Lama Lama Rangers – a Picture Essay
The Guardian
The Indigenous rangers in this Cape York national park are driven by their love of country and deep satisfaction to be finally back on their homelands

Abroad

A Running List of Action on Plastic Pollution
National Geographic
The world is waking up to a crisis of ocean plastic—and National Geographic are tracking the developments and solutions as they happen.

Mexico’s Ten-Year Effort to Overturn the Dolphin Safe Tuna Label Ends in Defeat
Earth Island Journal
The World Trade Organization issued a final ruling last week on the long-running dispute between the US and Mexico over the US Dolphin Safe tuna label, declaring that the label does not “discriminate” against the Mexican tuna industry and is fully consistent with WTO rules.

Japan Confirms It Will Quit IWC to Resume Commercial Whaling
The Guardian
Japan is facing international condemnation after confirming it will resuming commercial whaling for the first time in more than 30 years.

US Livestock Farms No Longer Report Their Air Emissions
The New Food Economy
Recent actions by the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration have exempted big livestock farms from reporting air emissions.

Ten Feelgood Environment Stories You May Have Missed in 2018
The Conversation
Here are ten upbeat environmental stories from this year that prove it’s not all doom and gloom.

Friday Feed

This week: New migrant visa deal for food and farm jobs in Victoria, Costco’s 100 million chicken experiment, Cadbury dairy milk bars may become a thing of the past and the latest country rankings in the 2018 Food Sustainability Index.

Australia

New Migrant Visa Deal for Food, Farm Jobs a Pathway to Permanent Residency
ABC News
Victoria’s south-west is the first region outside the Northern Territory to receive the five-year Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) to ease a workforce shortage, particularly in food processing, agriculture and hospitality.

Algae Entrepreneurs: Today’s Science Students, Tomorrow’s Food Security Experts
Sydney Morning Herald
You don’t need to own land or have a farming background to get into food. Sustainable agriculture and food security are so much bigger than that – and so small it includes microalgae.

The Suburbs Are the Spiritual Home of Overconsumption. but They Also Hold the Key to a Better Future
The Conversation
The average consumerist suburban lifestyle is unsustainable. But what if affluent suburbanites and battlers alike ditch the rat race and embrace economic ‘degrowth’? Here’s how it might unfold.

Opinion: Five Things You Need to Know About Drought
Queensland Country Life
While the outpouring of support for farmers has been largely welcome, most farmers would trade the kindness in a heartbeat for a better understanding of what they do, year in, year out.

Abroad

Costco’s 100 Million Chickens Will Change the Face of Nebraska
Civil Eats
The state has paved the way for Costco’s experiment in extreme vertical integration for years. But farmers and activists brought together in opposition envision another way forward.

EU Launches Knowledge Centre for Global Food and Nutrition Security
European Commission
Led by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the new platform will serve as a reference point for scientific data and publicly-accessible briefings, interactive maps, databases and reports aimed at identifying priority areas for EC action.

Cadbury’s Stark Warning: Radical Action Needed to Keep the Chocolate Flowing
News.com.au
Cadbury has warned Dairy Milk bars could become a thing of the past if radical action isn’t taken soon.

Palm Oil Is Unavoidable. Can It Be Sustainable?
National Geographic
Our appetite for the oil hurts the environment and wildlife. But Gabon hopes to show how to build an industry while protecting its forests.

Report: 2018 Food Sustainability Index
Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition
The Food Sustainability Index ranks 67 countries on food system sustainability. It is a quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that measures the sustainability of food systems across three categories: Food Loss and Waste, Sustainable Agriculture and Nutritional Challenges.

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: A state-by-state snapshot of Australian soils, new research shows the seafood Australians eat (and what we should be eating), Indian farmers take to the street to protest plunging produce prices and the 2018 Global Nutrition Report reveals the current state of global nutrition.

Australia

Australian Soil Snapshot for World Soil Day 2018
Soil Science Australia – Media Release
Soil Science Australia has released a snapshot of some of the major soil-related issues in each State as part of World Soil Day on 5 December 2018.

Canada’s Wayland Group Strikes Medicinal Marijuana Deal in the NT
ABC Rural
A Canadian-based cannabis company is looking to grow medicinal marijuana in the Northern Territory, announcing a multi-million-dollar agreement to buy more than 50 per cent of a newly-formed Darwin-based company called Tropicann.

Here’s the Seafood Australians Eat (And What We Should Be Eating)
CSIRO
For the first time, CSIRO research has investigated the seafood Australians eat in terms of what’s best for us and the planet.

In 100 Years’ Time, Maybe Our Food Won’t Be Grown in Soil
The Conversation
Will we have the technological know-how, and will we be able to afford the infrastructural investment to produce all our food away from natural soil within a century?

Abroad

Thailand Leads Charge to Protect Soil
Bangkok Post
Thailand launched the Centre of Excellence for Soil Research in Asia (Cesra), the world’s first regional hub to promote sustainable soil management, to mark Wednesday’s World Soil Day.

Indian Farmers Take to the Streets in Protest Against Modi Government and Low Food Prices
ABC News
Tens of thousands of Indian farmers and rural workers marched to the Indian Parliament in the capital, New Delhi, in a protest against soaring operating costs and plunging produce prices that have brought misery to many.

Climate Change Is Making Soils Saltier, Forcing Many Farmers to Find New Livelihoods
The Conversation
Rising soil salinity is already influencing agricultural production and internal migration in some locations, and could affect many other coastal areas where farming takes place, from Asia to the U.S. Pacific and Gulf coasts.

Sea of Plenty? Native Alaskans Celebrate Indigenous Whaling Victory
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Even as the Inupiaq people cheer greater control over their whaling practices, they face a new threat: pressure to allow offshore oil drilling.

Report: 2018 Global Nutrition Report
The 2018 Global Nutrition Report shares insights into the current state of global nutrition, highlighting the unacceptably high burden of malnutrition in the world. It identifies areas where progress has been made in recent years but argues that it is too slow and too inconsistent.

Photo courtesy of Future Feeders

Friday Feed by Eva Perroni - Feed your mind with the latest food and farming news, research and feelgood features from Australia and across the globe.

Friday Feed

This week: New Climate Council report details Australia’s water security in a changing climate, the 94 year-old WA farmer still at it, hunger and obesity continue to increase in Latin America and artist captures California’s forgotten Black farmworkers.

Australia

Still Working: 94-Year-Old Farmer Dick Vincent Says His Job Keeps Him Alive
ABC Rural
At age 94, Western Australian cattle farmer and self-described horse ‘tragic’ Dick Vincent is still working every day on the stud and says it keeps him alive.

Why Is Everyone Talking About Natural Sequence Farming?
The Conversation
There are plenty of anecdotes but little published science around the effectiveness of natural sequence farming. At present, there is not the standard of evidence to support this farming method as a panacea for drought relief, as proposed by the deputy prime minister.

Farming Together: How Primary Producers Are Preparing for a Challenging Future
ABC Rural
Innovation, technology and engagement with ethical consumers are the keys to the future of food production, according to the head of a national sustainability program, Farming Together.

New Report: Deluge & Drought: Australia’s Water Security in a Changing Climate
Climate Council
The Climate Council’s latest report shows how Australia’s water security has already been significantly influenced by climate change. Rainfall patterns are shifting and the severity of floods and droughts has increased.

Abroad

Tree Planting in UK ‘Must Double to Tackle Climate Change’
The Guardian
Tree planting must double by 2020 as part of radical changes to land use in the UK, according to the government’s advisers on climate change.

Oreo Maker Linked to Destruction of Orangutan Habitat in Indonesia
Mongabay
Mondelēz International, the company behind Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, continues to source palm oil linked to deforestation in Indonesia, according to a Greenpeace report.

Coral Reefs Can’t Wait for World to Take Action, Urges Un, as Biodiversity Conference Gets Underway
UN News
A new coalition of organisations, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was launched on Wednesday in Egypt during the UN Biodiversity Conference, to galvanize global leadership to protect coral reefs before it is too late.

Hunger and Obesity on the Rise in Latin America for Third Year in a Row
The Wire
While serious food insecurity affects 47.1 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, at the same time one in four adults in the region are obese and some 250 million people are overweight.

Black Migrants: Photographs of California’s Forgotten Agricultural Past
Civil Eats
An exhibition at the Fresno Museum of Art called Black Migrants features never-before-seen photographs by Ernest Lowe that provide a glimpse of a story largely left out of California’s agricultural memory.