Feed your mind with the latest food and farming news, research and feelgood features from Australia and across the globe on EvaPerroni.com

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: The mental health crisis in rural Australia, inside the world of renting bees, solar-powered robot weeders to disrupt agrochemical industry and Costa Rica’s carbon-neutral coffee cooperative.


A Booming  Economy With a Tragic Price
The New York Times
In Part 1 of a two-part regional Australia series, The New York Times delves into the mental health crisis in rural Australia, the issues driving farmer suicides and how these crises seem to be worsening at a time when, at least on paper, the rural economy is quite robust..

Farmers ready for Europe free-trade deal
The West Australian
European countries have agreed to begin talks on what could be Australia’s biggest free-trade deal, against the backdrop of US President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policy.

Tasmania’s fruit fly fight hits $5.5m bill, but Minister expects victory in months ahead
ABC Rural
The Tasmanian Government and the horticulture industry are confident the state’s “largest-ever single biosecurity action” will successfully eradicate fruit fly in the state by the start of spring.

The farmer wants a hive: inside the world of renting bees
The Conversation
To optimise yields, most Australian growers rent European honeybee hives during crop flowering season. Today, the beekeeping industry includes around 600,000 managed hives and is worth around A$100 million to Australia’s economy.


Landmark lawsuit claims Monsanto hid cancer danger of weedkiller for decades
The Guardian
In June, a California groundskeeper will make history by taking Monsanto Co. to trial on claims it suppressed harm of Roundup

Robots fight weeds in challenge to agrochemical giants
A Swiss solar-powered robot is one of new breed of AI weeders that investors say could disrupt the $100 billion pesticides and seeds industry by reducing the need for universal herbicides and the genetically modified (GM) crops that tolerate them.

Tesco to remove best before dates to cut down on post-farmgate waste
Farming UK
The UK’s biggest retailer, Tesco, will remove ‘Best Before’ consumption guidance dates off nearly 70 fruit and vegetable lines.

Costa Rica coffee farmers brew up a carbon neutral future
Costa Rica is now home to three zero-emission coffee companies plus some carbon neutral banana, pineapple and cattle producers, putting the nation at the forefront of a movement that is slowly growing.

Will AI be a bane or boon for global development?
United Nations Development Programme Blog
Global predictions for AI in agriculture suggest it will be worth more than $2.6 billion by 2025. Increased investments are propelling the development and commercial deployment of technologies, from yield prediction algorithms to drone irrigation and discovery of next-generation proteins in biotechnology.


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

Friday Feed

This week: Can Australia’s live export industry be made humane? What is the true cost of eating meat? EU bans insecticide to protect pollinators and leveraging public policies for food sovereignty.


Victorian Farmers Federation to renew contract for cheap milk with supermarket Coles
ABC Rural
The contract for the controversial Coles-branded ‘Farmers Fund’ milk is up for renewal in September and despite anger from their members, the Victorian Farmers Federation will look to renew the deal.

Local agriculture to be given a voice through employment of new council officer
Echo NetDaily
Byron Shire Council is set to employ an officer to represent the local agriculture industry, following months of lobbying by local farmers and industry representatives.

Can meat exports be made humane? Here are three key strategies
The Conversation
Live sheep and cattle exports are contingent on the cultural preferences and supply-chain limitations of key overseas markets. So what do we need to do to humanely sell Australia’s meat to the world?

From Crop to Cup: The Myth of Direct Trade
What does the life cycle of your morning brew really look like? Broadsheet has charted the journey of a single coffee all the way from the growing fields of Bolivia to a coffee shop in Adelaide.


What is the true cost of eating meat?
The Guardian
As concerns over the huge impact on the environment, human health and animal welfare grow, what future is there for the meat industry, asks The Guardian reporter Bibi van der Zee.

EU member states support near-total neonicotinoids ban
Member states have voted in favour of an almost complete ban on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides across the EU, with opposition from manufacturers and some farming groups.

Biodynamic wines: why these drops from Italy and Austria defy the sceptics
Financial Review
By focusing on a holistic approach to the health of the soil and the plants, winegrowers argue that the biodynamic farming techniques helps their wine express a clearer taste of terroir in the glass.

Think Piece: Public Policies for Food Sovereignty
FIAN International
What is the political significance of leveraging public policies in support of food sovereignty? FIAN International explore how public policies play a determinant role in shaping the future of agricultural and food systems.

Video: Egypt’s Women Street Sellers
Aljazeera World
Follow the stories of five Egyptian village women supporting their entire families by selling local produce in Egypt’s street markets. A film by Hossam Elouan.

Photo courtesy of Future Feeders.


Feed your mind with the latest food and farming news, research and feelgood features from Australia and across the globe on EvaPerroni.com

Friday Feed

This week: Agroecology takes the world stage, forced chemical sprays threaten Australian organic agriculture, Brazil protects a quarter of its oceans and understanding ecological grief.


Japan partially bans Australian barley over excessive pesticide levels
ABC Radio

The Japanese Government has banned some imports of Australian barley after pesticides five times the normal limit were detected.

Organics industry shocked by official plan for forced chemical sprays
Sydney Morning Herald

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has proposed compulsory fungicide treatment on a host of vegetable seeds entering Australia, which could cause the range of organic or pesticide-free vegetables grown in Australia to fall dramatically.

Rockmelon green light angers farmers after listeria outbreak
The West Australian

Rockmelon growers are outraged by a regulator’s approval for the NSW farm at the centre of the deadly listeria problem to start selling its fruit again this week, without explaining the cause of the outbreak.

Norco’s secret to farm co-op success and other business truths
Farm Online

If you don’t take the co-operative ethos where farmers are the most important part of the business, you don’t survive, says Greg McNamara of Norco Co-operative.


UN: Agroecology Critical to Future of Humanity and Planet

The United Nations declares that growing food in an agro-ecological way is critical to the future of humanity, the planet, and guaranteeing healthy and adequate food for all.

Brazil creates four massive marine protected areas

Brazil will soon have four vast marine protected areas protecting about 24.5 percent of the country’s waters, exceeding the international target of protecting at least 10 percent of marine areas by 2020.

Op-Ed: How Organic Wine Finally Caught On
Harvard Business Review

Two Harvard researchers set out to understand how and why the category of organic wine failed to emerge, even as demand for other organic goods soared.

Hope and mourning in the Anthropocene: Understanding ecological grief
The Conversation, Canada

Research reveals a surprising degree of commonality between Inuit and family farming communities as they struggle to cope, both emotionally and psychologically, with mounting ecological losses and the prospect of an uncertain future.

2018 Global Food Policy Report

The International Food Policy Research Institute’s 2018 Global Food Policy Report is the latest in an annual analysis of developments in food policy around the world.


Photo courtesy of Future Feeders