The Ecologist


food trade: 1/25 of 49
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Farmers take part in 'Milk Bucket Challenge' amid dairy crisis, 18th August 2015. Photo: still from video by The Vale Veterinary Group.

The perfect pinta vs. the TTIP trade tanker

Vicki Hird

20th August 2015

Britain's dairy farmers have been having a hard time, writes Vicki Hird, largely thanks to their exposure to an unregulated, unstable, global food market. But if the EU's TTIP 'trade deal' with the US is ever signed, pitting UK dairy farmers against zero-welfare US mega-dairies run on hormones and antibiotics, they won't have a chance. more...
A rice field and some traditional farm houses in a small village in the South of Niigata, Japan. Photo: Norman Tannert via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Japan's 'sacred' rice farmers evade TPP death sentence - for now

Nicole L Freiner

3rd August 2015

Japanese rice farmers won a reprieve last week when TTP negotiations in Hawaii ended without conclusion on opening Japan up to cheap US rice imports, writes Nicole L Freiner. But with Japan keen to export more cars to the US, the victory is a temporary one. At stake is a way of life, an ancient land-rooted religion, and the future viability of Japan's farming villages. more...
Ethiopian teff grain. Photo: SarahTz via Flickr (CC BY).

African governments sell out their farmers in secret seeds protection deal

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa

10th July 2015

African governments, ignoring the protests of their farmers and civil society, this week agreed an oppressive 'plant variety protection protocol' that will open up their countries to commercial seed monopolists, while limiting farmers rights to save, use, exchange, replant, improve, distribute and sell the seeds they have developed over countless generations. more...
Lettuce on an Organic Farm in Havana, Cuba. Photo: David Schroeder via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Cuba's warming relations with the US may undermine its agroecological city farms

Julia Wright & Emily Morris

27th June 2015

Cuba is a global exemplar of organic, agroecological farming, taking place on broad swathes of land in and around its cities, write Julia Wright & Emily Morris. These farms cover 14% of the country's agricultural land, employ 350,000 people, and produce half the country's fruit and vegetables. But can they survive exposure to US agribusiness? more...
Conditions in US factory farms are even worse than those in the EU. Now will MEPs vote to make the higher of EU and US standards apply under TTIP? Or the lower? Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

TTIP: Europe's food, farms and animals at risk from EuroParl backroom deal

Molly Scott Cato MEP

13th April 2015

MEPs vote tomorrow on Green measures to ensure that TTIP 'harmonisation' on food and farming means applying the highest standards, not the lowest, writes Molly Scott Cato. But will MEP's put farmers, food and animals before corporate profit? more...
It's estimated that 70% of food products in US supermarkets contain GMO ingredients. With TTIP, things could soon go the same way in the UK and other European countries. Photo:  Jaro Larnos via Flickr (CC BY).

TTIP could soon bring GM foods to UK supermarket shelves

Linda Kaucher

2nd April 2015

Thanks to pro-GMO politicans and lobbying by powerful agribusiness interests the UK and other EU countries may soon find supermarket shelves flooded with GM foods, both imported and home grown, writes Linda Kaucher. We must press parliamentary candidates now to defend us from this serious and long-term debasement of our food and farming. more...
The 'No TTIP train to Brussels' and 8m high Trojan Horse lobbying the European Commission today, 4th February 2015. Photo: Jess Hurd / NoTTIP via Gobal Justice Now / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

TTIP is a lethal attack on food safety and animal welfare

Oliver Tickell

4th February 2015

As 300 protestors gather at the European Commission to protest at the resumption of TTIP trade talks between the EU and the USA, Oliver Tickell finds that the EU's newly released draft 'chapter' on food safety and animal welfare is a disastrous capitulation to corporate interests that will strip governments of their powers to regulate. more...
Stop TTIP protest in Germany. Photo: Stop TTIP.

Closing the gate on GMO and the criminal transatlantic trade agreement

Julian Rose

17th December 2014

A key element of the TTIP is the deregulation genetically modified seeds and plants for cultivating in European soils, writes Julian Rose. This alone is reason enough for us to reject it - but it's only the beginning of a huge power grab that would make our governments more accountable to corporations, than to people. more...
Is France determined to put an end to this kind of farming? Cattle grazing in the marais d'Olonne, Vendée, in Western France. Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr.

France's 1,000 cow factory - a second battle of the Somme

Evan Jones

17th October 2014

For all France's rhetoric about supporting the small farmer, the authorities are bending legalities to push through the country's biggest dairy farm, writes Evan Jones. This reveals the 'socialist' government true loyalties: to subsidy-driven 'free trade', and industrial agriculture that pollutes, depopulates, unemploys - and generates vast profits for a powerful elite. more...
An anti-Starbucks rally. Photo: Travis Forden.

Boycott Starbucks! Here's five strong reasons why

Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins

5th June 2014

Starbucks has positioned itself as a 'progressive' brand - but it's no such thing. It refuses to commit to fair trade coffee, organic milk, GMO-free / organic foods and snacks, and supports the mighty Grocery Manufacturers Association, lobbyist for GMOs and industrial agriculture. more...
Nanjunda - Professor Nanjundaswamy. Photo: Adrian Arbib.

Cremate Monsanto!

Heathcote Williams

14th May 2014

Heathcote Williams remembers India's great campaigner Professor Nanjunda's whose direct actions against Monsanto, KFC, McDonalds, Coca-Cola and the WTO inspired a nation and created an unstoppable movement of 10 million ... more...
Marching against Monsanto, Denver, CO, 13th October 2013. Photo: Confrontational Media via

GMOs - Throwing precaution to the wind

Pat Thomas

15th March 2014

As the UK Prime Minister welcomes the recommendations of his science advisors to 'go it alone' in Europe and embrace GMO crops, Pat Thomas wonders - whatever happened to the Precautionary Principle? more...

food trade: 1/25 of 49
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Small is the New Big

Vandana Shiva

28th February 2014

Vandana Shiva reminds us that the very future of food security in India (and indeed worldwide) lies in protecting and promoting the country's small farmers. more...
Soyabean fields for ever. Photo: Fotokostic /

Monsanto, the TPP and global food dominance

Ellen Brown

7th December 2013

As the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations enter their last few days, Ellen Brown exposes their real purpose - corporate control of the world's food, health, environment and financial systems. Of all these, the greatest is food ... more...
Top Banana 2

Behind the label: how fair are organic and Fairtrade bananas?

Tom Levitt

28th May, 2012

The Dominican Republic's organic and Fairtrade boom has helped banana growers but what about the slum-dwelling Haitian migrant workers? Tom Levitt reports on the plight of the forgotten people in the banana trade more...
How to…give your cocktail a green-over

How to…give your cocktail a green-over

Amy Hall

8th May, 2012

Forget Pimms: eco-friendly cocktails not only taste great, they don’t cause a headache for the planet either. Amy Hall shows you how to give your tipple an eco-friendly spin more...
How to… make your own Easter eggs

How to… make your own Easter eggs

Rachael Stubbins

4th April, 2012

Less waste and fewer food miles make homemade Easter eggs the greener alternative to supermarket chocolate. Time to get creative more...
cut flowers

How to… buy cut flowers

Rebecca Campbell

16th March, 2012

Sunday is Mother's Day, which for many of us, means flowers. But how green are your blooms and can you really get a bunch that doesn’t come with a price for the planet? more...

Coffee: is the black stuff as green as it should be?

George Blacksell

4th October, 2011

From deforestation to fertiliser; our taste for coffee has left some of the world’s most precious eco-systems in a precarious state. George Blacksell looks at how the coffee industry is cleaning up its act more...
maize field

Mexico's corn heritage eroded by free-trade and food speculation


13th September, 2011

A combination of free trade and volatile food speculation is squeezing small-scale Mexican maize farmers and allowing agribusiness to dominate. Photos by Adriana Chow more...
Fairtrade coffee

Five of the best...Fairtrade and organic coffees

Valentina Jovanovski

20th June, 2011

From monocultures to deforestation, a cup of coffee can leave a bitter taste. But as Valentina Jovanovski discovered, ethically produced coffee can benefit some of the world’s poorest people and the planet to boot more...

Behind the Brand: McDonald’s

Peter Salisbury

16th June, 2011

In the first of a major new series following on from the ground breaking Behind the Label, Peter Salisbury takes a look at one of the biggest brands in the world – McDonald’s – and asks: has the burger giant done enough to clean-up its act? more...
Organic restaurants

Top 10…eco-friendly eateries

Valentina Jovanovski

13th June, 2011

Looking for a fabulous place to eat without compromising on your eco-friendly lifestyle? Valentina Jovanovski serves up 10 restaurants that combine good eating with a green ethos more...

Spices: the true cost of a kitchen staple

Jeff Holman

24th May, 2011

From habitat loss to human rights abuses; as Jeff Holman discovered, your pepper, saffron and turmeric aren’t quite as innocent as they seem more...

Top and fairtrade teas

Laura Sevier

13th April, 2011

Say sayonara to your standard tea and try a cup of one of the Ecologist’s 10 favourite Fairtrade and organic teas. Laura Sevier puts the kettle on more...


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