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A Parliamentary Question on farming


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Yesterday, I asked the Farming Minister a Parliamentary Question related to the effect that EU regulation has on productivity on the British agricultural industry: Steve Baker: What assessment she has made of the potential contribution of data and technology to increasing the productivity and competitiveness of British farming.  The Minister of State for Farming (George Eustice MP): Data and technology have a central role to play in increasing the productivity and competitiveness of British farming. Last October, I launched the […]

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New Report: Shale Gas Shock Challenges Climate and Energy Policies


Via the GWPF, a new report – Shale Gas Shock Challenges Climate and Energy Policies: London, 4 May – The Global Warming Policy Foundation today publishes a detailed report about the shale gas revolution and its likely implications for UK and international climate policy. The report The Shale Gas Shock, written by Matt Ridley and with a foreword by Professor Freeman Dyson, finds that shale gas: is not only abundant but relatively cheap and therefore promises to take market share from nuclear, coal and renewable […]

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Visiting McDonalds, High Wycombe


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I am grateful to Cliff Webb, the franchisee of McDonalds, High Wycombe, for a visit yesterday. Cliff employs over 200 people. It seems to me that McDonalds comes in for some unfair criticism. The franchise succeeds because it provides food that people want at the right price and level of service. Those who don’t like the firm and its food don’t have to eat there. Notwithstanding Super Size Me, it’s common sense that one cannot live by McDonalds alone. I […]

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Business trip to New York


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Manhattan, originally uploaded by stevenjbaker. Flew there Sunday, trained a team of financial professionals Monday, training and consulting Tuesday and flew home overnight. I thoroughly recommend Smith and Wollensky for steak, but go hungry! A great pleasure to visit a great city. This is the way to do it: with just four hours difference at this time of year and a short trip, jet lag is no problem. Economy seats through the night, however, win no friends. (Took my compact […]

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Starving Zimbabweans face food aid cut


Via Starving Zimbabweans face food aid cut | World news | guardian.co.uk : The World Food Programme is to cut the core maize ration in February from 10kg to 5kg a month – or just 600 calories a day – for 7 million Zimbabweans, about 70% of the people left in the country. The recommended ration is 12kg a month. As a result of the cuts, many Zimbabweans will be fortunate to eat once a day. Millions have been left […]

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Telegraph – Government panel to keep food prices down


The new Council of Food Policy Advisors, chaired by Dame Suzi Leather, Chair of the Charity Commission, will advise on food distribution and consumption as well as pricing. Food shopping bills rose at their fastest rate since records began last year, with bread, rice, pasta and meat all going up by well over the rate of inflation. And this is before the impact of the falling pound on food imports. This looks awfully like the road to price controls: price […]

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Rich countries launch great land grab to safeguard food


One to watch: Rich governments and corporations are triggering alarm for the poor as they buy up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies. read more | digg story

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World Bank warns on ‘human crisis’ of high food prices


World Bank president Robert Zoellick urged governments to act to contain a mounting “human crisis” today, as he warned that 44 million of the world’s poorest people would be driven into malnutrition this year, as a result of high food prices. read more | digg story

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Russian wheat as a foreign policy tool


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Today’s Telegraph reports: The largest wheat harvest in 15 years is expected to yield 51 million tons, of which a record-breaking 15 million are earmarked for export. Only the US and Canada are expected to export more. Growing influence in the Middle East and more collaboration in the energy sector, plus increasing Kremlin control: a story to watch?

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Further pressure on food from EU regulation


The EU will be limiting the number of pesticides available to farmers. Lower yields and higher prices are expected. No impact assessment was carried out for the proposals. It’s as if the bureaucrats think regulation is free! read more | digg story

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