Meat Free Mondays

In mid June 2009 I went to the launch of Meat Free Mondays. Frontman Paul McCartney gave a straightforward and inspiring speech stating the obvious – meat eating is responsible for about one quarter of the world’s increase in greenhouse gas levels each year. If we all gave up meat just one day a week, this could make a significant difference to our headlong rush towards extinction on an overheated planet. Not particularly challenging you might think – one day a week without meat isn’t going to have anyone in the developed world turning up at the doctor’s with kwashiorkor or some other protein deficiency disease, is it? In fact, a little less protein might help with the obesity boom – could be win – win: we end up healthier and our grandchildren inherit a planet that is still habitable.

Continue reading

Brussels

Just came from a meeting in Brussels July 19 2009

The reason? A jury of 4 people from the organic sector and 4 people who are designers foregathered to consider 1000 or so submissions for the new EU logo for organic food. (The 9th juror was Miguel Indurain the winner for the Tour de France 5 years running from 1991 to 1995) Continue reading

Poznan prattle

Arrived Saturday 5th to be in the midst of a mad runaround

Dan and Debbie are rushing around to get the submission in by 6 p.m. We find out who the key player is and head for his office and meet a guard with a pistol on his hip. We blag and beg to get through security to the high temple: the UNFCCC office and found Martin ??? who is the controller/gatekeeper on this and he gave us the precise wording which Debbie then emailed to the UNFCCC but also printed out a copy and put it through the door of UNCCD, who are the official sponsors of the submission. They need to stamp it with their seal and then, as long as it gets to the UNFCCC by close of play on Monday, it’s on the main agenda, not the NGO ‘tail’ agenda that future negotiations can look at but don’t have to properly consider. Whew! But needs chasing on Monday as the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, UNFCCC=United Nations Framework Committee on Climate Change – do keep up!) Continue reading

Belize Breezes

Arrived in Punta Gorda on Thursday Nov 13 and visited cacao farmers up country, with Neil, the Green & Black’s supply chain manager and Lisa, our marketing manager and 4 journalists from the US and Canada.

The cacao crop at this time of year is fairly small, but is called ‘Christmas cacao’ because it generates extra cash in December to pay for presents. The varieties that are being developed and for grafting from budwood are starting to have an impact on yields, which is good news and farmers are getting a lot better at pruning, so the ever-present threat of monilia (a devastating disease) is diminished. Continue reading