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Top food trends in 2020 From going glocal to sustainability – The Weekend Leader

Posted: December 27, 2019 at 1:46 pm

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Top food trends in 2020: From going 'glocal' to sustainability

27-Dec-2019 By BY PUJA GUPTA New Delhi

Posted 27 Dec 2019

From the revival of traditional cuisine to the growing popularity of some international ones, sustainability to going 'glocal', experiential dining over fine dinning; the Indian food and beverage industry will see these trends in 2020, say experts.

IANSlife spoke to veterans of the field who share major food trends that might make wave in the year ahead.

1. Chef Zoravar Kalra Traditional v/s modern cuisine: Diners globally, today, have become quite adventurous and have allowed their curiosity to get the better of them. This curiosity to try new dishes/cuisines has given space for fusion variations to come up. There is enough demand for authentic as well as contemporary Indian cuisine in their respective spaces. Modern Indian cuisine is only set to take centrestage in times to come.

Going glocal': Glocal (globally local) is the new wave. The times to come will witness use of many international ingredients in Indian dishes and many Indian spices/ingredients in international favourites, not just within the culinary boundary of India, but overseas as well. The newer generation is ready to experiment in order to find newer and finer flavours.

International cuisines: After Japanese and Teppanyaki, other international cuisines like Vietnamese, Cambodian, Mexican and Lebanese will see a surge in popularity in India in the coming years.

2. Chef Vineet Manocha Experiential dining: It is becoming trendy. More and more chef led establishments with open interactive kitchens, customised food offerings are getting popular. The guests are getting more and more inquisitive to know the details or story behind the food and the reason why chef has brought a particular item on the menu.

The gut health: Health especially the gut health is a big trend. Fermented food, fermented non-alcoholic drinks are getting popular.

Sustainability and hyper local produce: These are already trending and will continue. Veganism is getting popular and so is organic food. Guests are taking more and more interest in local farm raised produce. Getting to know the source (traceability) satisfies the guests immensely.

Zero-waste movement: Chefs are becoming adventurous in using the peels, scales and presenting all the wastage as blissful food.

Delivery and take-out is increasing: The restaurants have to become more and more delivery and take-away friendly.

3. Chef Qu Xue Wen Cook-your-own-dish: Not to be mistaken as a meal kit, the do it yourself Chinese cuisine is an amalgamation of ingredients, spices and hot sauces which gives you the liberty of cooking your own dish, according to your palate, quite similar to the Chinese steamboat.

Faux meat for the pescatarian: Food consumers today are quite evidently getting ready for plant-based meat. Producers of meal alternatives consider this as a unique opportunity to introduce their products into the food market. This is a game-changer for the nascent imitation-meat market, which accounts for about only one per cent of the global meat consumption.

Open hearth cooking: One of the biggest trends of 2020 is the live fire/wood fire cooking. It is gaining popularity every day and diners seem to love the idea of getting to interact with and watch their meals being prepared. Even though the wood fire oven for pizza is quite common, the open hearth gives you a lot more options.

4. Chef Osama Jalali Regional food: A lot of regional foods will make come back. The modern cooking techniques like molecular gastronomy will fade away.

Modern plating: Modern ways of plating will play a major part in 2020. The idea of community table will grow.

5. Chef Vicky Ratnani Farm to table concept: I think more vegetarian food, more plant-based food, the concept of directly from the farm to table basically healthier eating.

6. Chef Tarun Sibal Collaborative cuisine: It will be the biggest trend in the year 2020. Collaborative cuisine is about combined ingredients, native cuisines, cooking techniques and flavour combinations and dish out magic on plates.

Mushrooming: You will be seeing a lot of use of mushroom in the year 2020. There will be the use of Mushroom Coffee, Mushroom Chocolate and Mushroom Pickle, etc. are the things that you will get acquainted within 2020.

Grazing tables: Family style grazing table is a feast for the eye and an open invitation for everyone. One can lay the buffet of breads, dips, fresh or dried fruits, nuts, bite-sized sandwiches, as long as it can be picked up with the hands and will save time and space. Chefs will use the grazing table for community-style feasts in restaurants.

7. Chef Manoj Rawat Less fine dinning: As hotels, special tables or fine dining will be less frequent as whole mind-set of get together is changing. Now days, its semi-professional not much of hype and different venues.

Special menus/foods: As food allergy and intolerance is more and more common (thanks for medical science for exploring), hence, a requirement for more menus and varieties for celiac, keto diet, vegan foods and more. This will also affect food packaging or companies as well.

Hotels preferred destinations: However, there would be more and more options for food and beverages, but I still feel that hotels would still be preferred place for events, brunches, parties and more.

8. Chef Sidharth Sharma Eco-conscious eating: It will gain momentum, things like where and how your food is being produced.

African cuisine: In terms of culinary trends, African food seems to be getting a lot of attention globally.IANS

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Top food trends in 2020 From going glocal to sustainability - The Weekend Leader

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December 27th, 2019 at 1:46 pm

Posted in Organic Food

Clean Juice Unveils Organic Catering Menu And National Partnership With ezCater – PRNewswire

Posted: December 26, 2019 at 10:50 am

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --Clean Juice, the originalUSDA-certified organic juice bar franchise with more than 80stores open nationwide and another 60+ stores in development, announces the launch of its new catering menu and partnership with ezCater, a renowned online corporate catering platform for restaurants. With a focus on wellness and nutrition on-the-go, the Clean Juice catering program will offer businesses, organizations and groups nationwide a truly healthy, USDA-certified organic option with no hidden additives, artificial sweeteners, GMOs or preservatives.

"We decided to partner with market leader ezCater because of its robust online ordering platform, on-time ratings and reviews system and superior customer service," said Landon Eckles, co-founder and CEO of Clean Juice. "Now guests can enjoy our healthy, certified organic, plant-based foods at their upcoming work events, parties and gatherings."

Catering is available at Clean Juice locations nationwide for delivery or pick-up. The catering menu features Clean Juice's signature Greenoa bowls (greens and grains bowls), cold-pressed juices and best-selling full-sized 16 oz. aa bowls. It also includes two new items: 8 oz. aa bowls and fresh fruit cups. Guests can order:

As part of the new catering program, Clean Juice will also offer "Lunch & Learn" sessions in their markets to educate local companies about the benefits of organic eating. Franchisees are encouraged to partner with local nutritionists to offer area businesses a unique, wellness-based educational lunch. These sessions include catered lunch at discounted prices, a collaborative discussion on popular nutrition and wellness topics, healthy nutrition education and a one-on-one question and answer session.

"Catering meals doesn't have to be the 'same old, same old,' typically unhealthy menu options anymore! We're thrilled to offer catering nationwide so companies, families and friends can enjoy our fresh, organic food for all occasions," said Quick Chadwick, VP of marketing for Clean Juice. "From business meetings to birthday parties to any event, ordering through ezCater makes the process extremely easy for our guests."

Catering orders are available for 10 or more people. Minimum spend, quantities and delivery fees may apply. See participating stores for details.

To learn more about the new Clean Juice catering program, For information on franchising opportunities, visit

About CleanJuice Realizing the importance of an organic, plant-based diet, co-founders Landon and Kat Eckles started Clean Juice in 2016 as the first and only USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise. Rooted in "healthy body and a strong spirit" (3 John 1-2) scripture, Clean Juice offers organic aa bowls, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, new greens and grains GreenoaTM Bowls and other healthy foods to on-the-go families in a warm and welcoming retail experience across the nation. For more information about Clean Juice, its leadership team and its core values, please visit

***Click to view its menuand download nutrition guide.

SOURCE Clean Juice

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Clean Juice Unveils Organic Catering Menu And National Partnership With ezCater - PRNewswire

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December 26th, 2019 at 10:50 am

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Five Food Trends that Will Define 2020 – Entrepreneur

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Increase in organized multi-cuisine restaurants along with dual income households and rising aspirations of people have contributed to a tectonic shift in the Indian plate

December 23, 2019 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The year 2010 marked the fast-paced growth of fast food in India. From the beginning of online food aggregators, to growth and expansion of quick service restaurants, to ready to eat and growing demand for multi-cuisine food in the country, the decade witnessed multi-faceted growth in the Indian food industry.

The last five years witnessed the Indian food service sector evolve with changing consumer landscape. Increase in organized multi-cuisine restaurants along with dual income households and rising aspirations of people have contributed to a tectonic shift in the Indian plate.

The later part of the decade witnessed people moving towards mindful eating and becoming more health conscious. With growing awareness, people have become cautious of the harmful effects of chemicals and fertilizers, which have resulted in inclination towards organic farming.

The year 2020 is likely to witness a shift in the food trends in the country. The next decade will see more cognisant food eating habits among Indians across the country. There will be growing awareness about organic and healthy food eating, not just in the metro cities and among the urbanized Indians but the trend will see its percolation in the tier II and III cities in the country.

Here are five food trends which are expected to witness demand in 2020.

The importance of a good digestive system for the overall wellbeing of an individual cannot be ignored. And the impact of probiotic food for a good digestive system cannot be ignored. The impact of food such as yoghurt, curd, vinegar, kefir on the everyday life of people will see a rise in 2020. Due to their growing popularity, probiotics will find more space in restaurants, food marts and food shelves of retail chains.

Also Read: How India is A Favourable Market for The Category of Fitness Supplements

The organic market in India is witnessing a considerable growth and reports suggest that organic food is the future of Indian food industry. The market is growing at a lightning speed, supported by organic brands and organic farming. Added with the advocacy on health benefits on organic food by prominent people and public figures, there is an increasing consumption of organic food. Organic food restaurants are likely to be the next demanding industry in the Indian food market which will bring in a paradigm shift in the way food is prepared and consumed in food business.

Also Read: Here's How to Make Your Organic Food Business Grow

Also Read:5 Must-Have Skills For Organic Food Business

People are getting aware of the harmful effects of sugar, which is one of the contributors to lifestyle diseases in India. Even people with sweet tooth are moving towards sugar-free food, or food with less sugar. People are choosing to opt for a healthier lifestyle by cutting down or skipping sugary products, the trend of moving away from sugary food will only gain momentum in 2020. Also, syrupy reduction from fruit sources such as monk fruit, pomegranate, coconut and dates are likely to be used more instead of sugar.

The year 2020 is likely to bring in fruit and vegetable flour into the food market. There has been increasing consciousness towards maida and wheat of late. India also needs to learn about the art of making bajra, roti, raagi dosa, etc., from the rural zone of the country. While urban Indians are looking towards healthier options to replace a rice- and wheat-dominant diet, a lot of healthy alternate options are hidden in the traditional and rural kitchens of the country.

Adding to the growing demand for healthy and conscious eating among the millennials of the era, there will be a trend in preparing everything in house. This will ensure health, safety and freshness of the food prepared and served. Making every preparation with a touch of sustainability, local and starting from scratch is only a natural extension to the idea of healthy eating. Whether it is the breakfast basket, crisps, salsa or food prepared for house party, everything will be served fresh in 2020.

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Five Food Trends that Will Define 2020 - Entrepreneur

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December 26th, 2019 at 10:50 am

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Whats The Real Difference Between Organic And GMO? – Forbes

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As the new year approaches, food is front and centerits stocked in our homes for gatherings with friends, offered at office holiday parties and constantly on our minds as we plan menus for family dinners or brainstorm next years healthy eating plan. Its a seasonable time to consider what happens to your food before it hits your plate. And for many consumers, thats something of a puzzle, particularly when it comes to understanding organic versus GMOsor genetically modified organisms.

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Asking questions like Is organic non-GMO? and How do GMOs compare to organic food? can help you make better sense of what youre feeding yourself and your loved ones. Heres a helpful guide to boost your knowledge and inform your nutritional choices all year round.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines GMOs as organisms whose genetic materialor DNAhas been altered or modified in some way that does not occur naturally. In most cases, genetic engineering works by transferring individual genes from one organism to another. Most commonly found in crops such as soybeans, corn and canola, GMOs are designed to provide a higher nutritional value to food, as well as protect crops against pests.

Organic foods, on the other hand, do not contain any pesticides, fertilizers, solvents or additives. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), USDA-certified organic foods are grown and processed according to strict federal guidelines that cover everything from soil quality and pest control to animal raising practices. Similarly, organic livestock raised for meat, eggs and dairy products must be given organic feed, and cannot receive antibiotics, growth hormones or any animal by-products.

Is organic non-GMO?

Theres plenty of debate surrounding GMO and organic food, which can make grocery shopping around the holiday season a harrowing experience. Making a key distinction can go a long way.

For those looking to avoid the use of chemical pesticides, along with the high costs of organic food, non-GMO products are a viable alternative. Thats because non-GMO products dont contain any GMO ingredients. However, that doesnt mean they are grown organically.

Organic isand always has beennon-GMO, says Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of the OTA. But non-GMO is not always organic.

Understanding the pros and cons of both options can also empower consumers. Heres how industry experts weigh in:

Why GMO?

Why organic?

A critical eye

So what are the shortcomings of GMOs and organic items? Common arguments against GMOs include the consumption of harmful bacteria and toxins, increased risk of allergic reaction and outcrossing, or the mixing of crops from conventional seeds with GM crops, which may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security, reports WHO.

Opponents of organic food argue that its significantly more expensive than GMO or non-GMO foods, has a shorter shelf life compared to GMO foods and may have higher bacteria levels due to limited pesticide and herbicide usage.

How to make the right choice for you and your family

Both categories of foodnon-GMO and organicare subject to strict regulatory guidelines and have gone through rigorous verification programs. That alone may provide consumers with the peace of mind theyre looking for when holiday grocery shopping.

If organic is the way you want to go, Batcha offers these tips to get the best bang for your buck:

Shop smart: Look for specials on organic products, and buy in bulk whenever you can to cut costs.

Prioritize: Think about what your family eats a lot of, and what your healthy eating priorities are.

Comparison shop: Organic fresh produce is sometimes sold at the same price as conventional, so check out organic produce aisles.

Pick and choose carefully: While conventional milk can be cheaper, recent research published by Cambridge University Press suggests that organic milk is free of pesticide and antibiotic residues. If your family drinks milk, its worth the extra cost to buy organic.

A little common sense goes a long way, too. Cookies, cakes and other sugar-laden treats, even if organic, are still not the healthiest option. And if you really want to know what youre eating, try cooking from scratcheven if it means incorporating some DIY cooking hacks. Understanding the differences between organic vs. GMO foods will allow you to provide your loved ones with the right nutritional options.

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Whats The Real Difference Between Organic And GMO? - Forbes

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December 26th, 2019 at 10:50 am

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El Pollo Loco Improves Access to Better-For-You Food with New Pollo Fit Bowls – GlobeNewswire

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December 26, 2019 09:01 ET | Source: El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc.


El Pollo Loco expands better-for-you menu with three bowl variations (from top): Double Chicken & Avocado, Double Chicken & Queso Fresco, Double Chicken & Mango.

Includes chopped fire-grilled chicken breast, sliced avocado, organic spinach, made-from-scratch pico de gallo, queso fresco, lettuce, and red cabbage and carrot blend.

Includes chopped fire-grilled chicken breast, organic spinach, made-from-scratch pico de gallo, black beans, queso fresco, and lettuce and red cabbage blend.

Includes chopped fire-grilled chicken breast, organic spinach, fresh mango salsa, sliced avocado, and lettuce and red cabbage blend.

COSTA MESA, Calif., Dec. 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- El Pollo Loco, Inc.(El Pollo Loco or Company) (Nasdaq: LOCO), the nation's leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain, expands its better-for-you menu with the addition of a new line of Pollo Fit Bowls, which are handcrafted to fit any lifestyle and available at all restaurant locations.

While 95 percent of Americans always or sometimes seek healthy food, only 25 percent say they have easy access to options1. El Pollo Loco is proud to further showcase its commitment to better-for-you offerings with the new Pollo Fit Bowls to make it easy and convenient for people who are Keto, Paleo or simply just looking to eat healthier.

The line includes three bowls two are Keto Certified and the other is Paleo Friendly. Each bowl starts with fresh organic spinach and is topped with an abundance of real, better-for-you ingredients and house-made citrus vinaigrette for flavorful taste and to help fuel an active lifestyle.

We know our customers are increasingly looking for varied approaches to healthy living, so it made sense to introduce a better-for-you culinary innovation in advance of the New Year that not only delivers on taste, freshness and high-quality ingredients but is also accessible to everyone, said Hector Muoz, Chief Marketing Officer at El Pollo Loco. This is only the beginning for our growing better-for-you menu and look forward to debuting additional offerings customized for varying lifestyles in 2020.

Please visit El Pollo Locos YouTube to view the supporting TV campaign. Additional information on the Pollo Fit Bowls is also available at

Footnote: Food Labeling Survey, International Food Information Council Foundation and American Heart Association, January 2019.

About El Pollo Loco El Pollo Loco (Nasdaq:LOCO) is the nations leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant with a mission to bring people together around food, family and culture in the communities it serves. El Pollo Loco is renowned for its handcrafted L.A. Mex food, an innovative blend of traditional Mexican cuisine and better-for-you eating, that Los Angeles is known for. Since 1980, El Pollo Loco has successfully opened and maintained more than 480 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Louisiana while remaining true to its Mexican-American heritage. El Pollo Loco continues to grow and evolve, nourishing connections to tradition, culture and one another through fire-grilled goodness that makes us feel like familia. For more information, visit us at Follow on Twitter:@ElPolloLoco Follow on Instagram:@ElPolloLoco Join Loco Join our

MEDIA CONTACT: Hannah Gray Edible 323-202-1477

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc.

Costa Mesa, California, UNITED STATES

El Pollo Loco expands better-for-you menu with three bowl variations (from top): Double Chicken & Avocado, Double Chicken & Queso Fresco, Double Chicken & Mango.

Formats available:

Includes chopped fire-grilled chicken breast, sliced avocado, organic spinach, made-from-scratch pico de gallo, queso fresco, lettuce, and red cabbage and carrot blend.

Formats available:

Includes chopped fire-grilled chicken breast, organic spinach, made-from-scratch pico de gallo, black beans, queso fresco, and lettuce and red cabbage blend.

Formats available:

Includes chopped fire-grilled chicken breast, organic spinach, fresh mango salsa, sliced avocado, and lettuce and red cabbage blend.

Formats available:

Formats available:

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El Pollo Loco Improves Access to Better-For-You Food with New Pollo Fit Bowls - GlobeNewswire

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December 26th, 2019 at 10:50 am

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Baby Gourmet Food Market Growth With Increasing Investment In Food Sector, Rising Demand For Organic Products, Forecast To 2022 – Press Release -…

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"Baby Gourmet Food Market"

Global Baby Gourmet Food Market has been increasing due to changing consumption patterns and growing demand for new ingredients and flavors | Baby Gourmet Food Industry

Baby Gourmet Food Market Overview

Baby gourmet food, as the name suggests, is a type of food that can be easily digested by babies. These foods are known as easily consumables and are mainly intended for babies up to two years of age. The global market for baby gourmet is anticipating an impressive growth as people have started taking more precautions regarding their childrens health. This has inspired companies in taking substantial actions in the form of product range and revenues. Market Research Future (MRFR), in their elaborate discussion, studied the market by marking the forecast period between 2017 and 2022.

Get Free Sample Copy of Baby Gourmet Food Market @

The global market for baby gourmet food has several factors playing in favor of growth. For instance, the growing care for baby products, demand for baby gourmet organic food, variety launched by diverse manufacturing groups, stringent regulations regarding the standard of the food, increasing health consciousness, and others. These factors are known for their extensive market contribution. A lot of products are also in the pipeline waiting for government approval, which could ensure better prospects for the market. A lot of changes are also happening in baby gourmet. Finger foods are getting high traction. Baby gourmet cereals are getting much recognition as well.

Competitive Analysis

Companies making a profit from this sector are plenty but only a few are investing significantly to inspire market growth. This requires strategic changes. MRFR believes companies like Fig,Kuhne Gourmet Selection, Parent's Choice, Baby Gourmet Foods Inc, Yogourmet, Crockery Gourmet, Squoosh,Fresh Gourmet, Grocery & Gourmet Food, Taffy Town, and Folgers have that scope to make changes in the coming days.


The global market for baby gourmet food is showing notable scope in terms of study and the research report segments it into ingredients and product type. These segments can facilitate the study of the market and make sure that the companies can maximize their profit.

By ingredients, the global market for baby gourmet food can be segmented into fruits, vegetables, grains & cereals, dairy, and others. These segments cater to specific needs but they are fetching high revenues.

By product type, the global market report on the baby gourmet food can be segmented into baby meals, starting solids, snacks, probiotic cereal, and others. The probiotic cereals are witnessing positive transformation in the market.

Regional Analysis

North America has been marked as a region where the market for baby gourmet food would get high traction. This is due to the increasing investment from several companies who have realized the potential of the market and how much it can impact the coming days. Among other factors, the high investment potential of the consumer, stringent government regulations, and others can make sure the regional market gains momentum. The US and Canada are major countries that would impact growth in the coming days. The European countries are showing a hike in the intake of the best of baby cereals and other foods as their regulatory authorities are only approving products that can meet the needed structure. Countries like France, Germany, Switzerland, Swede, the UK, and others are changing the way the market can be perceived.

Browse More Details on This Report @

In the Asia Pacific region, this market is all set to benefit from the growing interests in countries like India, China, Japan, South Korea, and others. These companies are known for their extensive markets booming with the inclusion of new products and better consumer awareness. The market has the potential to capitalize on the huge customer base. These people can be tapped with better advertising and marketing skills. A hike in CAGR can be expected in this region during the forecast period.

Media Contact Company Name: Market Research Future Contact Person: Abhishek Sawant Email: Send Email Phone: +1 646 845 9312 Address:Market Research Future Office No. 528, Amanora Chambers Magarpatta Road, Hadapsar City: Pune State: Maharashtra Country: India Website:

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Baby Gourmet Food Market Growth With Increasing Investment In Food Sector, Rising Demand For Organic Products, Forecast To 2022 - Press Release -...

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December 26th, 2019 at 10:50 am

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Letters to the Editor 12.26.19 | Letters – Monterey County Weekly

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Call to Action

John Stoehrs recent Forum article hit home for me (White liberals dont care enough about fighting Donald Trumps policies or presidency, Dec. 5-11). As a member of the liberal white middle-class, I am inspired to do more than vote. But, I dont know what to do. I refuse to model the intolerant behavior that Trump and his Republicans employ. I believe some liberal movements are falling victim to the hate-based strategy by articulating positions with vindictiveness: We need to rise above that. Where can we march? Where can we sit in? Are there organizations that support efforts to peacefully demonstrate our resistance to fascism? This isnt a rhetorical question. I want to know what to do.Mary Dowson | Monterey

Id say this is spot on. In addition, lets encourage community members to join the growing number of folks budgeting 10-15 minutes a day to civic duty, making phone calls, sending letters/postcards to reps near and far, signing petitions, showing up at the offices of elected officials. Ive heard, None of that makes a difference. This could be considered a convenient, though severely flawed, self-fulfilling prophecy.

Every day many of us have the choice to stand up for our passions. Rather than pontificate, finger point and whine, why not choose to activate ones passions? Might we astound the greedsters with a wave of civic engagement? Surely, there are community members overworked, sick, overwhelmed, unable to join the Resistance. In a civil, just, evolving society, this citizen believes its the duty of the rest of us to fight for the voiceless, the folks who dont have the privilege of using civic engagement to be heard.Scott Douglas Laxier | Del Rey Oaks

John Stoehr really likes to hit people below the belt. He accuses Trump of being a troglodyte, but he behaves and talks like one himself. He writes, And they [white liberals] dont understand, I suspect, because they have not experienced the depth of authoritarianism that animates him [Trump].

This is where Mr. Stoehr stepped on his own manhood. His statement begs a question. Has Mr. Stoehr lived not visited lived under an authoritarian regime and suffered extensive interrogation, been imprisoned in a concentration camp or had relatives executed without benefit of trial? I dont think that he has. My family and I on the other hand actually have experienced this nightmare scenario in Cuba, and we werent just on the outer fringes of these troubles either.

Mr. Stoehr would have you believe that hes seen it all, when he hasnt the vaguest idea. I personally can tell readers unequivocally that President Trump cannot be compared to any despot or psychotic killer that my family and I became familiar with in our country.Maximo A.Gomez | Monterey

May I suggest that all candidates for the County Board of Supervisors race on March 3 refrain from accepting campaign financial and in-kind contributions from seven business political action committees (PACs), campaign consultants and other candidate committees until the California state watchdog enforcement agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), is finished with its investigation of money laundering, comingling of funds and lack of transparency in reporting the true origins of funds (Supes pick a connected pal to manage Laguna Seca despite ethics questions, Nov. 21-27). This is not just a case of sloppy record keeping but intentional misleading of the public. The public deserves no less in determining whether the candidates for supervisor are free and clear of association with these groups and individuals while they are under investigation. Candidates and campaigns must treat the voters and the public with respect.Gary Karnes | Pacific Grove

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Such a sacrifice migrant workers face so that we can have the privilege of fresh vegetables (A berry company faces fines for a 2017 pesticide release that sickened dozens of workers, Dec. 5-11).Mark Gutierrez | via Facebook

And then we eat the berries? GreatKelly Shaddox | via Facebook

It is mentioned that the grower that sprayed made a settlement. What should also be mentioned is that farm workers have higher rates of cancers than the rest of the population as a result of their exposure to pesticides including glyphosate (Roundup). I buy only organic food as to do otherwise is to contribute to the premature deaths of farm workers. People may say that organic produce is too expensive but I see people wasting money on bottled water and salty snack foods and beverages comprised of food coloring, corn syrup and carbonated water, every time I am in a checkout line at the market.Bruce Stenman | Prunedale

The homelessness epidemic has increased (Student homelessness in Monterey County has skyrocketed. Heres what those numbers do and dont say, Nov. 21-27). College students should go to school to learn and build a future with food and shelters and rehabilitation support. This issue shall be resolved immediately because these students are going to college to succeed and be our future. Because college is not cheap, the government must assist homeless students with financial support in order for them to achieve their dreams. Every year the homeless population increases, preventing more people from going to college. In order to remedy the poverty-stricken communities in general for those who cannot afford housing or shelters, board members must collaborate with their communities to solidify a plan that would allow every group to succeed in a nation we consider free.Rebeca Jimenez | Salinas

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Letters to the Editor 12.26.19 | Letters - Monterey County Weekly

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December 26th, 2019 at 10:50 am

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16 Initiatives Changing Urban Agriculture Through Tech and Innovation – Food Tank

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The United Nations estimates that nearly 10 billion people will be living in cities by 2050. According to arecent publication by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, urban eaters consume most of the food produced globally and maintain more resource-intensive diets including increased animal-source and processed foodsrich in salt, sugar, and fats. At the same time, many urban populationsparticularly in low-income areas and informal communitiesendure acute hunger and malnutrition as well as limited access to affordable, healthy food.

But there are countless ways that cities can feed themselves and create better linkages between rural and urban food systems. In Mexico City, the organization CultiCiudad built the Huerto Tlatelolco, an edible forest with 45 tree varieties, a seed bank, and plots for biointensive gardening. In the United States, City Growers uses New York Citys urban farms as a learning laboratory for children to reconnect with nature. And in the Kalobeyei Settlement in northern Kenya, urban agriculture represents a tool for empowerment by improving food security, nutrition, and self-sufficiency among refugees.

Agriculture and forestry in the city answer to a variety of urban development goals beyond the provision of green infrastructure and food, such as social inclusion, adaptation to climate change, poverty alleviation, urban water management, and opportunities for the productive reuse of urban waste, says Henk de Zeeuw, Senior Advisor at the RUAF Foundation.

And thankfully, there are hundreds of entrepreneurs and organizations using this opportunity to improve urban agriculture and satisfy the demands of an increasingly urban population. From high-tech indoor farms in France and Singapore to mobile apps connecting urban growers and eaters in India and the U.S., Food Tank highlights 16 initiatives using tech, entrepreneurship, and social innovation to change urban agriculture.

1. AeroFarms, Newark (United States)

AeroFarms builds and operates vertical indoor farms to enable local production at scale and increase the availability of safe and nutritious food. The company uses aeroponics to grow leafy greens without sun or soil in a fully controlled environment. The technology enables year-round production while, they say, using 95 percent less water than field farming, resulting in yields 400 times higher per square foot annually. Since its foundation in 2004, AeroFarms aims to disrupt conventional food supply chains by building farms along major distribution routes and in urban areas. The company also won multiple awards, including the 2018 Global SDG Award, for its environmentally responsible practices and leadership in agriculture.

2. Agricool, Paris (France)

Agricool is a start-up that grows strawberries in containers spread throughout urban areas. The company retrofits old, unused containers to accommodate both an LED-lights and aeroponics system making it possible to grow strawberries year-round. The Cooltainers are powered by clean energy and use 90 percent less water than conventional farming. Agricool also works on building a network of urban farmers through the Cooltivators training program, aiming to open up job opportunities for city residents to work in the agricultural sector. The start-up now works on expanding operations to other cities, an effort made possible by the replicability of the containers design.

3. BIGH Farms, Brussels (Belgium)

BIGH (Building Integrated Greenhouses) Farms, a start-up based in Brussels, works on building a network of urban farms in Europe to promote the role urban agriculture can play in the circular economy. BIGHs designs integrate aquaponics with existing buildings to reduce a sites environmental impact. The first pilotlocated above the historic Abattoir in Brussels city centerincludes a fish farm, a greenhouse, and over 2,000 square meters of outdoor vegetable gardens. They started in 2018 producing microgreens, herbs, tomatoes, and striped bass. BIGH Farms also partners with local businesses and growers to make sure the farms production is complementary to the existing food community.

4. Bites, Phoenix (United States)

Bites is a mobile platform working to help connect urban farmers, chefs, and eaters in Phoenix through farm-to-table dining experiences. Eaters and chefs sign up and meet through the app to organize an in-home dining event. Chefs gather the ingredients from urban growers registered on the platform in an effort to promote local, small businesses. Bites was launched in 2017 by Roza Derfowsmakan, founder of Warehouse Apps, to improve accessibility to farm-to-table experiences and support urban farmers. By using technology to build culinary communities, Bites aims to change consumer choices from shipped-in, trucked-in produce to locally sourced foodinvolving people in the solution itself.

5. BitGrange, Multiple Locations (North America)

BitGrange is an urban farming tool and learning platform working to help educate children on food and agriculture. The BitGrange device, a hydroponics and Internet of Things-based system, produces edible plants with little water and energy. BitGranges software evaluates environmental variables in real-time and notifies growers through a smartphone app to take necessary actions, such as adding more water or plant food. Founded in 2015 according to their philosophy, Plant-Connect-Sync-Play, BitGrange aims to inspire youth to engage in farming by gamifying agriculture. The nano-farms design is available for download at BitGranges website for potential growers to 3D print the device in their own location.

6. Bowery Farming, New York Metro Area (United States)

Bowery Farming, an indoor farming start-up, uses software and robotics to grow produce inside warehouses located in and around cities. By controlling every aspect of the growing process, the start-up is able to produce leafy greens and herbs using a minimal amount of water and energy per square foot. The technology also makes it possible to grow customized products for chefs and restaurants, such as softer kale and more peppery arugula. Since its establishment in 2017, Bowery Farming is now expanding operations beyond its warehouse in New Jersey to build vertical farms in other cities and, ultimately, bring efficient food production closer to consumers.

7. Farmizen, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Surat (India)

Farmizen is a mobile-based platform renting farmland to city residents to grow locally grown, organic produce. The app allocates its users a 600 square foot mini-farm in a community nearby. Users can visit the farm anytime to grow and harvest chemical-free produce. Farmworkers look after the plots when the users return to the city, making a fixed and stable incomeup to three times more than that of conventional farming. The app is live in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Surat with 1,500 subscribers and 40 acres of land under cultivation. Farmizen was founded in 2017 by entrepreneur Gitanjali Rajamani, driven by the need to create stable livelihoods for farmers and reconnect city-dwellers to agriculture and nature.

8. Fresh Direct, Abuja (Nigeria)

Fresh Direct is an impact-driven start-up using vertical farming and hydroponics to promote locally grown produce and the involvement of youth in agriculture. When young entrepreneur Angel Adelaja started engaging in eco-friendly farming, she faced multiple challenges with conventional farming practices, including access to land, water, and technology. As a response, Adelaja founded Fresh Direct in 2014 to make urban agriculture more accessible to everyone, especially youth. Fresh Direct installs stackable container farms in the city, growing organic produce closer to the market. In the future, Adelaja aims to eradicate the notion among young professionals that agriculture is a line of work for the older generations.

9. Gotham Greens, Multiple Locations (United States)

Gotham Greens builds and operates data-driven, climate-controlled greenhouses in cities across the United States. The greenhouses, powered by wind and solar energy, use hydroponics to grow salad greens and herbs year-round using fewer resources than conventional farming. In addition to its goal of sustainable food production, Gotham Greens also partners with local organizations, schools, community gardens, and businesses to support urban renewal and community development projects. Gotham Greens is also the company behind the countrys first commercial rooftop greenhouse, a partnership with Whole Foods Market to operate the greenhouse located above their flagship store in Brooklyn, New York.

10. GrowUp Urban Farms, London (United Kingdom)

GrowUp Urban Farms works on developing commercial scale, Controlled Environment Production (CEP) solutions to grow fresh food in communities across London. The CEP farms use aquaponics to farm fish and grow leafy greens in a soil-less system, turning previously unused brownfield sites into productive areas. The GrowUp Boxa community farm developed together with sister organization GrowUp Community Farmsproduces over 400kg of salads and 150kg of fish each year. Over the long run, the company aims to replicate the aquaponics system to build urban farms in other cities, opening employment opportunities for youth, and using agriculture as a means to make communities more self-sustaining.

11. InFarm, Multiple Locations (Europe)

InFarm, a Berlin-based start-up, develops modular indoor farming systems to bring agriculture into cities. Designed to combat the long distances food travels, the InFarms produce leafy greens and herbs using 95 percent less water than traditional farms and no pesticides. The technology, the company claims, can reduce food transportation up to 90 percent. In 2013, the company pioneered the modular system in restaurants, schools, hospitals, and shopping centers. Operations have now expanded to distribute portable farms in neighborhoods and supermarkets across Germany, Denmark, France, and Switzerland. The expansion, AgFunder reports, can be attributed to InFarms decentralized, data-driven model.

12. Liv Up, So Paulo (Brazil)

Liv Up works to deliver healthy meals and snack kits prepared with locally grown food to residents of the Greater So Paulo region. The start-up sources organic ingredients from family farmers in peri-urban areas, in an effort to shorten value chains and better connect small producers to the urban market. A team of chefs and nutritionists prepares the meals, which are later deep frozen to maintain the foods integrity and extend its shelf life. Liv Up was founded in 2016 by a trio of young entrepreneurs driven by the lack of access to healthy foods in So Paulo. The start-up now operates in seven municipalities of the metropolitan area, rotating its menu every two weeks.

13. Pasona Urban Ranch, Tokyo (Japan)

Pasona Urban Ranch, an initiative of the Pasona Group, is a mix of office space and animal farm located in the heart of Tokyos busy temachi district. The initiative aims to raise interest in agriculture and dairy farming among city residents by bringing them in close contact with farm animals. The ranch houses eight animal species, including cattle, goats, and an alpaca, which are cared for by specialized staff. Visitors and employees of the building can attend seminars on dietary education and dairy farming. Previously, the Pasona Group gained worldwide acknowledgment for Pasona O2an underground office farm built by Kono Designs in 2010 growing 100 regional crops in downtown Tokyo.

14. RotterZwam, Rotterdam (The Netherlands)

RotterZwam, an urban mushroom farm, raises awareness on the potential of the circular economy for addressing environmental issues. The farms closed-loop system works with used coffee groundscollected from local businessesto turn residual flows into food. The mushroom nursery, built out of old containers, uses solar paneling to power the farms operations and the e-vehicles used for product delivery. The farms team offers tours to educate citizens on circular systems and trains entrepreneurs wishing to start a mushroom farm. RotterZwams second location in the Schiehaven area opened in mid-2019 thanks to a crowdfunding campaign to bring back the farm after a devastating fire in 2017.

15. Sustenir Agriculture (Singapore)

Sustenir Agriculture is a vertical farm working to promote high quality, locally grown, and safe food with the lowest possible footprint. The farmlocated in the heart of Singaporeuses the latest technology in hydroponics and smart indoor farming to produce leafy greens, tomatoes, strawberries, and fresh herbs. Starting as a basement project in 2012, Sustenir now produces 1 ton of kale and 3.2 tons of lettuce per month in an area of 54 square meters.

16. Urban Bees, London (United Kingdom)

Urban Bees is a social enterprise working with communities and businesses in London to help bees thrive in the city. Through education and training, the initiative raises awareness on how to create bee-friendly communities and on how to become responsible beekeepers. The first training apiary was established together with the Co-op Plan Bee in Battersea, South London. The enterprise also advises urban gardening initiatives, including Lushs rooftop garden, to ensure that green areas install the right forage and create healthy bee habitats. Co-founder Alison Benjamin says that city residents often suffer from nature-deficit disorder and urban beekeeping is one path to reconnect with nature in the city.

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16 Initiatives Changing Urban Agriculture Through Tech and Innovation - Food Tank

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December 26th, 2019 at 10:50 am

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Are vegetables vegan? The man taking aim at animal products in organic farming – The Guardian

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A tractor spreads muck over field of stubble. Most organic agriculture is focused on moo poo, says veganic farmer Will Bonsall. Photograph: geogphotos/Alamy Stock Photo

Will Bonsall is a homesteader and 45-year vegan living in rural Maine with a message for Americans your vegetables are very un-vegan.

Bonsall is an influential member of a small but growing group of vegan and organic veganic farmers, who want to revolutionize organic agriculture, which traditionally depends on animals byproducts such as cow manure.

Theres a little bit of a disconnect, even hypocrisy, in vegans We vegans like to put on our plates [vegetables] grown in methods that are very un-vegan, Bonsall said.Most organic agriculture is focused on moo poo, said Bonsall. Cow manure, animal manure, but also blood meal and bone meal, he said.

A vegan diet excludes all products derived from animals, including meat, dairy, eggs and honey. Often, these products are avoided for health, environmental and ethical reasons.

Standard organic vegetable farming practices have used animal-derived products for centuries to boost soil fertility, such as cow manure, which farmers like Bonsall argue supports large-scale industrialized animal farming and, in his estimation, is unethical.

But the question of whether organic farming should necessarily exclude animals is hardly settled. Even proponents of veganic farming describe it as controversial.

The Rodale Institute helped develop the US Department of Agriculture standard for organic farming. Researchers there are pushing not for veganic methods, but for regenerative organic certification, which they hope can promote animal welfare, social justice and soil health.

Were at a point in time where our soils have been so degraded that it is actually becoming more and more difficult to grow crops in those degraded soils, said Jessica Lang, research coordinator for the Rodale Institute. This word regenerative is one that really needs to get into the vocabulary of the general population, she said.

Bonsalls is one of just 50 or so veganic farms in the United States, according to research by Professor Mona Seymour of Loyola Marymount University. Bonsalls method of growing perennial food crops with minimal fossil fuel and animal inputs, is laid out in his book, an Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening.

In a myopic sense, industrial agriculture which uses nitrogen-fixing synthetic chemical fertilisers is vegan. They are not derived from animals and allow farms to grow vegetables that are bigger and more tightly packed together, and free from animal manure and byproducts.

The next logical step from that is growing organically but without animal manure, said Jenny Hall, a trustee of the Vegan Organic Network based in the UK, and co-author of Growing Green: Animal-Free Organic Techniques. Hall has been vegan for 25 years.

Within the organic movement its still controversial, she said. But actually, the reality is all plants are the original source of energy. In any ecological system plants are the bottom of the food chain, so its really just following natures cycle, said Hall.

Industrial animal agriculture is one of the most environmentally damaging activities humans do, and many believe vegetarian and especially vegan eating could radically decrease greenhouse gas output.

If the world adopted a vegan diet, a recent study in Science found, global farmland use would shrink by 75%, equivalent to the area of the US, European Union, China and Australia combined. Industrial animal agriculture is the second-largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas emissions after fossil fuels and is a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution and biodiversity loss.

Veganic farms remain small scale now, and less developed in the United States than in the European Union, where growers already have a certifying body, called biocyclic vegan. In the US, there is no certification, and veganic produce is harder to find, though not impossible if buying direct from farmers, Hall said.

To date, most veganic farmers are growing vegetables and fruits. As interest in veganic farming grows, the next phase of the movement is to bring onboard traditional grain farmers, Hall said.

For a long time, no one gave two poops about the organic movement, because it was just a bunch of hippies, said Bonsall. For decades, many argued if world agriculture went organic we have to decide which third of the world is going to starve to death, because without petrochemicals farmers couldnt grow the necessary amount of produce. Nowadays, there are lots of people doing it, and Im just another fly on the wall.

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Are vegetables vegan? The man taking aim at animal products in organic farming - The Guardian

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The impact of the new CAP on organic farming – EURACTIV

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With organic agriculture increasingly gaining recognition in the EU as providing benefits to farmers, consumers and the environment, explores how the new CAP proposal works to support the promotion of this type of production.

Organic farming faces many challenges and an opportunity to change the face of the European agricultural landscape.

However, while industrial agriculture, geared towards mass food production and maximising profits continues to dominate, organic farms are gaining increasing popularity among both farmers and consumers in the EU.

This trend is set to continue as the new European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, has announced support for organic agriculture during his five-year term of office.

One of my priorities will be to develop an action plan for organic farming, said Janusz Wojciechowski in his first speech as EU Commissioner at the AGRI Outlook conference on December 10 in Brussels.

European farmers and entrepreneurs are now gearing up for the next step. That will come on 1 January 2021 with the entry into force of the EUs new regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products.

In the EU, organic agriculture currently represents 6.7% of the member states farmland. That number is growing year on year despite the many difficulties faced by farmers, says Dorota Metera, President of the board of Bioekspert, a certification body in organic farming.

However, organic farming still needs financial support and incentivises for farmers, she told In her view, this support should include payments to farmers switching to organic food production and financial incentives to remain in organic farming.

The EU and individual member states support organic farming through subsidies from the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy, which is dedicated to rural development. Within the EU, on average 6.4% of the budget for agricultural and climate action is spent on this type of production, but the exact amounts vary from country to country.

But Metera says support varies widely across the EU, as it is up to each member state to decide how it wants to promote organic farming on its territory.We have 200,000 organic farms across the EU, but the situation varies from country to country, she said.

For instance, a country like France decided in 2017 to strive for food sovereignty. And one of its aims is to achieve 50% of local and organic food in the public sector of mass nutrition by 1 January 2022.

Meanwhile, Poland still lacks a similar initiative from the Ministry of Agriculture, she said.

Organic farming and the market for organic agricultural products are booming worldwide, including in France. However, enthusiasm remains very concentrated in Europe and the United States. EURACTIVs partner Ouest-France reports.

Organic farming a natural ally of environmental and climate action

Organic farming does not use synthetic chemical pesticides or readily soluble mineral fertilisers as opposed to conventional, mass-marketed products.

This is a clear environmental benefit for biodiversity and soil protection. Industrial agricultural methods, on the other hand, often improve farm productivity at the expense of the environment.

There are more examples of the positive impact of organic farming on the environment. One of these is the promotion of localities and short supply chains. Surveys show that Europeans are increasingly turning to regional food products, and the 2018 Eurobarometer survey shows that as many as three-quarters of Europeans take regional and local products into account when shopping.

Nina Jzefina Bk is a member of the Board of Dobrze, a food cooperative promoting high-quality food based on short supply chains in Warsaw. During a July debate on the future of European agriculture, hosted by, she argued about the important role of short chains in modern, organic agriculture.

Demand for good food is growing, but we still need a diversified distribution system. Small markets are disappearing, small shops are disappearing, even in small towns, and discounts are appearing in their place. We are even colonized by large retail chains, she said.

She also raised the question of consumer awareness.

The Polish state has ceased to promote organic food, so it is the norm to consider certified organic food as imported food. However, transporting food that generates CO2 emissions, i.e. food miles, is not ecological if we look at the impact on the environment holistically. We must shorten supply chains. Farmers and consumers must meet.


Meanwhile, most of the CAP money is spent on direct payments to farmers under the first pillar and will remain so after 2020, which has been heavily criticised by the European Coordination Movement Via Campesina (ECVC).

In addition, the second pillar of the CAP, which finances rural development and from which short chains could be supported, will face cuts, in line with the proposals of the European Commission.

The European Commission argues that the new rules will allow member states greater flexibility in the use of the financial resources allocated to them, which will contribute to the development of tailor-made programs, such as the promotion of short supply chains.

Member states are also to be able to transfer up to 15% of their CAP allocations between payments and rural development and vice versa to ensure that they can finance their priorities and measures, Metera added.

Although the new CAP can be seen as positive in the context of organic farming, the changes are not progressing fast enough, she said.

[Edited by Natasha Foote and Frdric Simon]

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The impact of the new CAP on organic farming - EURACTIV

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