Estudio sobre el comportamiento de los consumidores transfronterizos

BIHARTEAN con los estudiantes del IUT de Baiona presenta la síntesis de una encuesta sobre el comportamiento de los consumidores de Gipuzkoa en Iparralde y de los de Iparralde en varias ciudades de Gipuzkoa.
Los estudiantes han realizado 300 encuestas en varios lugares de Iparralde y de Gipuzkoa:
– Biarritz, San-Juan-de-Luz y el centro comercial BAB2
– San-Sébastian centro, Irùn Mendibil y el centro comercial Garbera
En estos documentos, se pueden apreciar los resultados mas sobresalientes :
– en el primero se trata del comportamiento de los consumidores de Gipuzkoa en Iparralde
– el segundo resume el comportamiento de los consumidores de Iparralde en Gipuzkoa.

Fuente: Diputacion de Gipuzkoa

What are local food jobs?

Sustainable agriculture certainly requires more people-power than conventional farming methods, but despite the long hours a farmhand might work, they are exempt from overtime pay and are likely not paid at all during the off-season. Beyond the farm, much of the Good Food movement is being carried out by non-profits, who (especially in this economic climate) are increasingly relying on poorly-paid or unpaid interns rather than full-time staff. But the real story behind local food system job creation may potentially lie in the promotion of jobs in the local distribution, processing, and wholesaling sectors. As the global agricultural system has taken over these sectors have declined in many parts of the country.  While these jobs may be less sexy than the idea of a small-farmer, they are certainly still very necessary to truly scale up the impact of a regional food system.
Earlier this year, Green For All, a green collar job advocacy group released a report called “Green Jobs in a Sustainable Food System.”  The report outlines the workers employed in each sector of the food system and spotlights a few innovative approaches to employment in each section, including the fair-wage organic produce distributors Veritable Vegetable, and companies that include workforce training programs as a part of their business model, like Sweet Beginnings LLC.  The value of this report is the reminder that a local food job is not inherently better than a regular old food system job.  Good Food Jobs provide opportunities where they might not have existed otherwise, but also pay well enough to support a family, are conducted in safe working conditions, and provide ample space for personal autonomy and professional growth.
A pessimist might point out that if the economy keeps tanking we might end up creating a class of poorly paid farm and food-workers who provide edible treats for our increasingly wealthy elite overlords. Hyperbole aside, the food system world holds a lot of promise for job creation and community economic development, but it shouldn’t be pursued blindly.  Careful consideration needs to be paid to the quality of jobs we are advocating for, not just the quantity.

Ombudsman: Commission clarifies permitted food contamination levels after Fukushima nuclear accident

The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has welcomed the European Commission’s clarifications concerning the maximum permitted levels of radioactive contamination for foodstuffs in the EU, following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. The Ombudsman had asked the Commission for these clarifications after several citizens complained about a lack of information concerning changes made to the maximum levels. In its opinion, the Commission explained that, immediately after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the maximum radiation levels permitted in foodstuffs imported from Japan to the EU were higher than those permitted in Japan itself, but were lowered to the Japanese levels a few weeks later.

Complaints about lack of information concerning contamination levels

In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami damaged the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, which led to increased radioactive contamination in the surrounding area. In the weeks following the accident, the Ombudsman received several complaints from citizens suggesting that there was a lack of information about changes made to the maximum permitted levels of radioactive contamination for foodstuffs, imported from Japan to the EU.

The Ombudsman opened an inquiry to obtain precise information on the maximum permitted levels before and after the Fukushima accident. In its opinion, the Commission explained that immediately after the accident, the EU activated the emergency mechanisms it had adopted in the wake of the Chernobyl accident. These included maximum permitted levels of radioactive contamination for foodstuffs, such as baby food or dairy products, as well as for feed. These levels were higher than the Japanese levels. In April 2011, therefore, the Commission decreased the maximum permitted levels to bring them into line with the Japanese levels.

The Ombudsman commended the Commission’s detailed explanations which he considers useful for European citizens. In the interest of providing citizens with a maximum of information on the matter, he decided to publish the Commission’s opinion together with his decision. Both documents are available at: http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/cases/decision.faces/en/10827/html.bookmark

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the EU institutions and bodies. Any EU citizen, resident, or an enterprise or association in a Member State, can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman offers a fast, flexible, and free means of solving problems with the EU administration. For more information: http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu

Urban food growing in city re-development

Growing food inside cities as tool or contribution to the re-vitalisation of city quarters, neigborhoods or completely new city developments is currently in high fashion. The examples of successful integration of food growing or even bigger…urban agriculture in city development, however, are still scarce. Designers and artists are at the forefront of imagining what it can be like. For example, the PeerGroup currently runs a project with a neigbhorhood in the city of Groningen which took on the responsibility to care for pigs at a brownfield site in the city.  But to actually combine creative imagination with the reality of re-development of a place, its people, culture and institutions is quite something else. In Cologne they have tried this recently with open space methodology and the ideas of Continous Productive Landscapes. A process of planning and discussions was organised to re-develop the working class neighborhood Ehrenfeld. Food and food growing were explicitely taken into account here.

Stafford Borough Council’s experience

At Stafford Borough Council’s first Environmental Forum in October 1997, delegates recommended that a Local Food Links Initiative in the Stafford Borough area be developed as part of the Local Agenda 21 work being undertaken. ‘Workshops’ produced a draft Action Plan from which a range of initiatives has subsequently been established.
This was further enhanced by the Council’s Environmental Working Party on the 6th May 1998 which agreed that a ‘Food Festival’ be arranged later that year.
There were opportunities to provide a range of projects under the Local Food Links Initiative, which aimed to promote and achieve a more sustainable food system. In addition, as part of the Council’s Economic Strategy, there was a commitment to promote trading between local businesses and the development of local supply networks.
Progress has been made in the following areas:
•Stafford Food Festival
•Farmers’ Markets in Stafford
•Existing shows promoting local food
•Demonstrations of local food
•Local events organised in conjunction with the Farmers’ Market linked to National Campaigns e.g. Apple Day, Fairtrade Fortnight, Great British Breakfast, health events etc.
•Taste of Staffordshire Awards
•Production of Farm – School Link Education Pack, supporting the National Curriculum
•Use of allotments via the Allotment Mentors Scheme
•Tourism Awards include Local Food Category
•Ensuring allotment usage is high
•Support of Staffordshire Orchards Initiative
•Staffordshire Local Food Directory of Farms, Shops, Deliveries etc. (updated 2005)
•Support of Healthy Living, Nutrition and Diet projects
To learn more, please visit FOOD VISION

Consumer driven food networks

Consumer driven food networks are differently named and organised in every country. At the European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) conference we saw many types and forms passing by in the working groups within the theme Food networks and supply chains. GAS groups in Italy, AMAPs in France, CSA’s and Community food co-ops in the UK, food coops in Germany, ‘proximity contract farming groups’ in Swiss, Grupo de consumo’s in Spain, Food teams in Flanders. Consumer driven food networks are scattered all over Europe it seems. It seems indeed but not evenly distributed. There are approximately 15 CSA’s only in the Netherlands and a very recent initiative to create food coops, called ”voko’s”. Uniquely here are the many adoption schemes; adopt a chicken, apply tree or cow. But initiatives are not booming like Italy, Spain or France. In his concluding presentation, Henk Renting offered a few factors for the non occurance of consumer driven food networks in countries such as Portugal, Greece, the Netherlands, Ireland… First of all, farm structure and the scale of farming matters. Where the farming structure is based on large scale farms integrated into the bulk supply chain it is difficult to conver to on-farm processing or direct marketing. The availability of local and/or organic products in the conventional supply chain. The existence of tradition in gardening and the way food is cultured into society.
The existence of a tradition of gardening is an interesting one. Will such a tradition inspire or hamper the establishement of consumer driven food networks? In comparative EU perspective the Netherlands has low levels of food provisioning by self-growing showed Petr Jehlicka and Joe Smith in another working group which would fit low levels of consumer driven food networks too. On the other hand, countries like Poland or Czech Republic have very high levels of food self-provisioning but low incidences of consumer driven food networks as presented by Lukas Zagata. Of course there a complex context around this but it is therefore time to start relating and researching both practices at the same time. Household food provisioning strategies are not yet on the radar of researchers working with alternative food networks.  The fact that work on household food provisioning strategies was presented at other places simultaneously to the working group on consumer driven food networks is illustrative.

Source: Sustainable Food Blog