Newsletter n.59


1.EXPERIENCES: Report on the state of forests and the forestry sector in Italy





Report on the state of forests and the forestry sector in Italy

It is often stated and widely believed that public bodies in Italy are parasites, incapable of spending their funds correctly. The opposite is true. Many public employees, despite the lack of funds and the numerous bureaucratic problems, are more than capable of doing their jobs and indeed of excelling at the European and international level. We are therefore delighted to be able to point our readers to a recent report on the state of forests and the forestry sector, “RaFITALIA 2017-2018 Rapporto sullo stato delle foreste e del settore forestale in Italia“.

In this comprehensive account deals with all aspects regarding the forests – both directly and indirectly – and subjects them to critical analysis. In almost 300 pages the report describes the work of thirty coordinators and over 200 team members. The project is the work of the Forestry Directorate of the Ministry for Food, farming, forestry and tourism, with support from the research body Centro di ricerca Politiche e Bioeconomia del Consiglio per la Ricerca in agricoltura and analysis from Economia Agraria and the Compagnia delle Foreste. Continua a leggere “Report on the state of forests and the forestry sector in Italy”


The Normalization of Deviance

One of the greatest risks in modern society is what is called “the normalization of deviance”. The concept comes from statistics, but what it means in practice is that it describes what happens when individuals or groups repeatedly accept a lower standard until that level becomes the norm. To take an example from language: some people on TV started using words that were once considered vulgar (such as ‘balls’, ‘prick’, ‘bugger’, ‘shit’, ‘fuck’ etc.), with the result that today they are commonly used by politicians, commentators, actors, people being interviewed and so on. The sense of moderation has gradually been lost, with the result that decidedly inappropriate uses are increasingly accepted.

When we look at the environment, the problems caused by plastics and oil are obvious to everyone. Having accepted their use in everything that surrounds us, we find ourselves in the opposite critical situation: having gradually accepted their ubiquity, now we are obliged to re-establish limits on their use and consumption. Continua a leggere “The Normalization of Deviance”


EFFAT European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions; it also represents domestic workers. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers in relation to European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. It covers three sectors: Food and Drink workers; Agriculture, safeguarding employment and fair pay in rural areas; and hotel, restaurant and catering workers in the Tourism sector.

The role and importance of this trade union association are obvious and we should underline their extraordinary level of commitment to sustainable development. It should be remembered that in many European countries their working conditions are close to slavery.

EFFAT has committed itself to defending the sustainable development goals and in particular the bioeconomy in favour of the fight against climate change. With the project “The bioeconomy and a future bio-based food industry and agriculture sector: how can workers’ organisations shape the change?” EFFAT wishes to reflect on the challenges and the opportunities of bioeconomy for their own sectors. Continua a leggere “EFFAT European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions”


Efficient management of the soil

On 5 December 2018 the European Commission put out an interesting document to explain the aims of the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Brief n. 5 is the one that deals with management of the soil. Over 16 pages the document stresses the importance of protecting the soil and its fertility. This is what it has to say about the importance of the soil:

“That soil is one of the most important natural resources that provide us with vital goods and services to sustain life is an understatement. Soil being a habitat and gene pool, it serves as a platform for human activities, landscape and heritage, and acts as a provider of raw materials. A healthy, fertile soil is at the heart of food security, thus rendering any threat to these functions a direct threat to food availability.”

The first part of the report describes the risks to which European soils are subject: erosion, organic matter (SOM) decline, biodiversity loss, compaction, contamination, sealing, salinization, and desertification. Continua a leggere “Efficient management of the soil”


Greece – Short food supply chains

The concept of short food chains, in which intermediaries between farmers and consumers are  removed, is part of the CAP 2014-2020.

At EU level, different forms of short food supply chains (SFSCs) have developed in the last years. Advocates say SFSCs are not just about selling local cheap products as they also have positive spill-over effects on rural societies, the environment and agrotourism.

In Greece there developed a movement without intermediaries that created direct links between local farmers and consumers. Short food supply chains became popular in Greece following the economic crisis, which forced smallholders and consumers to seek alternative ways of getting food at affordable prices.

There was therefore an uproar when the mayor of Kozani, a city in northern Greece, banned “movement without intermediaries“. Local authorities declared that the farmers’ market, which has been in place for the last five years, breached existing legislation. Continua a leggere “Greece – Short food supply chains”


The Goals of the Green New Deal

In this period of growing awareness about the need to protect the environment it seems opportune to mention the so-called Green New Deal initiative launched in the US in anticipation of the 2020 presidential election by the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, leader of the new Democrats, and her colleague Senator Ed Markey. An early version of the Pact was published in February in the form of a 14-page Congressional resolution. We mention it because many of its themes echo the spirit of the 4per1000 Initiative.

These are the goals for the soil, its health and fertility: Continua a leggere “The Goals of the Green New Deal”


Bollettino n.59


1.ESPERIENZE: Rapporto sullo stato delle foreste e del settore forestale in Italia


3.NOTIZIE SU SUOLO E ISTITUZIONI EUROPEE: Efficiente gestione del suolo