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Food production & and the environment; where do we strike a balance?

Went to a meeting of Pennsylvania aquaculture farmers today and was witness to the growing burden of regulation required by farmers to operate – a permit and testing cost to return water back to stream. Farmers are not against a permit or audits but the regulation imposed on them will require expensive weekly testing of [...]

Goodbye France, Hello Washington!

We had two full on days meeting with political Staffers, the US department of Agriculture, American Farm Bureau Federation and some speakers from Walmart and Mondelez foods (Kraft foods). We toured Capital Hill the house and the Senate and I now have a good handle on the structure of the American political system. The up-coming [...]

French Wrap Up

I really loved France .. The food was definitely a highlight and we also found the farmers extremely friendly and welcoming. We meet with and hung out with 6 French Nuffield farmers. Although these farmers benefit from a sophisticated french food market and government subsidies (called un-coupled payments) they also have to operate in a [...]

Happy Chooks

Visited a free range chicken farm in France. The farmer Anthony grows under the geographical indicator of Bresse. This requires the birds to be grown free range in barns and can only be feed locally grown corn (he grows his own). It takes 5 months to get these birds to market and receives a premium [...]

Visit to a Medieval town

This was friggen cool just like out a Medieval movie, sitting on a hill overlooking the country side it dates back to the 1200s. Complete with cobblestone streets, gated entry’s, a watch tower and a fortified Church. I could imagine myself and my knights cantering through the gate – my horses hooves slipping on the [...]

Paris and SE France

Touch down in gay Parie!! It was actually cold and raining we had a meeting with the Head of Agriculture for the OECD and the Agricultural advisor for New Zealand. Then headed off to se the sights – Notre Dame, the Effiel Tower plus some other things… But it wasn’t till we headed out into [...]

Turkey!

Istanbul was our Nuffield pit stop. 4 days with no farms or meetings. We did some shopping, visited Gallipoli and basically hung out. I had a Turkish bath – it involved lying on a concrete slab and being scrubbed and lathered by a hairy turkish bloke – it was quite good, like being in a [...]

Ukraine (where the cowboys still roam)

‘I was hungry for opportunity – despite the challenges of the Ukraine business opportunities are easier to find and implement compared to the highly competitive & tough markets of developed countries’ Johan – founder and Director of Chumark – a large swedish owned condiment company. We traveled to Ukraine because it is renown for its [...]

Ukraine travel log: Day 3

Kiev was a pretty happening place – heaps of shopping and restaurants – plus a Oyster Bar – first for the trip. I chatted to the owner Julie – she had a badass set up! We tried two types of French Oysters and they were very good – very fresh. Julie was definitely enjoying being [...]

Chernobyl (2)

Similarly the abandoned city of Chernobyl was like a scene from an apocalyptic /zombie movie. Abandoned in hours – crumbling and nature taking it back. We were given dosimeters (like a geiger counter) to measure radiation – they would click rapidly and eventually beep in alarm whenever we approached items of high radiation – for [...]