The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.

Forestry and Farming Build Sustainable Systems Together

July 27th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: Forests play a critical role in habitat, biodiversity, flood control, water filtration, and carbon sequestration. Farmers can obtain conservation easements to offset the economic burden of leaving land undisturbed.

Bridging the gap between forestry and agriculture to improve food security
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FAO calls for better coordination between the two sectors towards sustainable farming systems and forest management

Source: USAID

While agriculture remains the most significant driver of global deforestation, there is an urgent need to promote more positive interactions between agriculture and forestry to build sustainable agricultural systems and improve food security. This is the key message of the FAO’s flagship publication The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO), presented today at the opening of the 23d Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO).

Forests play a major role in sustainable agricultural development through a host of channels, including the water cycle, soil conservation, carbon sequestration, natural pest control, influencing local climates and providing habitat protection for pollinators and other species. Read Full Article »

Undisturbed Ecosystems Benefit Everyone

July 27th, 2016

Why Not to Convert Native Land to Organic Management

[This article was previously published in the summer issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]

by Marie Burcham, JD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

As consumers become more educated about the strain conventional agriculture places on human and environmental health, the organic market is also facing an increase in demand. Industrial-scale agriculture is one of the primary causes of ecosystem and biodiversity losses. Driven by higher demand, there is increasing pressure to convert even more land for use in food production.

This land use, combined with increasing environmental pressures from climate change, pollution, and population growth, has a cumulative effect on the environment. Wild spaces are being lost at an unprecedented pace due to these pressures. Read Full Article »

Corporate Meat Wins with TTIP

July 26th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: Deregulation, policy decisions, quota expansion, and tariffs would enable huge meat corporations to rule the European and U.S. markets under TTIP, leaving family farmers out in the cold.

New Report Documents Corporate Meat’s Takeover Through TTIP
Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy
by Shefali Sharma

SellingOffTheFarmBrussels – Today at the European Parliament, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) Europe, Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft e.V. (AbL) (member of peasant farmers’ organisation Via Campesina), Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and PowerShift released a new report documenting how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) empowers the global meat industry and undermines family farming.

The new report, Selling Off the Farm: Corporate Meat’s Takeover Through TTIP, is based on an in-depth examination of public negotiating positions, leaked negotiating texts, and industry documents. It analyses how TTIP’s “regulatory cooperation” agenda would affect existing rules that govern the U.S. and EU meat industries. The investigation found that the powerful meat industry is aggressively using TTIP to lower standards that protect public health, and undermine governments’ ability to create essential labour, environmental and animal welfare reforms in the future. If successful, TTIP would weaken regulations and undermine small-scale farming in Europe. Read Full Article »

CSAs Improve Family Nutrition and Cooking Knowledge

July 26th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: Joining your local CSA supports the farmer by mitigating the risks inherent in farming, but it also provides consumers with nutrient-dense food and encourages the use of new recipes and cooking techniques. Support your local CSA!

USU study finds benefits to community-supported agriculture
by Kevin Opsahl

Stonebridge Farm CSA
Source: Kayann Short

NORTH LOGAN — Maren Wendel, of Providence, just moved from Idaho Falls to Cache Valley recently and did not have time to plant a vegetable garden for the summer.

Then she and her husband found out about community-supported agriculture programs, or CSAs — a partnership between farms and the public, where customers pay the farmer in exchange for shares of the produce every week. Asked about her family’s involvement in a CSA program at the USU Student Organic Farm in North Logan on Tuesday, Wendel said it has changed the way her four kids eat.

“Especially in the first couple of weeks, they were really excited to eat salad,” Wendel said, showing off the bag of beets, radishes, kale and lettuce she picked up from the student farm. “This makes them excited to try more things.” Read Full Article »

Seeds Coated in Probiotics Improve Soil, Conserve Water

July 25th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: The seed industry has become increasingly consolidated as Monsanto and other Biotech players gobble up smaller companies. Rather than try to make target plants immune to pesticides, this new company is working to improve plant health.

Seed startup closes $100 million funding to tackle water scarcity
Food & Environment Reporting Network
by David Abel

Source: Tim M

Seed startup Indigo said that it closed a $100 million Series C investment, the largest private equity financing in the agriculture technology sector. Indigo first came onto the map in February when it unveiled cotton seeds laced in probiotics that conserve water and help replenish the soil. With more funding, the company plans to expand research and launch its first line of probiotic wheat seeds.

“The microbes covering Indigo Cotton are specifically chosen to help make the plants more resilient to (water) stress,” company CEO David Perry told The Verge. “Indigo plans to develop seed coatings that address issues like low nutrient stress, high salience stress, and threats like insect infestations.” Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
Ph: 608-625-2000