the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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gmo free and still doing big buisness

gmo free background, illustration in vector format

As you can read in the article below, Chipotle is at the top of fast food restaurants in sales, beating out KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. They are the leading the trend for sustainable fast food that we also see as Amy’s Organic opens a drive-thru and Applegate shows up at rest stops next to McDonalds.  We can applaud these environmentally conscious chains as they attempt to change where large meat comes from, but maintain healthy skepticism and demand transparency as they piggy back on a very important cultural shift.

Chipotle Boasts Another Quarter of Billion-Dollar Sales
Stephanie Strom, The Washington Post, April 21, 2015

“So-called fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle, which allow their customers to tailor their meals, and still have them ready in a flash, are booming right now, playing to consumer tastes for customization, speed and ingredients from sources that adhere to animal welfare, organic and other standards.

Sales in its stores open at least one year were up 10.4 percent in the first quarter, which ended March 31. Overall sales were up 20.4 percent to $1.09 billion, compared with $904.2 million in the same period last year. Profits jumped 47.6 percent to $122.6 million.

“We are very proud of our start to 2015, as our average sales volumes reached a record $2.5 million per restaurant,” Steve Ells, Chipotle’s co-chief executive, said in a statement.”


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farmers: in advocating to your eaters 

  

Here’s some good evidence about how NAFTA undermines farmers, not only  domestically, but also in the countries where we ” free trade”

This article from The Nation focuses on pigs, who eat corn. 

For nearly two decades, Smithfield has used NAFTA and the forces it unleashed to become the world’s largest packer and processor of hogs and pork. But the conditions in Veracruz that helped Smithfield make high profits plunged thousands of rural residents into poverty. Tens of thousands left Mexico, many eventually helping Smithfield’s bottom line once again by working for low wages on its US meatpacking lines. “The free trade agreement was the cause of our problems,” Ceja says.

Read more…


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NOW is the time to get focused.

apples-GMO-DARK-Act-620x360

Friends,

A new federal bill is threatening our food safety and farming security by prohibiting

  • GE Labeling and
  • adequate regulation of GE crops being grown

HR1599 (the so-called “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”) is headed for a vote in the House this week! That means Your Representative will be voting on it soon.

Make your voice heard before Thursday– call the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121. They will send you to your Representative’s office.

Speak to a staffer or LEAVE A MESSAGE!:

Continue reading


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REQUIRE READING: the TTP, local farming, and what you need to know

On July 20th, as part of Maine Sail Freight events, the Greenhorns are hosting a training on the secret trade deal TTP and TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) at a public waterfront park in Portsmouth’s Strawberry Banke.

If you can’t make it, this is your required reading: Maine Agriculture and Food Systems in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Why? Sometimes, it’s hard to even imagine that something as abstract-sounding as the Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could affect small-scale agriculture in the United States. The reality, however, is that the proposed free trade agreement could have devastating repercussions throughout the entire United States food system. International trade agreements are, for better or worse, already intricately woven into our national food policy, federal food prices, and governmental regulations– and the TTP has the potential to further limit state and local sovereignty over markets.

The issue is complicated, and TTP talks have had limited transparency, but it is essential that farmers and food activists in the US understand what is at stake. Which is why we cannot more highly recommend this investigation on how the TTP would affect Maine Agriculture and Food Systems, co-authored by the Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy and the Maine Farmland Trust as part of the Citizen Trade Policy Commission and Maine Fair Trade Campaign.

Ultimately the paper’s authors conclude that,

“It is impossible to accurately predict the real impacts of these changes in tariff and non-tariff barriers on specific sectors of agricultural production in Maine. The bigger question is how the changes that could result from TTIP would affect the state’s food sovereignty, i.e., farmers’ efforts to produce sustainable crops at fair prices, consumers’ demands for healthy and affordable foods, and their joint efforts to support local economies.”

The document is relatively short (given the complicated nature of the topic), easy to understand, and well-worth a committed read. The paper suggests that the trade agreement may have far-reaching and potentially catastrophic effects on many aspects of Maine’s agricultural sector including farm-to-school programs, attempts to support and promote local food systems, Maine dairy farmers and cheese producers, and GMO labelling initiatives. Though the assessment is geared specifically towards Maine, the issues it discusses are not unique to Maine alone, and it is useful for anyone looking to understand how international policy might affect domestic and local affairs.

Read it here!

The Maine Fair Trade Campaign’s next meeting is  Wed. July 15, 2015
Place: Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St, Augusta ME.


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RSVP now: northeast gathering on domestic fair trade, august 14 in amherst, ma

ATTN:: Open Meeting: Northeast Gathering on Domestic Fair Trade
Friday August 14, 2015 9:00 am-12:30pm
Campus Center 903 UMASS, Amherst

This Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference Free Meeting, sponsored by The Domestic Fair Trade Committee of NOFA’s Interstate Council’s (IC) Policy Committee, invites activists from the Northeast Region who are engaged in projects and organizing efforts that come under the broad heading of Domestic Fair Trade to come together to share their work and ideas and to discuss possible collaboration for the immediate future.

Who should come? Farm workers, farmers, food system workers, processors, manufacturers, worker organizers, farmer organizers, cooperative organizers, visionaries, and allies.

Consider attending if your work (paid or volunteer) involves fairer wages, safer work, Continue reading


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june 3rd sign on letter

Farm_6

June 3, 2015

Dear Senator/Assemblyperson:

New York’s $47 billion farm and food sector is a vital component of the state’s economy and provides jobs for thousands of residents. Growing this important part of New York’s economy requires cultivating a next generation of farmers. One of the biggest challenges facing the next generation of farmers in New York is access to affordable farmland. Beginning farmers find themselves competing with real estate developers and others for land whose price is frequently beyond their ability to purchase. At the same time, farms being passed from one generation to the next are vulnerable to being lost to development as farm families grapple with the challenges of successfully transferring their land and businesses. Continue reading

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