Participatory Guarantee Systems Organic Council helds its Management Committee meeting on the 4th of July 2015 followed by its Annual General Body meeting on the 5th of July at Indian Social Institute in Bangalore. Quorum was established and leave of absence from Pan Himalayan Grass Roots and ICRA were accepted to start the proceedings. The meeting was attended by members of 12 organization who are part of the Facilitation Council. Ashish Gupta stepped down as Secretary and P. B. Murali replaced him as Secretary and representative of Organic Farmers Association of India (OFAI). Mathew John stepped down as Treasurer and was replaced by T. Samraj who also represented Keystone Foundation. The important decision taken in the meeting is to working with National Centre for Organic Farming (NCOF) which is running the PGS program promoted by Ministry of Agriculture without compromising the soverignity of PGS Organic Council run by Civil Society Organizations. The two day meeting was concluded with a decision to have the next Management Committee meeting in Bubhaneshwar, Odisha.
Freedom from plunder | Norma Alvares & Claude Alvares
Looking back on four decades of marriage and an intensely close working relationship with his wife, the Padma Shri awardee Norma Alvares, twinkle-eyed, fiercely moustachioed Claude Alvares says: “We do not know what it is to have a domestic fight. We have not had a fight for these 40 years.” The serenity in this partnership—quite evident to anyone who visits the couple’s relaxed, hospitable home in the north Goa village of Parra—is the cornerstone of an extraordinary record of ferocious battles and activism that is one of the foremost reasons India’s smallest state still retains considerable charm and a good measure of its environmental heritage.
Dear PGS stakeholders
We are pleased to announce the OWC pre-conference “Building Food Communities” is confirmed for 11 October 2014. Please note that we moved the date one day forward to avoid collision with many other relevant pre-conferences planned for 12 October. The pre-conference Building Food Communities is co-organized by Bugday, URGENCI and IFOAM and will deal with short supply chains/regional food focussing on PGS and CSA.
Please find the draft program following this link: https://foodcommunities.wordpress.com/ (note the date is 11 October!) The program and speakers are not final yet. If you are planning to attend and interested in/available to participate either as presenter or as part of a discussion, please let me know so we can consider your inclusion in program.
More information about the event in the next issue of the PGS Newsletter.
Organic produce contains more antioxidants as well as lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides.
The study concluded antioxidants – which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers, are between 19 and 69% higher in organic fruit and veg.
Opinions are still divided, however, as the organic versus conventional produce debate rages on.
Professor Richard Mithen of the Institute of Food Research (IFR) at the University of East Anglia, insisted the study failed to persuade consumers to switch.
“There is no evidence provided that the relatively modest differences in the levels of some of these compounds would have any consequences [good or bad] on public health,” he argued.
Prof Mithen added that the higher cost of organic produce would mean that people would be likely to eat less, offsetting any nutritional benefits.
As Yogi Berra said, “It seems like déjà vu all over again.” In 2006 The Cornucopia Institute released a report accusing Walmart of cheapening the value of the organic label by sourcing products from industrial-scale factory farms and developing countries, including China.
At the time, Walmart announced that they would greatly increase the number of organic products they offered and price them at a target of 10% above the cost for conventional food. They failed miserably at that first attempt, eventually removing many of the organic items from their stores. Read Article