The economic downturn means organic farmers are less likely to reap rewards of premium prices for their produce
Farmers across the UK have been deserting organic farming, or holding back on plans to convert their land to more environmentally friendly farming methods, as sales of organic products have fallen in the economic downturn.
Last year, only 51,000 hectares was in “conversion” – the process that farmers need to go through to have their land and practices certified as organic. That is less than half the amount of land that was in conversion in 2009, which itself was down markedly from the recent peak of 158,000Ha in 2007, according to statistics released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on Thursday morning.
Far fewer farmers are interested in turning their land to organic production, despite the promise of premium prices for their produce, after a marked fall in sales of organic goods in the past two years as a result of the recession. Continue reading
Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros recently spoke up on climate change financing.
According the The Wall Street Journal, billionaire hedge fund manager and political activist George Soros is pushing for a $100 billion "Green" fund to be financed by special drawing rights (SDRs). Created by the IMF in 1969, SDRs are what The New York Times called a "virtual currency." They are the based on a basket of four key international currencies, and are normally used as a source of liquidity. Soros suggested the funds could be put to work planting new forests, expanding farming methods, and helping with adaption and energy programs in poor countries.
Back in October, Soros announced plans to invest $1 billion of his own capital in clean energy. He told Bloomberg that the investments "should be profitable but should also actually make a contribution to solving the problem."
As of the most recent regulatory filings Soros’ top-15 U.S.-listed equity holdings included just one alternative energy play, waste to energy firm Covanta (NYSE: CVA – News). However his sizable stakes in fertilizer plays Potash (NYSE: POT – News) and Monsanto (NYSE: MON – News) could see an uptick if billions were invested in the agricultural segment of developing nations.