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GAJ-ENAJ eAlert - June 2012

European Network of Agricultural Journalists


CAP conference place – deadline: Monday, June 11

One Member of the British Guild has an expenses-paid opportunity to attend a CAP conference being organised by the agricultural directorate-general of the European Commission on Friday, July 13 in Brussels.

The conference: The CAP towards 2020 – taking stock with civil society is a follow-up to the broad consultation on the challenges faced by European agriculture and the need for policy intervention. It will provide a forum for civil society to debate and discuss the CAP reform proposals for post 2013, which were adopted by the Commission in October last year, and the degree to which they contribute to meeting the challenges identified during the public debate launched in 2010.

In particular, the conference will cover to what extent: •  the new CAP and the proposed combination of policy tools will contribute to food security. • the new CAP will contribute to a more sustainable management of natural resources and to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. • the new CAP will contribute to a balanced territorial development of European agriculture and rural areas.

The Guild must nominate a participant by Monday, June 11. The conference will run from 9am to 6pm and all travel and accommodation expenses will be borne by the EC. Applications to Guild chairman and ENAJ representative, Adrian Bell.

Young journalists visit to Brussels

The ENAJ, in conjunction with the Belgian and German guilds, is organising a trip for young journalists (Under 35) to Brussels between September 19 and 21. It will include visits to EU institutions such as the European Parliament and to the First World War battlefields of Flanders.

Apart from understanding the cultural significance of the battlefields, the Flanders visit will underline why the European Union was formed – to ensure lasting peace in Europe. It will also provide a practical insight into the difficulties of carrying out modern-day farming in an area where 80-year old bombs are still regularly uncovered!

The European Union will cover the costs of accommodation and travel once delegates have arrived in Brussels. Expressions of interest to Adrian Bell, please.

Italian earthquake

The Italian guild is preparing a visit to Northern Italy's earthquake-affected regions, where the primary agricultural industry has suffered damage estimated at €0.5bn in recent weeks.

Likely to take place next April, the visit will take in farms and the food processing sector to show how the Italians manage the impact of a natural disaster and recover from it.

"The loss of life in the disaster was tragic, but mercifully low,” says Antonio Brunori of the Italian guild. “But the impact on the local and national agricultural industry has been massive, especially with infrastructure such as irrigation systems and the storage of perishable foods such as cheese."

Guild members wanting contacts for immediate stories can get in touch with Antonio by email. Otherwise, expressions of interest in the proposed visit to Adrian Bell, please.

Under 35s journalism contest

Members of the British Guild who will be 35 years old or less at the end of this year are invited to enter a new journalism competition organised by the ENAJ and the European Commission’s agriculture directorate-general.

Intended to reward young agricultural journalism talent, the competition requires entrants to submit an article of no more than 800 words - but it is not necessary for the article to have been published, so the competition is open to all members, whether employed as journalists or not.

Entries should cover either of the following topics relating to EU agriculture:

• how young farmers start their own business • environmentally-sustainable farming    

The article should be of broad interest, either in agriculture or in society, and result from on-farm investigation – it should include at least one quote from a farmer.

Specific importance will be given to the journalistic relevance of the story, correctness and depth of investigation, content, objectivity, balance, comprehensibility and quotations. The layout and design of published articles will not be considered as the competition is open to unpublished material.

The top-three winners in each category will be invited to the annual ag-press networking event in Brussels (December 2012) and the first prize winners will be invited to participate on a press trip organised by the European Commission – DG AGRI in 2013. See the Guild website for Gaina Morgan's report from a recent facility trip to Denmark.

The British Guild can submit two entries after an initial selection process. Entries to Guild awards secretary Louise Impey by Friday, August 31, please.


Johann Tasker

01206 263807


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