Kate Lee - New and emerging technologies
I am 28 years old and I worked for the UK farming unions and the National Pig Association in Brussels from September 2006 until September 2012. Whilst this was a very cosmopolitan life I lived and breathed agriculture every day in trying to communicate the needs and aspirations of UK farmers to policy makers.
Key policies I worked included organic food, biotechnology, cloning, food labelling and climate change. I also worked with the EU Commission, Member State Governments and the European Parliament at a crucial time when welfare laws were coming into force on farm animals such as laying hens and pigs.
I had a joyful upbringing in Cheshire, I have a twin sister Jenny and a younger sister Amy who work in photography and fashion. I love languages and speak French, Spanish, Portuguese and I am learning Danish. Otherwise in my spare time I enjoy hiking, running half marathons (I could never do a full one!) and touch rugby. I am also partial to a bit of singing and dancing!
Agriculture news from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, June 19th 2012
The 'non-governmental' stint is now over, the heads of state have arrived and this means I am no longer important enough to access the Rio+20 negotiations!
With Mrs. Al Momany, Rajeev Chauha, Dyborn Chibonga and the others mostly back with their farms and families, I have moved to a very modest studio/hostel that I am sharing with a Japanese artist and a cat.
It is very late but before I head to my stained mattress and bed bugs I should tell you what I know about the negotiations on the outcome of this summit before governments head for the finishing line on Friday -
- The majority of the final text has already been agreed behind the scenes
- The EU is not happy! According to Environment Commissioner Potocnik the Rio outcomes will not be ambitious enough (targets and milestones wanted), however it is most likely that all parties will compromise
- The text will stress the urgent need to change consumption patterns
- Rio+20 final outcomes will say that the world needs a 'sustainable increase of agricultural productivity'
Ooh! And apparently the Swiss government negotiator was hugely supportive of the importance of agriculture during informal consultations with his counterparts, saying 'no farmers, no agriculture, no food security'.