Belgian florists’ profits are in full bloom after a year of hardship and challenges

Belgian florists’ profits are in full bloom after a year of hardship and challenges

Belgium’s floriculture sector is thriving after demand for ornamental flowers and plants has risen sharply, which is welcome news after the difficulties faced during the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. The production value of the ornamental plant and tree nursery sector in Belgium amounts to approximately €600 million, according to the Flemish infocentre for agriculture and horticulture (VILT), with around 90% of that value realised in Flanders. The cultivation takes place on 6,500 hectares throughout the country and the sector employs some 3,600 people, including 1,000 seasonal workers. Wim and…

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Three ways G20 countries can set an example ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit

Three ways G20 countries can set an example ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit

In the recently adopted Matera Declaration, the world’s largest economies committed to addressing global food security and nutrition. But as the latest Food Sustainability Index (FSI) shows, this effort must begin at home. A new assessment of the G20, which includes among others the UK, the US, France and Italy, found room for improvement on food sustainability not only for their own sakes but also to set an example for the rest of the world as the UN prepares to host the first Food Systems Summit. With the latest figures…

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US COVID Deaths at Lowest Level Since March 2020: Harvard, Stanford Professors Explain

US COVID Deaths at Lowest Level Since March 2020: Harvard, Stanford Professors Explain

If you judged the US’s current COVID-19 situation only by the headlines, you’d come away thinking that we’re spiraling back into pandemic disaster. Localities like Los Angeles County and St. Louis have reimposed mask mandates on their citizens, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just revised its “guidance” to say that, actually, fully vaccinated individuals should still wear masks in certain situations. Meanwhile, mainstream media coverage of the rise of the “Delta variant” is soaked in alarmism. Yet at the same time that all this alarm is mounting,…

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Heat and power bills may grow 130 euro more next year

Heat and power bills may grow 130 euro more next year

Energy prices could go up by as much as €130 in the coming year for customers with a variable contract, the federal regulator CREG has warned. A variable contract is one where the cost of electricity and gas is adjusted either every month or every quarter, depending on the contract, in keeping with the price movements on the world market. About 40% of Belgian households have a variable contract. The comparison was made by CREG on the basis of prices in the summer of 2019, before the pandemic hit. The…

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Portuguese government to review legislation against racism

Portuguese government to review legislation against racism

Portugal has said it will review its anti-racism laws, including those concerning fines and sanctions, the government announced in its national plan against racism published on Wednesday. In the National Plan to Combat Racism and Discrimination 2021-2025 – Portugal against racism, the government has committed to “assess the possible revision of the legislation on combating discrimination and hate speech […] in the scope of administrative offences.” The government has also announced the goal of “strengthening the system of sanctions for misdemeanours, reviewing the framework of fines and sanctioned conducts.” Article…

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Poland to build fence, double troop numbers on Belarus border

Poland to build fence, double troop numbers on Belarus border

oland will build a fence along its border with Belarus and double the number of troops there, the defence minister said on Monday, to halt a flow of migrants the European Union says is being driven by Minsk in retaliation for EU sanctions, write Kacper Pempel, Alan Charlish, Alicja Ptak and Pawel Florkiewicz. Poland and fellow EU states Lithuania and Latvia have reported sharp increases in migrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan trying to cross their borders. The EU says Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is waging “hybrid warfare”…

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