Today’s quick hits, May 21, 2020

Groups call for protection of meatpacking workers (HEAL Food Alliance): More than 100 food, environmental, and labor groups sent a letter to the Department of Justice, OSHA, and members of Congress urging them to guarantee protective gear and hazard pay to meatpacking workers.

EU backs sustainable food system (Europa): The European Commission adopted a Farm to Fork Strategy to reduce the use of pesticides by 50 percent and fertilizers by 20 percent and to expand organic farming to 25 percent of agricultural land.

Lost farmland (AFT): From 2001 to 2016, 11 million acres of “irreplaceable agricultural land was lost or fragmented, equal to all the land in the United States used to produce fruits, vegetables, and nuts in 2017,” says the American Farmland Trust’s “Farms Under Threat” report.

Dashboard of agricultural risk (Purdue): Microsoft and Purdue University have created an online “food and agricultural vulnerability index” to quantify the potential risk to the supply of food and agricultural products from Covid-19 illnesses among workers.

‘Bee Engaged,’ says UN group (FAO): The third annual World Bee Day highlighted the role bees and other pollinators play in the production of foods such as pine honey, a resinous honey produced mostly in Turkey.