Programme

To download a PDF version of the programme click here

/* * Custom CSS For Timetable */ #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-column-header { background: #ffffff; color: #3f3f3f; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-column-header:after { background: #ffffff; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-columns .sched-column:last-child .sched-column-header:after { background: #ffffff; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-column-bg-block { background: #ffffff; border-color: #e8e8e8; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-column-bg-block:after { background: #f5f5f5; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-row-no-title .sched-column .sched-column-bg { box-shadow: 0 -1px 0 #e8e8e8; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-title { color: #3f3f3f; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-time-value { color: #3f3f3f; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-event .sched-event-inner { color: #555555; text-align: center; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-event.sched-event-invert .sched-event-inner { } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-event-title { text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap; overflow: hidden; } /*#sched-schedule-1-1003580440 a.sched-event.sched-event-sort-hidden { opacity: 0; }*/ #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-sort .sched-sort-current .sched-sort-current-label { width: 100px; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440 .sched-sort.sched-sort-open .sched-sort-dropdown .sched-sort-current .sched-sort-current-label { width: 180px; } /* * Custom CSS Event Popup */ #sched-schedule-1-1003580440-popup .sched-popup-description { } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440-popup .sched-popup-description .sched-meta a, #sched-schedule-1-1003580440-popup .sched-popup-description .sched-popup-description-text a { color: #18bc9c; } #sched-schedule-1-1003580440-popup .sched-popup-description .sched-meta, #sched-schedule-1-1003580440-popup .sched-popup-description .sched-popup-description-text { color: #535353; background: #ffffff; }

Day 1 - 6th January

09:00
09:30
10:00
10:30
11:00
11:30
12:00
12:30
13:00
13:30
14:00
14:30
15:00
15:30
16:00
16:30
17:00
17:30
18:00
Main Hall
Opening Plenary

Better jobs and better farming
10:00 - 11:00

Better Jobs and Better Farming
or What would it look like to have a million better jobs in UK farming?


Government and food industry policy, which affects farmers in the UK and overseas, fails to adequately protect nature and promote sustainable farming, and undermines the resilience of rural economies and the ability for farmers and others to make a good living on the land. With our panel we will discuss an alternative vision and debate whether a target of a million good jobs for better farming and land-use is feasible or helpful in the UK, and what impact would it have? And more broadly discuss what the structural reasons are –government policies and corporate practices– that undermine rural economic resilience and sustainable farming, that a plan for a million good jobs for better farming would need to challenge e.g. land policies, and subsidies, for sustainable farm/land management.

Speakers:
Chair: Kath Dalmeny (Sustain)
Colin Tudge (College for Real Farming and Food Culture)
Bridget Henderson (Unite the Union )
Rachel Harries (Soil Association)
Stephen Wyrill (Tennant Farmers Association)
Marcus Potter LANTRA)

Audio Recording
[archiveorg BetterJobsAndBetterFarming width=640 height=30 frameborder=0 webkitallowfullscreen=true mozallowfullscreen=true]

Can migrants form the next generation?
11:30 - 12:30

Britain now needs about a million more farmers (for starters) and must rely heavily on migrants – who we often treat very badly. More broadly, the present global “free market” economy obstructs Enlightened Agriculture (“Real Farming”) and is clearly unfit for purpose. In this session two leading thinkers seek a path through the minefield – including how to turn the “problems” of migrants into opportunities for all.

Speakers:
Chair: Lucy Ford (Oxford Brookes University)
Felicity Lawrence (Guardian)
Tom Lines

The corruption of agricultural science
13:30 - 14:30

What determines where scientific research is focused in universities and research institutes? How much freedom do academics have to determine what they research? Is there too much concentration on patentable and saleable products - on seeds rather than systems? This session will hear from a range of academics and researchers to discuss these issues.

Speakers:
Dr Michel Pimbert
Dr Jonathan Latham
Helena Paul

The case against intensive livestock production
15:00 - 16:00

Industrial livestock production is dependent on feeding human-edible cereals to animals. This is inefficient. For every 100 calories fed to animals in the form of cereals, just 17-30 calories are returned for human consumption as meat or milk.

This core inefficiency brings other inefficiencies in its train. Feeding cereals to animals is a wasteful use not only of these crops but of the land, water and energy used to grow them. The need to grow huge amounts of grain to feed factory farmed animals has fuelled the intensification of crop production with its use of agro-chemicals and monocultures. Recent studies show that intensive agriculture has eroded the quality, productivity and biodiversity of UK soils.

A new report by Compassion in World Farming "Cheap Food Costs Dear" reviews the literature that seeks to calculate the cost of the above negative externalities of industrial livestock production. The report shows that the costs of these externalities are immense. These costs, however, are not borne by the consumers of industrial animal products but by taxpayers, third parties or society as a whole. In some cases the costs are borne by no-one and key resources such as soil and biodiversity are allowed to deteriorate undermining the ability of future generations to feed themselves.

The report argues that these externalities must be internalised if we are to develop a livestock sector that produces nutritious food, nurtures the natural resources on which farming depends and delivers high standards of animal welfare.

Speakers:
Peter Stevenson (Compassion in World Farming)
Tim Lang (City University)
Charlie Clutterbuck

Break

Break

Break

Lunch
12:30 - 13:30

Break

Better jobs and better farming

Better Jobs and Better Farming
or What would it look like to have a million better jobs in UK farming?


Government and food industry policy, which affects farmers in the UK and overseas, fails to adequately protect nature and promote sustainable farming, and undermines the resilience of rural economies and the ability for farmers and others to make a good living on the land. With our panel we will discuss an alternative vision and debate whether a target of a million good jobs for better farming and land-use is feasible or helpful in the UK, and what impact would it have? And more broadly discuss what the structural reasons are –government policies and corporate practices– that undermine rural economic resilience and sustainable farming, that a plan for a million good jobs for better farming would need to challenge e.g. land policies, and subsidies, for sustainable farm/land management.

Speakers:
Chair – Kath Dalmeny, Sustain
Colin Tudge (College for Real Farming and Food Culture)
Bridget Henderson (Unite the Union)
Rachel Harries (Soil Association)
Stephen Wyrill (Tennant Farmers Association)
Marcus Potter (LANTRA)

Audio recording:
[archiveorg BetterJobsAndBetterFarming width=640 height=30 frameborder=0 webkitallowfullscreen=true mozallowfullscreen=true]

No session
16:00 - 17:00

Bar opens, evening entertainment begins and meal at 7pm
17:00 - 18:00
Further details

The bar opens in the Main Hall at 5pm

For more details please click below:
Good Food Oxford Evening Dinner

Evening Entertainment

Assembly Room

Break

Break

Lunch
12:30 - 13:30

Break

Soil health without breaking the bank
10:00 - 11:00

Building soil organic matter ups biological activity, nutrient availability, water infiltration and moisture holding capacity.

Andy Whitmore (Rothamsted Research) will draw on the long-term experiments at Rothamsted and the wider science to sum up the best-proven steps farmers can take to build soil organic matter. Guy Thallon (Produce World Group) will report on practical trials comparing different soil amendments on working farms. Caroline Corsie (Worcestershire Wildlife Trust) will share insights from her ‘field lab’ with arable farmers, comparing the cost-benefit and effectiveness of different green manures.

Speakers:
Chair: Helen Browning (Soil Association)
Caroline Corsie (Worcestershire Wildlife Trust)
Guy Thallon (Produce World Group)
Andy Whitmore (Rothamsted Research)

Managing cover crops
11:30 - 12:30

Cover groups can help protect soil, build organic matter, reduce leaching, control weeds and have countless other advantages. But they can be tricky to manage, and the costs are often easier to count than the benefits. What are the secrets to making the best of them?

Jake Freestone (Overbury Farms) will share his experiences of using a range of cover crops. John Newman (Abbey Home Farm) will talk about the practicalities of managing cover crops without herbicides. Steve Townsend (Soil First Farming) will guide through how to choose the right drills and other equipment for the job.

Speakers:
Chair: Caroline Drummond (LEAF)
Jake Freestone (Overbury Farms)
John Newman (Abbey Home Farm)
Steve Townsend (Soil First Farming)

Changing diets, changing fields
13:30 - 14:30

Diets are changing. Indeed they need to change, fast, as the way Britain eats is catastrophically unhealthy and unsustainable. But what does that change entail on the ground, in farming? What part can farmers play in driving it?

We will hear a view from Paul Wyman of Tuxford Windmill on trends in cereal production and consumption. Andrew Trump (Organic Arable) will describe how a group of arable farmers have teamed up with a processor to develop a more resilient value chain that can succeed in the field and in the marketplace. Nick Saltmarsh will talk about Hodmedod’s work to create new markets for British peas, beans and quinoa.

Speakers:
Chair: Liz Bowles (Soil Association)
Andrew Trump (Organic Arable)
Nick Saltmarsh (Hodmedods)
Paul Wyman (Tuxford Windmill)

Biopesticides under the microscope
15:00 - 16:00

Networking
16:00 - 17:00

Old Library

Break

Break

Break

UK food sovereignty: Building a movement that wins
10:00 - 11:00

Hot on the heals of the Food Sovereignty Gathering in Hebdon Bridge (October 2015), this session will focus on how we can build effective links between the wide variety of organisations working on food and farming issues, to ensure radical change for the better in the UK food system.

We will seek inspiration from practitioners who are achieving change from grassroots food supply for local communities (Organiclea), via building positive political relations with the Scottish Nationalist Party (Nourish Scotland), to working with Via Campesina at a European level to influence policy makers in Brussels (Andrea Ferrante). The Landworkers’ Alliance will outline its two pronged approach to policy change, before leading a discussion on how we can work more effectively together to bring about changes we need.

Please come and represent your organisation in this discussion.

Creating a national food policy based on food sovereignty principles
11:30 - 12:30

What would you like to see in a decent National Food Policy? A policy based on health, ecological agriculture, equality and democratic decision making? Here is an opportunity to take part in a process to create a document which will allow us to work together to create the political leverage for significant change. This is a participatory session, leading from a visioning exercise to policy idea workshops, themed on the six principles of Food Sovereignty. Out of this we will collect policy suggestions to feed into the draft document. We will also tell you about how Australia and Canada have created similar documents through such a process, and about the progress they have made in altering national policy.

The international context: Lessons and experiences from La Via Campesina
13:30 - 14:30

Andrea Ferrante and Jyoti Fernandes from European Coordination of Via Campesina will speak of the work that La Via Campesina- an organisation of over 200 million small scale farmers- is doing to influence global food policy within the EU and at the UN level through the Civil Society Mechanism of the Committee on Food Security. The discussion will explain the process of how this participatory influence on global food policy works, the main issues raised and why this work is important as well as discussing the limitations of effectiveness.

Speakers:
Jyoti Fernandes (Land Workers Alliance)
Patrick Mulvaney
Andrea Ferrante (Via Campesina)

This land is whose land? Access to land in the UK past and present
15:00 - 16:00

Historic land ownership patterns in the UK have been preserved whilst our rights of common access have been eroded. Today we face both an agricultural and a housing crisis that are linked through a distribution of land that is among the least equal in the world. How do we begin to re-distribute land to create the food and shelter we all need?

Speakers:
Humphrey Lloyd (Edible Futures)
Robin Grey (Community Food Growers Network)
Ed Hamer (Chagfood)
Toby Lloyd (Shelter)

Networking
16:00 - 17:00

"A New Rural Manifesto" official launch

The Landworkers Alliance and The Land magazine today launch their rural manifesto, Equality in the Countryside, which is targeted in particular at the recently reinvigorated parliamentary opposition. Its 45 recommendations on matters such as employment, housing, transport and the environment reflect our conviction that a thriving rural economy must be grounded in land-based livelihoods.

Council Chamber

Break

Break

Lunch
12:30 - 13:30

Break

Raising cattle and sheep just on pasture - it can be done!
10:00 - 11:00

The UK needs more 100% grass-fed beef and lamb to meet growing demand from consumers. The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association encourages farmers to kick the ‘grain habit’ and finish animals off grazed grass and conserved forage crops, but many are put off by a perceived lack of financial returns. Today we launch a new booklet highlighting the positive economics of some of our members, to show how economically viable this way of farming can really be.

Speakers:
Chair: Sara Gregson (Talking Grass)
Jonathan Brunyee (Royal Agricultural University)
Luppo Diepenbroek (Pasture-Fed Livestock Association)

True cost accounting in food and farming
11:30 - 12:30

Sustainable food systems will never become mainstream until we develop a more honest way of reflecting the true costs of producing food.  In the present intensive model, polluters do not pay and natural capital is freely exploited, whereas producers whose systems deliver social and environmental benefits are not adequately rewarded.

Hosted by the Sustainable Food Trust, this session will explore how we can correct these distortions and build a better business case for sustainable farming.

Speakers:
Tony Juniper (Chair)
Patrick Holden (Sustainable Food Trust)
Alexander Muller (Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Food and Agriculture)
Kerry McCarthy MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs)

Our grass-fed future: A rescue plan for the countryside
13:30 - 14:30

Our countryside’s in deep trouble. It’s producing the wrong foods by the wrong methods. As a result we’re all getting sicker, while rural communities are becoming poorer and our wildlife is disappearing. But there’s a proven remedy for all this. By putting grass-fed foods back on the menu we can bring life and prosperity back to rural Britain while giving our farm animals better lives. We’ll also slash the cost of the NHS.

Speakers
Chair: John Turner (Pasture-Fed Livestock Association)
Graham Harvey (Author of The Carbon Fields)
Caroline Watson (Primal Meats)
Oliver White (Farm2Fork)

Funding real farming: Where's the money?
15:00 - 16:00

A review of the funding environment for our sector and what the future holds

As grant funding becomes harder and harder to find, this session will look at what other options are available for funding enlightened agriculture. We’ll review what has been happening in the equity, community shares, crowdfunding, lending and grants arenas over the past 12 months and look at what opportunities there are going forward.

Experts from each of these funding areas will review their sector and there will then be an opportunity for questions and debate.

Speakers:
Chair: Clare Horrell (Just Growth - FEA)
Dave Boyle (Community Shares Company)
Bonnie Hewson (Power to Change)
Michael Norton (Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action)
Jamie Hartzell (Ethex)
Peter Hughes (Charity Bank)

Networking
16:00 - 17:00

Game changer? Organic vs conventional food
12:30 - 13:15

The scientific evidence reveals substantial differences between organic and conventional food

Despite official scepticism and even hostility, evidence is mounting that there are significant differences in the composition of organic and conventionally produced food and associations between the consumption of organic food and positive health outcomes. The Nafferton Research Group at Newcastle University is at the forefront of this work. Dr. Gillian Butler will present results from studies on crops, milk, beef and human diet comparisons. If you are interested in food and health you need to know this information. The more people know about it, the greater the likelihood of changing the game.

Speakers:
Peter Kindersley (Sheepdrove Trust)
Gillian Butler (Newcastle University)

Long Room

Break

Break

Lunch
12:30 - 13:30

Break

Retail: the missing link in scaling up
10:00 - 11:00

Most farming activity is to be found outside of cities and most food produced finds its way into cities to feed the people. This food is usually produced from industrial farming, much of it overseas and sold through retailing giants who offer a soul destroying shopping experience.

There is a vast market potential out there which is not being exploited to any degree.

This session will look at the barriers and solutions presented by these facts.

A vision for city high street retailing to be inhabited by independent stores that offer local food from local farms and offer a heartening human scale shopping experience. These retailers can connect people with where their food comes from, and build stronger communities, as well as growing the market for local growers. There is no greater way to scale up our world of sustainable food and communities than through good high street retailing.

Speakers:
Phil Haughton (Better Food)
Julie Brown (Growing Communities)

Urban agriculture and community gardening
13:30 - 14:30

Urban agriculture and community gardening – the offer for urban regeneration & overcoming obstacles

A discussion in finding solutions to the obstacles facing community food growing and agriculture in an urban regeneration context. This seminar will use the knowledge of those in the room, to build on the experience gained by the Community Land Advisory Service (established 2012) and Oxford City Farm, whose journey started in 2007 and who got onto their site in 2015.

Speakers:
Rebecca Marshall (Community Land Advisory Service and Royal Agricultural University)
Lucie Mayer (Oxford City Farm)
Ian Egginton-Metters (Federation of of City Farms and Community Gardens)

Life without neonicotinoids
15:00 - 16:00
Boosting bees and yields

The evidence that neonicotinoids harm bees is stacking up. What are the best bee safe alternatives for effective pest control? Hear the latest science from Professor Dave Goulson, hear from farmers/agronomists on what’s worked for them, and join a lively discussion about whether an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) based approach could work better than neonics.

Speakers:
Chair: Sandra Bell (Friends of the Earth)
Professor Dave Goulson (Sussex University)
Peter Lundgren
Ian Dillon (Hope Farm)

Mobilising for agroecology in the U.K.
11:30 - 12:30

This session will begin by screening a six minute film that explores the current international debates about agroecology in relation to the experiences and perspectives of food producers and social movements.

This will be followed by an interactive discussion amongst a diverse panel to debate the meaning, practice and politics of agroecology in the U.K.

Speakers:
Colin Anderson and Csilla Kiss (Coventry University, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience)
Joan Walley (Aldersgate Group)
Michel Pimbert (Coventry University, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience)
Rupert Dunn (CSA Network UK)

No session
16:00 - 17:00

St Aldates Room

Break

Break

Lunch
12:30 - 13:30

Break

Let them eat cake (the right to food)
15:00 - 16:00
What has the right to food got to do with the role of farmers?

Let them eat cake: what has the right to food got to do with the role of farmers?

As a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights the UK is committed to progressive realisation of the right to food. But in practice the UK government takes no responsibility for ensuring universal access to good food, and has been asked by the UN to explain why it is relying on ad hoc provision of food banks to tackle insecurity. In Scotland, there are calls to include the right to food in domestic law.

We all know that raising wages, improving social security and targeting support to women are key to ensuring the right to food in practice: but does farming have a role in feeding people too, or is it just there to produce raw materials for the global supply chain?

Speakers:
Pete Ritchie (Nourish Scotland)
Naomi Salmon (Aberystwyth University)

The latest assault on agriculture: synthetic biology
11:30 - 12:30

The latest assault on agriculture: synthetic biology and the new GM breeding technologies (NBTs)

Each time a new technology emerges that seems to offer advantages to both the business and scientific communities, the UK government tends to embrace it uncritically. We offer this session so that people can find out about synthetic biology and NBTs, and discuss what they mean for agriculture, food and farming.

Synthetic Biology (sometimes called extreme genetic engineering) involves suggested applications ranging from ‘feeding the world’ to addressing climate change. As someone in the UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council, set up to promote the technology, wrote: ‘Areas expected to benefit include pharmaceuticals, diagnostic devices, vaccines, high value industrial chemicals, next generation biofuels, and new and better crops.’

We are also seeing the rapid emergence of new breeding technologies (NBTs), many of which are in fact gene and genome ‘editing’ techniques (eg: CRISPR), part of a new generation of genetic engineering technologies that claim to be more precise. Some are also cheaper and easier to apply than standard genetic engineering techniques.

EcoNexus and others believe that all these new technologies should come under current GMO regulation in the EU. But commercial interests are working hard to support the claim that they fall outside the EU definition of a GMO and do not need to be regulated at all – which would mean no risk assessments, no labelling, no public participation.

2016 will be a critical year in the EU and other regions in the world to push for comprehensive regulation. It will also be critical for developing international guidance to control these new technologies, especially at the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is therefore important to be aware of both the technologies and commercial strategies being used to avoid regulation.

The Polish example
10:00 - 11:00

Farmers and Consumers Unite to Resist Globalisation of the Food Chain

Our food chain has been hijacked. Multinational corporations, global trading blocks and national governments have conspired to take control of both food production and consumption. They have made food and farming into a globalized business that always favours the biggest farms and largest supermarkets. But the people are fighting-back.

Julian Rose and Jadwiga Lopata (International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside) describe how the coming together of family farmers and concerned consumers is bringing about a 'new resistance', blocking the land grabs and Draconian food regulations while promoting the real foods and real farmers of Poland and Europe.

Speakers:
Julian Rose (International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside)
Jadwiga Lopata (International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside)

Care farming in the UK: Good for people, good for farms
13:30 - 14:30

There are over 240 care farms in the UK, providing supervised, structured interventions of farming-related activities for a range of vulnerable people (including people with ASD, mental ill-health, learning disabilities, older people with dementia - to name but a few). Come and hear how care farming can simultaneously improve lives, provide a valuable service for health and social care and increase the viability of farming.

Speakers:
Dr Rachel Bragg (Care Farming UK)
and care farmers:
Robin Asquith (The Hayshed)
Matthew Sharp (Rising Sun Farm)
Sarah Giles (Farm-Ability)

Networking
16:00 - 17:00

A Field of Wheat

How do we develop cross-sector working and engage, inform and give the public agency over the way their food is grown?

A Field of Wheat is a unique project critically framing the cultural, economic, ecological and technical practises of wheat farming in the UK today. Two award winning artists invited people from a range of different backgrounds to invest their money, time and ideas and to work with farmer Peter Lundgren to follow the journey of the cycle of a wheat field in 2015-16. The group includes local residents, general public from urban and rural areas, academics, farmers and industry opening up a new space for sharing informed discussion, reflection and practice relating to wheat farming, food systems and collective ownership within the context of resource depletion, climate change and global markets.

http://fieldofwheat.co.uk/

/* * Custom CSS For Timetable */ #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-column-header { background: #ffffff; color: #3f3f3f; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-column-header:after { background: #ffffff; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-columns .sched-column:last-child .sched-column-header:after { background: #ffffff; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-column-bg-block { background: #ffffff; border-color: #e8e8e8; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-column-bg-block:after { background: #f5f5f5; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-row-no-title .sched-column .sched-column-bg { box-shadow: 0 -1px 0 #e8e8e8; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-title { color: #3f3f3f; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-time-value { color: #3f3f3f; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-event .sched-event-inner { color: #555555; text-align: center; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-event.sched-event-invert .sched-event-inner { } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-event-title { text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap; overflow: hidden; } /*#sched-schedule-2-997142420 a.sched-event.sched-event-sort-hidden { opacity: 0; }*/ #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-sort .sched-sort-current .sched-sort-current-label { width: 100px; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420 .sched-sort.sched-sort-open .sched-sort-dropdown .sched-sort-current .sched-sort-current-label { width: 180px; } /* * Custom CSS Event Popup */ #sched-schedule-2-997142420-popup .sched-popup-description { } #sched-schedule-2-997142420-popup .sched-popup-description .sched-meta a, #sched-schedule-2-997142420-popup .sched-popup-description .sched-popup-description-text a { color: #18bc9c; } #sched-schedule-2-997142420-popup .sched-popup-description .sched-meta, #sched-schedule-2-997142420-popup .sched-popup-description .sched-popup-description-text { color: #535353; background: #ffffff; }

Day 2 - 7th January

09:00
09:30
10:00
10:30
11:00
11:30
12:00
12:30
13:00
13:30
14:00
14:30
15:00
15:30
16:00
16:30
17:00
17:30
18:00
Main Hall
Break
10:00 - 11:00

Lunch
12:00 - 14:00

Break
15:00 - 16:00

Farming for tomorrow: Innovative business ideas for people and wildlife
09:00 - 10:00

In this session, farmers with innovations for their farming business will present their ideas to an expert panel. We will hear from farmers who are addressing the long-term sustainability of the farm, and providing a home for nature. This should make for a fascinating discussion and highlight changes needed within the sector going forward.

The panel will discuss each idea with the presenting farmer, and additional advice and support offered to help progress their plans.

Panel:
Chair: Dr Darren Moorcroft (RSPB)
Caroline Drummond (LEAF)
Simon Lyster (Natural England)
Tom MacMillan (Soil Association)
Jonathan Sutton (Marks and Spencer)
Naomi Oakley (Natural England)

Wildlife on farms: why should we care?
11:00 - 12:00

If we accept humanity’s grand task is “to create convivial societies within a flourishing biosphere”, then agriculture is crucial to this. Get it right and everyone could be well fed (to the highest standards) forever, while our fellow creatures continue on their own sweet way. Get it wrong and everything else is compromised. Famine will ensue and the cause of wildlife conservation is dead in the water.
This session will look at how to get it right, focussing particularly on how and why farmers should take wildlife more seriously, replacing a traditional stand-off with synergies between the two.

Speakers:
Colin Tudge (College for Real Farming and Food Culture)
Rebecca Hosking (Village Farm)
George Monbiot (Guradian)
Bob Cowley (Oxon Mammal Group)

Eradicating Malnutrition - fortified biscuits or local legumes?
16:00 - 17:00

The current figures associated with malnutrition should not exist in the 21st century. In India alone 48% of children are stunted, and globally UNICEF estimates that 4 children die every minute due to malnutrition. Lack of food diversity and the associated restriction in micro and macro nutrient consumption is a key driver of undernutrition.

Two paradigms offer contrasting solutions to this problem.

A high tech approach proposes the use of centrally produced, sterile, cheap, fortified, packaged foods. These can be in the form of complete meals containing the entire RDA of nutrients such as the flavoured soy milk and fortified biscuits provided by The Breakfast Revolution in India, or more restricted fortification such as those found in the fortified breakfast cereals and soft drinks widely available in the west. These products tend to be popular, uniform and hard to adulterate between the factory and shop, yet pay little regard for the comprehensive food system including social, environmental and wider sustainability concerns.

The second paradigm takes a broader approach to food systems, providing the complete RDA of micro and macro nutrients through increasing dietary diversity, often associated with locally diverse farming systems. This paradigm takes a more systematic approach to food, and recognises that food goes beyond nutrition. Yet without the all-in-one approach of the industrial solutions there remains a risk that the poorest individuals will continue eating a sub-optimal diet and in the context of government food project there is increased risk of theft and adulteration of unpackaged foods.

This session would explore the relative benefits of both paradigms for different places and different time-scales, as well as to explore how each can be modified to improve its wider sustainability to food producers, processers and final consumers

Speakers:
Chair: Dr Alfred Gathorne-Hardy (Oxford University)
Dr Petra Klassen-Wigge (Nestle)
Dr Barbara Smith (Coventry University)
Dr Suneetha Kadiyala (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Hugh Bagnall-Oakeley (Save the Children)

Runaway maize
14:00 - 15:00

Our soils are coming under devastating pressure from an unlikely crop. Maize, especially when badly grown, causes severe environmental damage to soils and rivers. Commonly grown as feed for livestock, there is also scientific evidence that maize silage has a negative impact on the nutritional quality of milk. Rents for farmers are spiralling as more land is being pushed into production of maize for anaerobic digestion, affecting farmers producing food across the UK. Scandalously, many farmers receive significant subsidies to grow maize and therefore to damage the environment. Presenting from their recent report, the Soil Association and others will examine these issues.

Speakers:
Chair: Peter Melchett (Soil Association)
George Monbiot (Guardian)
Mark Lloyd (Angling Trust)
Georgia Farnworth (Soil Association)
Gillian Butler (Newcastle University)

Closing Plenary

Assembly Room
Break
10:00 - 11:00

Lunch
12:00 - 14:00

Break
15:00 - 16:00

Home-grown protein: testing the options
09:00 - 10:00

Substituting for imported protein feeds is one of the most promising ways to improve the sustainability, resilience and profitability of livestock production. We’ll hear from those involved in three practical ‘field labs’ to test and refine different strategies for doing this, as part of the Innovative Farmers network.

Dafydd Jones (Maesllwyni Farm) is hosting a field lab investigating the nutritional value of different multi-species leys for finished lamb production. Liz Bowles (Soil Association) is coordinating a field lab that is sprouting cereals and pulses for livestock feed.

Speakers:
Dafydd Jones (Maesllwyni Farm)
Dr Gillian Butler (Newcastle University)
Liz Bowles (Soil Association)

What does good welfare look like and how to achieve it
16:00 - 17:00

Achieving the highest animal welfare takes care, attention to detail and planning. Two farmers and a vet will share how they use some of the key tools and techniques that can help.

Andy King will talk about the welfare and business benefits of regularly assessing welfare outcomes at Coombe Farm. Jessica Stokes will share how the farming industry uses outcomes to assess welfare, focusing primarily on problems like lameness in dairy cattle and feather loss in laying hens. Nick Bell will talk about the difference that animal health and welfare planning can make on the ground.

Speakers:
Chair: Liz Bowles (Soil Association)
Andy King (Coombe Farm)
Jessica Stokes (Soil Association)
Nick Bell (Royal Veterinary College)

Sustainable intensification or mixed farming - which way for food security and a stable climate?
14:00 - 15:00

Against a background of significant global soil loss spanning over half a century, which threatens future food security, the French government has set a target of rebuilding soil carbon by 0.4% per annum and called on other countries to do the same.

Can this be done by sustainable intensification, or does it need a return to mixed farming?

Speakers:
Patrick Holden (Chair)
Guy Smith (NFU)
Richard Young (Sustainable Food Trust)
Tim May (Kingsclere Estates)

Low input dairying: How less can be more
11:00 - 12:00

In the 1960s, dairying presented one of the few entry-level options in farming. Since then, its fortunes have waxed and waned, and despite responding to the economic drivers than encourage expansion and intensification, today’s industry is one characterised by marginal economic viability and increasing uncertainty.

Although counter-intuitive and in complete contrast to industry trends, some farmers are finding that a return to absolute basics is not only providing then with a viable business, it is also once again offering real opportunities for new entrants.

Speakers:
Chair: John Meadley (Pasture Fed Livestock Association)
Jo Greig (Pasture-Fed Livestock Association)
Mat Boley (Batch End Farm)

17:00 - 18:00

Soap Box
12:30 - 13:30

A chance to highlight issues, projects or information not covered elsewhere in the programme. Speakers will be given three minutes to outline their ideas, projects or research in the Assembly Room. They can then move to the Old Library where they can talk more informally to those who are interested in their subject.

Old Library
Break
10:00 - 11:00

Lunch
12:00 - 14:00

Break
15:00 - 16:00

The dairy crisis: Are micro dairies the solution?
09:00 - 10:00

This session will hear about how plans from Europe to export milk to India and other Asian countries will effect the livelihood of traditional dairy farmers and strategies that the powerful social movements of farmers based in India are working on to preserve their livlihoods. The discussion will also look at how activists in the UK can lobby the UK government to pursue better strategies than increasing exports of milk to strengthen the UK dairy industry for small dairy farmers.

Speakers:
Chair: Jyoti Fernandes (Land Workers Alliance)
S. Kannaiyan (Farmer from Karnataka, India, La Via Campesina)
Simon Fairlie (Monkton Wyld Court)

Community Supported Agriculture in the UK: the movement that keeps on growing
11:00 - 12:00

Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between farmers and consumers in which the responsibilities, risks and rewards of farming are shared. CSAs have been developing in the UK over the last twenty years with over 80 currently in operation and new ones being set up all the time, often with the support of the CSA Network UK.

This session will cover a broad range of possible models including fruit and vegetable growers, micro dairies and community supported bakeries.

Speakers:
Chair: Tracy Wathen-Jones
Rupert Dunn (CSA Network UK)
Maresa Bossano (CSA Network UK)

Practical seed saving
14:00 - 15:00

How to grow more UK open pollinated seed

Very little open pollinated seed is grown in the UK, and with fewer varieties available, especially to organic growers, we must learn from models throughout Europe to equip growers with the skills to save seed as part of their growing enterprise. The session will hear from two examples
of seed saving initiatives in Europe and how this might be replicated in the UK, with some practical demonstrations of small scale seed saving techniques.

Speakers:
Chair: Ashley Wheeler (Trill Farm)
Peter Brinch (Open Pollinated Seed Initiative)
Christian Dalmasso (French Peasants Seed Network)

Rural & Urban; building bridges together
16:00 - 17:00

Facilitated Open Group session, share thoughts, experiences and feelings towards the cultural, economic and social distillation of our society through the lens of the differences and similarities between urban and rural communities. We will create an open forum to increase communication and listening, to build bridges and realise our shared goals in working together towards a sustainable and more just food system and ultimately a better future for everyone.

17:00 - 18:00

Open Space
12:30 - 13:30

Linked to the Soap Box in the Assembly Room, this will allow for informal discussion of specific ideas or projects. Those who have spoken at the Soap Box session (next door) will be encouraged to move into this room where they can expand on the topic in informal conversation with interested delegates.

Open Space
12:30 - 13:30

Linked to the Soap Box in the Assembly Room, this will allow for informal discussion of specific ideas or projects. Those who have spoken at the Soap Box session (next door) will be encouraged to move into this room where they can expand on the topic in informal conversation with interested delegates.

Council Chamber
Break
10:00 - 11:00

Lunch

Break
15:00 - 16:00

Agroforestry: what it is and why it's needed
14:00 - 15:00

Agroforestry, combining trees and other forms of agriculture, can offer many advantages to farmers and the wider public. This session will give an overview of what agroforestry is in practice, why it is a good thing, and how it can be better supported.

Speakers:
Martin Wolfe (Organic Research Centre)
John Tucker (Woodland Trust)
Paul Burgess (Cranfield University)
Stephen Briggs (Abacus Organics)

Strengthening the people’s markets: an international angle
09:00 - 10:00

Markets are an integral part of the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and other food producers in the global South. Local ‘informal’ markets are the basis of the food webs that feed most people on the planet and many farmers are keen to be able to supply growing urban markets in nearby cities and other regions of their country, or indeed to trade with neighbouring countries.

Yet too often policy conversations about support for small-scale farmers assume the only market is the global market, dominated by transnational agribusiness. Local markets are often invisible to policy makers.

Instead of talking about connecting small-scale farmers to international agribusiness, where they are likely to be locked in to unequal and exploitative power relationships, it is important to look instead at supporting and strengthening the ‘people’s markets’ which can work to benefit small-scale farmers and local communities.

This session will hear about efforts to change the conversation about markets in UN policy discussions and case studies of supporting the people’s markets on the ground.

Speakers:
Andrea Ferrante (Italian Association for Organic Agriculture, AIAB)
Georgina McAllister (GardenAfrica)

The big estates of the future
11:00 - 12:00

In this session we bring together some of the most influential “land shapers” in the country, to debate and discuss their priorities for the long-term stewardship of their estates, and by extension the major landscapes of the UK. What is the future of the land economy? How do we reconcile the pressing demand for agricultural products with the wider range of “life support” functions that landscapes might provide our communities and businesses? Is the future driven by grants, or markets? How can we shape these to match society’s needs? And who and where are the people who will manage the land to deliver all of this?

Speakers:
Chair: Tom Curtis (3 Keel)
Dame Helen Ghosh (National Trust)
Alastair Martin (Duchy of Cornwall)
Helen Woolley (Country Land and Business Association)
John Varley (Clinton Devon Estates)

The College for Real Farming and Food Culture
16:00 - 17:00

If we and other species are to survive in a tolerable state then we need to re-think all of food and agriculture from first principles: the husbandry; the cooking; the science; the political, economic, and legal infrastructure; and the underlying morality and metaphysics. For this we need a new kind of think-tank and new centres of learning. This session will examine plans to set up a College for Real Farming and Food Culture, which will aim to develop and promulgate the ideas that can underpin the Agrarian Renaissance that the world needs.

Speakers:
Chair: Lucy Ford (Oxford Brookes University)
Nick Read (Bulmer Foundation)
Chris Smaje (Small Farm Future),
Helen Woodcock (Kindling Trust)
Colin Tudge (College for Real Farming and Food Culture)

17:00 - 18:00

Lunch

Affordable fruit & veg seminar
12:30 - 13:30

How can the alternative food system be harnessed to improve access to affordable fruit and veg for all?

Many in the UK - particularly those with low or no incomes - lack easy access to readily affordable fruit and vegetables. Join our lunchtime workshop to discuss the ‘alternative’ food system’s role in increasing fruit and veg consumption, and how local and national policy makers can best facilitate this.

The session is hosted by the Food Foundation: an independent, public health-focussed think tank which aims to develop well-evidenced solutions to the challenges found across the UK’s food system, and create a demand for change.

Long Room
Break
10:00 - 11:00

Lunch
12:00 - 14:00

Break
15:00 - 16:00

Defining peasant agriculture
09:00 - 10:00
Perspectives from Europe

The term ́peasant agriculture ́ generally describes a type of rural economy that practically does not exist in our society, which is dominated by industrial and service economy. The term remains present in people's minds, however, as an image, a memory, something that provides them with feelings of existential security, an eternal constant within society.

This session will examine what is meant by the term "peasant agriculture" and if it has already been lost completely.
Speakers:
Christian Hiss (Regionalwert AG)
Attila Szocs (Eco Ruralis)
Chris Smaje (Small Farm Future)

The new grain revolution
11:00 - 12:00

The new grain revolution: Growing Healthier Bread in Scotland, England and Wales

Gluten-intolerance and poor digestibility are two of many reasons why growing numbers of people spurn the bread on offer. It fails to meet citizens’ nutritional needs and is one of the most distorted parts of a broken food system. Hear agro-ecological perspectives from Scotland, England and Wales. Three collaborations bring together cereal scientists, farmers, millers and bakers to create a thriving, regional grain economy with the common purposes of health, sustainability and food sovereignty.

This workshop will be followed by a community bread lunch, a lunchtime discussion on how communities can take control of their own bread.

Speakers:
Andrew Forbes (Brockwell Bake)
Andrew Whitley (Bread Matters and Scotland The Bread)
Anne Parry (Felin Ganol Watermill and Welsh Grain Forum)

Access to land and land for our food
14:00 - 15:00

An introduction to a new European-wide network on Access to land including the premiere of Land for our Food, a 30 minute film exploring the different experiences of agro-ecological farmers finding land for food production across Europe.

Speakers:
Rachel Harries, Soil Association
Gavin Bridger (Farnham Local Food)
Christophe Gaudry (French farmer)
Attila Szocs (Eco Ruralis)

The role of local authorities in securing access to land
16:00 - 17:00

This session will look at how local authorities can support those looking to access land for food production. What land is publicly owned, how can people find this out and who or what determines who has access to it and for what purposes?

Speakers:
Chair: John Tanner (Oxford City Council)
Bonnie Hewson (Beacon Farms)
Charles Coats
Veronique Rioufol (Terre de Liens)

17:00 - 18:00

St Aldates Room
Break
10:00 - 11:00

Lunch
12:00 - 14:00

Break
15:00 - 16:00

How can we win the war of words on GM?
09:00 - 10:00

Genetically modified food can be an explosive topic. Passion is a powerful force for change, but how can we ensure that, when we talk about GM, we generate more light than heat? Leading GM campaigners share their experience of presenting the case against GM and discuss the ways in which different language, tone and emphasis can help, or hinder, the campaign to keep GM out of our food and off our farms.
Speakers:
Liz O'Neill (GM Freeze)
Pat Thomas (Beyond GM)
Lawrence Woodward (Beyond GM)

How to scale up and replicate a successful enterprise
11:00 - 12:00

You’re running a project which is working well, but the need is far wider than you are able to deal with. So what should you do? There are two options. Scaling up , so that you grow bigger. Replicating in other locations, using techniques from open sourcing to social franchising, where others copy what you have been able to achieve. This session will explore the options and processes for scaling up and replication, illustrated through two real-life examples: HisBe, a local supermarket which buys locally whilst ensuring a fair deal for its suppliers; and the Ecological Land Trust, which helps sustainable farmers get started. Come to this session and get ideas for how to develop your own enterprise to achieve even greater impact.

Speakers:
Michael Norton (Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action)
Cate Chapman (Ecological Land Cooperative)
Ruth Anslow (How it should be (hiSbe), ethical supermarket)

Community Supported Agriculture in Europe
14:00 - 15:00

Lessons from around Europe. All over Europe, and the rest of the world, people who farm and people who eat are forming communities around locally-grown food. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Teikei, AMAP, Reciproco, ASC – the names may be different but the essence is the same. Active citizens are making a commitment to local farms to share the risks and the bounty of ecological farming. This session will include presentations from successful and innovative CSA models from across Europe including Gar

Speakers:
Fabian Kern (GartenCoop),
Elena Barcanu and Christea Irinel (Asociatia de Sprijin a Agriculturii Taranesti - Peasant agriculture support association)  

Trees and woods: potential allies in livestock farm productivity?
16:00 - 17:00

Trees and woods: potential allies in livestock farm productivity?

Does your farm lack shelter, do you have problems with poorly drained fields? The Woodland Trust will explain how the thoughtful integration of trees into livestock management systems can help boost production and improve animal health and welfare, using examples of farm projects we are supporting. This is designed to be an interactive session and woodland creation advisor Hamish Thomson will be happy to answer questions as to how trees can work for your farm.

Speakers
Helen Chesshire (Woodland Trust)
Hamish Thomson (Woodland Trust)
Rebecca Hosking (Village Farm)

17:00 - 18:00

CSA Networking
12:30 - 13:30

Hosted by CSA Network UK

A Field of Wheat

How do we develop cross-sector working and engage, inform and give the public agency over the way their food is grown?

A Field of Wheat is a unique project critically framing the cultural, economic, ecological and technical practises of wheat farming in the UK today. Two award winning artists invited people from a range of different backgrounds to invest their money, time and ideas and to work with farmer Peter Lundgren to follow the journey of the cycle of a wheat field in 2015-16. The group includes local residents, general public from urban and rural areas, academics, farmers and industry opening up a new space for sharing informed discussion, reflection and practice relating to wheat farming, food systems and collective ownership within the context of resource depletion, climate change and global markets.

http://fieldofwheat.co.uk/

One comment on “Programme
  1. Mike Donovan says:

    Once again it looks an inspiring programme which I would like to promote to readers and subscribers of Practical Farm Ideas magazine, which includes a section titled ‘Soil+ Cover Cropping International, started 2012.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>