— Press release: ORFC 2018 programme now live

The Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) 2018 programme has been finalised and is now available online

Taking place on 4-5 January 2017 in the Oxford Town Hall, the conference themes will be split across four strands: Farm Practice; Growing and Supporting; Food Sovereignty and The Big Ideas. This year, the ORFC will also have a room dedicated to the complexity of Brexit and how it will impact UK farming and trade.

Delegates can expect the ORFC’s usual mix of expert and innovative sessions that look at the full breadth of issues concerning today’s sustainable farmers and food producers, along with thought-provoking discussions around our connection to and responsibility for protecting the land – more vital than ever as the Brexit process unfolds with all its potential threats and opportunities.

As well as showcasing new techniques for best practice in agroecological farming, there will be broader discussions on what must happen to create real change in our food system, including:

  • Brexit-related issues, such as the public benefits or goods we could be seeking to generate from our new farming and land management policies
  • Micro-dairying; the practicalities of production and processing
  • The threats of falling diversity of farms and the value of supporting new farms and farmers
  • Permaculture and bio-intensive methods for highly productive and profitable growing on a small scale while protecting the biosphere and sequestering carbon
  • Sanctuary gardens – what they are  and how they reach out and engage asylum seekers and refugees in community gardens, city farms, permaculture farms and other growing spaces
  • Scotland’s Good Food Nation Bill
  • Realising the benefits of pasture-based farming for Britain
  • The possibilities for the direct intervention in the restoration of biodiversity for farmers and landowners through the partial perspective of species reintroduction
  • Welsh public/private partnership innovation to build and deliver a plan for country-scale land use and agricultural change, using Wales as a prototype lab for the world

The ORFC welcomes practising mud-on-the-boots farmers and growers, scientists and economists, activists and lawyers, and everyone else with a serious interest in working towards a more sustainable food and agricultural system.


For more information and interviewees, please contact:
Katharine Mansell, ORFC Marketing and Communications Manager
e: katharine@orfc.org.uk /  t: @commsnerd

Conference quick links:

  • Programme PDF: http://orfc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ORFC-Programme_2018_LR.pdf
  • More info on evening activities here: http://orfc.org.uk/orfc-2018/evening-entertainment/
  • Our blog archive, containing opinion pieces on issues from agroforestry and flooding, to Brexit and glyphosate: http://orfc.org.uk/blog/
  • Our twitter account: https://twitter.com/ORFC and conference hashtag: #ORFC18
  • Oxford Real Farming Conference sponsors:
    The ORFC would like to thank the following the following funders, sponsors and partner organisations, without whose support this event would not be possible: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Riverford, Compassion in World Farming, the Soil Association, Landworkers Alliance, the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association, Triodos Bank, Sustain and Cotswold Seeds.

    About the Oxford Real Farming Conference (www.orfc.org.uk):
    In 2009, agricultural writer Graham Harvey (now of Pasture Promise TV) invited Colin Tudge and Ruth West (founders of the Campaign for Real Farming) to help establish a new kind of farming conference. The conference, first held in 2010 as a much-needed alternative to the concurrently-running Oxford Farming Conference, provides an innovative environment for some radical discussions on some of the biggest issues facing our society today. ORFC delegates are those from across food and farming, with an interest in new agricultural models. They represent those who are interested in meeting global food system challenges in original, environmentally sustainable ways. The point of the ORFC is not simply to attack the status quo but to look ahead — to ask what the world really needs, and what really can be done.