ORFC Programme 2020

A pdf of the 2020 programme is available here.

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ORFC 2020 Day 1 8th January



The Farm that Grows Water: Combining animals and trees to combat climate change
16:00 - 17:00

Speakers: Alfredo Cunhal, Herdade do Freixo do Meio
Chair: John Vidal, Journalist

A former agricultural scientist, Alfredo Cunhal practices the ancient art of silvopasture, combining livestock with productive trees and shrubs on his farm Herdade do Freixo do Meio in Southern Portugal. This system which he calls “the new montado”, not only produces a great variety of food – 600 different products – but can withstand long periods of drought; build soil; resist fires; soak up carbon and produce water from deep underground. Alfredo’s approach is backed up by recent studies that show that interspersing trees, animals and crops could be one of our best defences against climate change. Come and hear about the extraordinary benefits of silvopasture as well as Alfredo’s communal-style vision for the land that has been in his family for generations.

Food, Farming and Climate Justice
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Gail Bradbrook, Extinction Rebellion
Oli Rodker Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA)
Peter Stevenson, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF)
Paula Gioia, La Via Campesina
Nelson Mudzingwa, Zimsoff (by Skype)
Chair: John Vidal, Journalist

Our food and farming system is at the centre of the global climate change debate and all possible pathways to reduce emissions to net zero will have dramatic effects on what we eat, how it is produced and how it is distributed around the world. However, when it comes to the detail of what will enable that transition to happen, how coherent are our visions and how effective are our strategies? Join our panel of farmers and climate activists, from the UK and around the world, for a debate exploring proposals for socially just and environmentally sustainable food and farming systems in the context of climate change, and the social and political changes that are necessary to achieve them.

Opening Plenary
09:30 - 10:15

Please join us for the opening of the ORFC2020. This is the first time delegates will gather together and is an important moment which will set the agenda for the two days to come. You will be welcomed by drummers from the Shumei Taiko Ensemble and key speakers will give short addresses that will help frame your experience of this year’s conference. Don’t miss out!


A Food Strategy for the UK: Local food systems and access to healthy, affordable food for all
14:30 - 15:30

Speaker: Henry Dimbleby DEFRA
Dee Woods, Granville Community Kitchen
Victoria Williams, Food Matters
Jyoti Fernandes, LandworkersAlliance
Richard Young, Sustainable Food Trust
Chair: Vicki Hird, Sustain

The UK has unacceptable levels of food insecurity and dietary related ill health. Despite being the 6th largest economy in the world, over 8.4 million people living in UK households report having insufficient food and 13% of healthcare costs are from diet-related ill health. Farmers and food system activists argue that local food systems play a significant role in improving access to healthy, affordable food for everyone, regardless of their income, status or background. However policy makers often see agriculture, food and health as distinct areas. In this session we explore how a food strategy for the UK could provide pathways towards improved local food systems and to access the healthy, affordable food for all.


LUNCHTIME TALK: 2019: The Year Agroecology Went Worldwide
13:30 - 14:15

Last year two global reports backed by the world’s governments laid out what the future of farming should look like, and in the process almost every single country in the world advocated for food production and land management methods most closely aligned with agroecology.

The reports, from IPBES (Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), examined how the world currently manages its land and the burden of production placed on it. They looked at what this does to hasten degradation and biodiversity loss, and accelerate climate change impacts.

While these reports dominated the media, the coverage didn’t show the full story. This is your chance to get past the headlines.

Farming While Black: African Diasporic Wisdom for Farming and Food Justice
12:00 - 13:00

Speaker: Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm
Chair: Samra Mariam, Trustee, Real Farming Trust

Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices - from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative - have roots in African wisdom. Yet, Black farmers experience discrimination and marginalisation worldwide. Author, activist, farmer and founder of Soul Fire Farm in New York, Leah Penniman is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Through programmes such as the Black-Indigenous Farmers Immersion, a sliding-scale farmshare delivery programme, and reparations work, Soul Fire Farm is part of an international network of farmers working to increase farmland stewardship by people of colour, restore Afro-indigenous farming practices, and end food apartheid. Leah will talk about this growing global movement and how ORFC delegates can contribute and help build a food system based on justice, dignity and abundance for all members of our community.

Registration and coffee/tea
08:30 - 09:30

Please arrive in plenty of time to register, review the programme and have a cuppa before the opening plenary.




The Value of Tree Fodder in Silvopasture Systems
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Tim Pagella, Bangor University
Nigel Kendall, University of Nottingham
Tim Downes, The Farm
Chair: Helen Chesshire, Woodland Trust

Silvopasture is an ancient practice that integrates trees and pasture into a single system for raising livestock. Research from Project Drawdown – the global research organisation - suggests silvopasture is the most effective climate change mitigation solution of all agricultural strategies. However, there are also animal welfare and productivity benefits through the provision of shelter, shade and as a valuable source of food. This session will give a brief overview of what silvopasture is and its benefits before delving into more detail about why two producers are planting trees on their farms. It will have a particular focus on trees as a food source and highlight new research on the mineral composition of tree leaves and how best to utilise some of the concentrations identified as a supplement for sheep.

Fixing the Benefits of Pulses in Crop Rotations
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: George Young, Fobbing Farms
Christine Watson, SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College
Katie Bliss, Agricology
Chair: Josiah Meldrum, Hodmedod’s

Pulses have historically formed a key part of crop rotations. They deliver a large range of beneficial agroecosystem services including nitrogen fixation and habitat for pollinators and natural enemies. As such, diversifying rotations with pulses can enhance system productivity. Moreover, with increasing demand for plant-based protein, there is a growing potential market for UK-grown pulses. However, growing pulses is considered inherently risky and farmers face several challenges in production and marketing. This session will get into the nitty gritty of growing pulses, with experience from research and practice, and explore opportunities for overcoming some of the challenges.

Climate Change and UK Horticulture: What is to Come and How to Build Resilience
14:30 - 15:30

Speaker: Rosemary Collier, University of Warwick
Chair: Adam Keeves, Organic Growers Alliance

Climate change has already begun to make small changes to UK horticulture. This session will present experiences from UK growers and then model examples of the changes to come, with specific detail on insects. The session will aim to highlight the issues growers should pay attention to, but importantly present techniques to build resilience in organic systems. A follow-on session to this talk will be held in the St Aldates Room.

Real Farming Solutions to Reducing Antibiotic Use
16:00 - 17:00

Speakers: Claire Howlett, Wicton Farm
Ed Bailey, The George Farm Vets
Shona Phillips, Sparsholt College
Chair: Kate Still, Soil Association

Though UK farms have reduced their use of antibiotics by 40 percent in the past five years, resistance to antibiotics continues to rise – a threat to the health of both livestock and people. This session features a farmer who makes no use of antibiotics at all; a “technical clinic” led by a vet who will discuss preventive husbandry; and reports from a number of practical projects for better targeting of treatment, alternative treatments, and ways to engage with farmers through peer-to-peer learning.

Practical Progress towards Public Goods
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Vicky Robinson, Natural England
Abby Rose, Vidacycle
Nick Rowsell, John Rowsell Ltd,
Alice Midmer, LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming)
Chair: Caroline Drummond, LEAF

Payment by results and sustainability metrics to measure and demonstrate how farmers deliver public goods, needs to be practical, meaningful, realistic and achievable. Building on existing data collection sets and demonstrating impact are key requirements. LEAF has significant experience in this area, working with farmers to ascertain what good looks like, what and how appropriate measures can be used, and engaging farmers. This session will highlight effective approaches from LEAF and others to monitor and manage biodiversity outcomes. The session will identify some of the challenges and barriers and provide practical solutions to successfully working together to deliver change.



Animal Feeds: What we feed livestock matters
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Jyoti Fernandes, Landworkers’ Alliance
Samuel Smith, Forum for the Future,
Karen Luyckx, Feedback
Ben Scriven, Tamarisk Farm
Chair: Christine Page, Smiling Tree Farm

Animal feed is increasingly under the spotlight for its environmental impacts. What we feed livestock matters, because it relates to about half of the agricultural land on the planet, 80 percent of which is grasslands. In particular, pig and poultry production has a major dependency on soy imported from Latin America, and fish oil which is linked to overfishing. In this session, we'll provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities, showcasing some of the actions farmers are taking on feed sustainability.

Yes We Can! How UK growers could meet demand for fruit and vegetables
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Courtney Scott, Food Foundation,
Rebecca Laughton, Landworkers’ Alliance/ Growing Communities,
Adam Payne, Landworkers’ Alliance/
Chair: Julie Brown, Growing Communities

A recent study suggested that we should be eating seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day, rather than the government-recommended five. However, If the whole UK population were to eat like this, UK growers would need to produce an additional two million tonnes of fresh produce. At the same time, horticultural labour shortages threaten to reduce domestic supply. LWA and Growing Communities’ Horticulture Campaign has a vision involving massively scaling-up UK organic horticulture production and creating supply systems for every city in the country based on the “Food Zones” model. This session will explore progress in projecting how far such a model could go towards meeting UK demand and outline existing efforts to train, equip and establish a new generation of growers.

Lean Mean Growing Machine
14:30 - 15:30

Speaker: Ashley Wheeler, Trill Farm
Ben Hartman, Clay Bottom Farm
Chair: Ellen Rignell, Trill Farm

A commitment to food sovereignty is at the core of organic and agroecological food production. Recently there has been a drive towards greater productivity and efficiency in small-scale agriculture, particularly at market garden scale. As we strive to get more out of the land we farm, how do we ensure that we stay rooted in principles of food sovereignty and ecological farming? These are questions familiar to organic and agroecological growers the world over, and this session is an opportunity to explore this as we hear from two experienced growers running successful horticultural businesses. Hosted by Landworkers’ Alliance and Organic Growers Alliance.

Overcoming Planning Barriers
16:00 - 17:00

Speakers: Rebecca Laughton, Landworkers’ Alliance / Growing Communities
Dan Newbury, Slight Hill Farm
Ruth Munns, Ecological Land Cooperative (ELC)
Chris Vernon, One Planet Council

Small-scale farmers and growers face significant planning barriers when establishing rural businesses, which lead to huge financial and emotional costs. These range from struggles to gain permission for agricultural workers’ dwellings, to enable them to live on their farm, to having to compete with the elevated prices of farm buildings brought about by Class Q Permitted Development Rights, which allow a landowner to convert barns into up to three market dwellings. This session will look at barriers from a farmer’s perspective, and some solutions to these challenges, both in terms of practical actions and proposals for policy change.


LUNCHTIME TALK: Improving farm productivity while looking after the environment
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Tim Mordan, DEFRA
Chair: Jyoti Fernandes, Landworkers’ Alliance

We have some brilliant farmers and growers in this country who provide us with a wide range of great food – from small family farms through to large agri-businesses. But when we compare our productivity to some other countries around the world we know we can do a lot better in some areas. The big challenge is how can we be more productive and competitive while, at the same time, enhancing the environment? Tim Mordan will talk about some of these big challenges, what has been done so far and seek thoughts and ideas for future action.



ARMs for Farms! How retailers can increase the demand for sustainably-grown fruit and veg
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Natasha Soares, Better Food Traders
Rebecca Laughton, Landworkers’ Alliance
Ben Reynolds, Sustainable Food Cities / Sustain
Chair: Julie Brown, Growing Communities

The session will introduce the Better Food Traders Network - a new initiative launched by Growing Communities, aiming to promote the Alternative Routes to Market (ARMs) model that needs to be developed in tandem with agroecological production in order to support growers with fair prices sufficient to create viable livelihoods. We’ll look at what the BFT network has to offer ethical retailers, how Sustainable Food Cities can support this work, and outline work by the Landworkers’ Alliance on the production and supply side.

Practical Ways to Achieve Zero Carbon in the UK
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Tim Benton, Chatham House and IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party
Caterina Brandmayr, Green Alliance UK
Phil Jarvis, NFU Environment Forum
Martin Lines, Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN)
Chair: Richard Benwell, Wildlife and Countryside Link

The Government’s legally-binding target of net zero carbon by 2050 has huge implications for farming and land management in the UK. In this session, experts from all sides of the debate will interrogate exactly what net zero means for farmers and land managers on the ground. Discussion will range from the science that underpins net zero, to the politics behind the ambitious target, the policies we will need to make it a reality and the pioneering action some farmers are already taking. This session will be followed by a lunchtime session (in the Long Room) where farmers will be invited to take part in facilitated discussions, tailored to their specific farm context, about practical action they can take on their farm right now to tackle emissions and store carbon.

Transforming Land Ownership and Land Stewardship Models for the Future
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Miriam Rose, Hardwick Estate
Corin Stuart, Windy Ridge Estate
Ninian Stuart, Falkland Estate
Megan MacInnes, Scottish Land Commission
Chair: Gemma Adams, Forum for the Future

How might landowners take a radically different approach to enable equitable and responsible stewardship of land to meet today’s challenges and those of the future? How can ownership of and responsibility for land be shared via participatory governance models? Is a return to the commons possible or even desirable? Three landowners from Scotland and England share their progressive approaches to changing land ownership and its dynamics and the challenges they face, while Scottish Land Commissioner Megan MacInnes explores the connections between human rights and land reform and what governance models for the future might look like.

What Will Post-Brexit Trade Deals Mean for Our Farmers, Environment, Welfare and Food Standards?
16:00 - 17:00

Speakers: Josie Cohen, Pesticide Action Network UK
Jean Blaycock, Global Justice Now
Nick Palmer, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF)
Nick von Westenholz, National Farmers‘ Union (NFU)
Chair: Kath Dalmeny, Sustain

When/if the UK is an ‘independent’ trading nation after Brexit, will UK farmers have to compete with lower-quality imports using banned pesticides, hormones, rainforest-depleting soya feed, GM, antibiotics and poor animal welfare? A new trade bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech but there is as yet no sign of a UK trade mandate, nor exactly how our elected representatives in parliament would have a say over our food, farming and fishing standards in future deals. Trade talks could be accelerated and signed within months. This session with trade and issue experts and campaigners will help us prepare.


Farm Succession, Family Business, and Democratic Ownership
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Tom Carman, Real Farming Trust / Ethex
Jonny Gordon-Farleigh, Stir to Action
Sebastian Parsons, Stockwood Community Benefit Society
Chair: Anita McNaught, Journalist/Farmer

120,000 family businesses are expected to close or transfer ownership in the next three years. There is a gap between family farms and the value they bring to food systems and meeting local people’s needs, especially in relation to household food insecurity as experienced by people forced to use food banks. This session will unpack challenges facing family businesses, hear from a pioneer in democratic land ownership, explore meaningful ‘exits’ and creative succession approaches for family farms, and discuss how this contributes to land reform. The session will also gather ideas for tools to enable simple transfer of farms to democratically-owned ventures that can improve the role of farms in food security.



Peasant Bakeries: A New Model from Grain to Loaf
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Nicolas Supiot, Les Jardins de Siloé
Katie Hastings, The Gaia Foundation
Chair: Rupert Dunn, Torth Y Tir

Nicolas Supiot is one of the most famous peasant bakers in France, often credited as the man who revived the word ‘peasant’ from its derogatory past. For this session, Nicolas will be joining Rupert Dunn from the Welsh Bakery, Torth Y Tir, to talk about his practices for taking grain from genetically-diverse landrace seed populations all the way to wood-fired sourdough on his Brittany farm. The session will focus on the key ethos, methodology and equipment for a peasant bakery, as well as exploring diversity from the soil up; and some of the more esoteric aspects of what it means to be a peasant baker, reviving our relationship with the elements, with wheat, with ourselves and each other.
Nicolas will also be staying on to teach a course on the subject shortly after ORFC, contact Rupert at torthytir@gmail.com to find out more.

Gearing Up for Agroecology; Transforming Publicly Funded Research and Innovation for the Public Good?
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Helena Paul, EcoNexus
Nina Moeller, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Re silience (CAWR), Coventry University
Adam Payne, Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA)
Patrick Mulvany, Food Ethics Council

Join us to explore how to transform publicly-funded research for agroecology and help broaden the coalition – initiated at ORFC 2019 – pressing for scientific, technical and socio-economic research and innovation to prioritise the transformation towards a biodiverse, food sovereignty-based, agroecological food system. Now, with many recent reports and heightened awareness about the climate/ecosystem/nutrition crises, we need to claim our definition of agroecology as the basis for a research agenda fit for real food and farming, through a collective citizen/farmer-led approach. Let’s identify which (mainly policy) levers to pull; pathways to explore; drivers to enhance; hurdles to dismantle; actors to involve; and priority actions to pursue.

Farmer-Led Innovation and Research for Agroecology
16:00 - 17:00

Speakers: Fred Price, Gothelney Farm
Becca Stevenson, Five Acre Community Farm
Rupert Dunn, Torth Y Tir
Chair: Chris Maughan, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University

Agroecology is knowledge intensive, not input intensive, but agricultural development over the last century has steadily undermined farmer knowledges by creating technological ‘lock-ins’ and ‘top down’ research models. This panel will gather perspectives from those who are resisting this trend by ‘hacking’ the current system for a more equitable and (bio)diverse food system. This includes networks of farmers doing trials on their own land, ‘Farm Hacks’ for building tools and skills to maximise farmer autonomy, and CSAs involving members in field-based research. The aim of the session will be to get a clearer sense of who is currently doing this work but also what support is needed to out-scale existing efforts.

NETWORKING SESSION: Practical Ways to Achieve Net Zero
13:30 - 14:15

In this networking session, which follows on from a panel debate in the Council Chamber, farmers are invited to take part in group discussions, tailored to their specific farm context, about practical action they can take on their farm right now to tackle emissions and store carbon. Discussions will be broken down into arable, livestock, horticulture and mixed farming, and will be facilitated by representatives from Wildlife and Countryside Link and the Nature-Friendly Farming Network. Attendees should leave the session with some clear actions they can implement on their farms.


Diversifying the Grain Chain
12:00 - 13:00

Speaker: Kimberly Bell, Small Food Bakery
Cory Mason, TOAD – The Oxford Artisan Distillery
Paul Wyman, Tuxford Windmill
Fred Price, Gothelney Farm
Chair: Katie Bell, The Gaia Foundation

Crop diversity has been in rapid decline for the last 100 years, particularly when it comes to grains grown in the UK. Where we once had a patchwork of regionally-specific grains grown across the country, arable fields are becoming increasingly homogenised in favour of supposedly high-performing modern breeds. The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Programme is working to support a diverse and resilient seed system and will chair this session around the question “How can we support the growing of genetically-diverse grains by supporting diversity at every level of the grain supply chain?” Panellists will represent diverse elements of the grain chain from seed to plate.



What Can We Learn From Our Soils? Taking Soil Tests to the Next Level
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Elizabeth Stockdale, NIAB (National Institute of Agricultural Botany)
Tim Williams, The Pastoral Collective
Niels Corfield, Soils Advisor
Jenni Dungait, Soil Health Expert
Chair: Abby Rose, Vidacycle

This is a practical discussion on how farmers can get tangible insights from simple soil health tests that we can do ourselves. How can we use data from slake scores to understand levels of soil carbon? Can data from visual evaluation of soil structure be combined with infiltration rates to show soil erosion risk? Farmers, scientists and soil health specialists will share learnings; and the Soilmentor team will share plans for ecological tools such as a carbon meter / soil erosion meter / biodiversity indicator which farmers can use to get value from soil health data they have collected on their farms.

Wake Up to Genome Editing: Is it a Threat or an Opportunity?
16:00 - 17:00

Speakers: Michael Antoniou, Kings College London
Lawrence Woodward, Beyond GM
Claire Robinson, GM Watch
Chair: Pat Thomas, Beyond GM

Genome editing is a profoundly transformative technology. It is being pushed by the research establishment, government, media and industry as the smart way to achieve sustainability. The agroecological/organic movement has been complacent and myopic in response to claims that genome editing is compatible with their principles. This technology will affect every aspect of production, but farmers and growers are either unaware of it or ignoring it. This session will cover where we are with current opinions; potential health and environmental impacts; and how regulation – or lack of it – will impact.


Woodland and Agroforestry: Offering New Business Opportunities for Farmers
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Harriet Bell, Dartington Hall
Charles Tebbutt, Food & Forest
Clive Thomas, Soil Association
Jeremy Smith, Savills
Chair: Nick Rau, Friends of the Earth

Adding trees to farms stores carbon, can boost productivity, diversifies outputs, and provides a host of other benefits. But how do we overcome the financial, skills, supply chain and market barriers to make trees a successful business? This session will showcase a range of options and exciting new approaches: identifying financial opportunities offered by trees; how can farmers become foresters?; innovative tenancies and collaborations between landowners, farmers, and tree growers; the key role of land agents for flexible tenancies; cooperative working to take advantage of scale; accessing markets and creating new markets; developing supply chains; and opportunities from new funding streams.

LUNCHTIME TALK: How Insects Migrate and Influence Soil Health Across Continents
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Will Hawkes, University of Exeter

Insects are seemingly everywhere. Quietly pollinating, controlling pests, decomposing waste and many more freely-provided services that we all rely on for our own continued survival. However, they have another side to their lives: a great number of insects (from butterflies to flies, dragonflies to beetles) are hugely migratory, travelling thousands of kilometres a year. Recent research from the University of Exeter (with other European universities) is beginning to show to what enormous extent insect migration is affecting agriculture continent-wide, and how absolutely vital it is that we protect these most remarkable of creatures.

Learning from Regionalwert in Germany: Financing localised food systems
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Christian Hiß, Regionalwert AG
Joy Carey Sustainable Food System Planning
Katrin Hochberg, Sustainable Food System Planning

Could the Regionalwert AG model offer independent and strategic financing solutions for UK urban, local and regional supply networks? This session will introduce and explore Regionalwert AG - a German network of citizen shareholder companies with the purpose of strategically investing in or setting up (organic) businesses within a local trading network; from farming, processing, catering, and retail to services such as machinery hire and research. Capital is raised through equity offerings to local citizens. Investments, enabling local processing, non-family farm succession, independent retail capacity, farm or distribution start-ups, and catering - all are managed by the network’s local governance body.



Agroforestry Handbook Drop-In
12:00 - 13:00

Come along and pick up a copy of the Soil Association’s recent Agroforestry Handbook for the UK (while stocks last), and talk agroforestry with authors and editor. Find out more about opportunities for agroforestry in the UK and where to link into local initiatives and learning networks.

Creating a Viable Future with Marginal Grazing
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: John Atkinson, Nibthwaite Grange Farm
Maria Benjamin, Dodgson Wood Farm
Julia Aglionby, Foundation for Common Land (FCL)
Ruth Davis, RSPB
Chair: Christopher Price, Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST)

Livestock farmers are facing significant challenges - the loss of CAP payments, the threat from imports produced to lower standards, and the general decline in meat-eating. In many cases these farmers could improve their position by adopting different business models, based on making the best use of all the opportunities the farm offers, including its location, the landscape, the quality of the grazing and the range of products that can be obtained from the animals concerned. This session will encourage livestock grazers in marginal areas to think differently about their businesses.

FOLLOW-ON SESSION: Climate Change Prep Session
16:00 - 17:00

Following on from the main talk in the Assembly Room, this informal session will continue the conversation around ‘Climate change and UK Horticulture: What is to come and how to build resilience’. This will provide an opportunity to ask more questions, to share what people are doing in practice and to work together to come up with solutions to make us all more climate-ready.

How to Set Up and Run a Farm Start
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Helen Woodcock, The Kindling Trust
Simon Platten, Tamar Grow Local
Ru Litherland, OrganicLea
Chair: Steph Wetherell, Landworkers’ Alliance

Do you have land and want to support a new entrant to establish a business? Does your organisation want to support new entrants to access land, training and markets? Perhaps you’re already involved in running a Farm Start or an Incubator Farm project? Come along to hear about the Farm Start model and the network being set up by the Landworkers’ Alliance with OrganicLea, The Kindling Trust and Tamar Grow Local. This session will feature an introduction to the model and a discussion about the guidebook that has been produced. It will provide an opportunity to make contacts with other people working on Farmstarts, get help developing your ideas, and troubleshoot problems.

LUNCHTIME DROP-IN: Harvesting Ideas for Farmer-Led Innovation
13:30 - 14:15

Session Lead: Liz Bowles, Soil Association

Peer-to-peer learning is key to making agroecology a reality. Join us for an interactive session to crowdsource ideas for agricultural research with farmers setting the priorities. We’ll have farmers fresh out of their field labs to soundboard ideas with, and a smattering of researchers to amplify the learning. This session will be led by Innovative Farmers with Agricology and the PFLA on hand to broaden the conversation.



How Do We Really Reduce Pesticides? Crowd-Sourcing the Answer
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Peter Lundgren
Josie Cohen, Pesticide Action Network UK
Sandra Bell, Friends of the Earth
Louise Payton, Soil Association
Steph Morren, RSPB
Chair: Martin Lines, Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN)

Despite efforts, UK pesticide use is on the rise. What is needed to really reverse this? Precision farming or a shift to agroecology? Payments for proper IPM? A new independent extension/advisory service? Pesticide taxes? Supermarket interventions? More farmer-led research? It’s up to you to tell us.

This session will look to identify barriers to reducing pesticide use, particularly in the farming sector, and what would be required to overcome these barriers. It will be run as a workshop so all attendees can participate and give their views. The outputs of this session will feed into a project run by Pesticide Action Network, Friends of the Earth, Soil Association and RSPB, which is looking to engage with a wide-ranging group of civil society organisations in order to form a collaboration working together to reduce pesticide-related harms.

Lunch served in the Church
12:00 - 14:30

Answering to the Next Generation; A Young People’s Assembly on the National Food Strategy for England
16:00 - 17:00

Henry Dimbleby and a panel of experts from different parts of the food and farming system
Chair: Chloe Donovan

We all believe there is an urgent need to transform current food and farming systems; to ensure future generations have access to good food and enjoy good health throughout their lives; but what do young people think? What changes do they want to see and what questions would they put to the people shaping their future? This is our chance to find out. Join Henry Dimbleby – leader of the National Food Strategy for England – and a panel of experts from across the food and farming system as they answer questions put to them by a panel of young people, aged between 15 and 25.

Towards a People's Land Policy
10:30 - 11:30

Join members of the Land Justice Network for a participatory workshop about land rights past and present in the UK, and how this affects our food system. We'll be updating people about and consulting around our work on a People's Land Policy, which is bringing together land workers, consumers, tenants, farmers and everyone else affected by our highly-uneven patterns of land ownership, to start writing the policies and legislation we need to bring about change.



An evening of food, drink and music, run by the Landworker's Alliance. Closes at 10 pm.
17:30 - 20:00


Making Your Food Enterprise More Efficient
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Lynne Davis, Dean Forest Food Hub
Mark Harrison, Stroud Community Agriculture
Simon Platten, Tamar Grow Local
Alice Guillaume, Cambridge Food Hub
Rupert Dunn, Torth Y Tir
Chair: Nick Weir, Open Food Network

Whether you run a farm, a CSA, a food hub or a local enterprise, making a food business run smoothly is a constant challenge. In this session, we will be talking to six people from six different UK businesses to find out how they have done everything from managing sales to harvesting to order, to processing and packing deliveries. We will talk to them about the IT tools and online systems they have used such as the Open Food Network to tackle these issues. The session will then break into small groups, each led by a presenter, so participants can apply the learning to their own enterprises.

Securing Land for the Common Good
16:00 - 17:00

Speakers: Andy Beer, National Trust
David Riddle, Soil Association Land Trust
Alice Favre, Chettle Estate
James Shorten, Geo
Chair: Tom Curtis, 3Keel / Soil Association Land Trust

We need land to provide its vital functions forever - to provide good food; capture, regulate and filter our water supplies; store carbon; sustain the living systems around us; and give us places to live in a way that is healthy for body and mind. Yet the mechanisms in place to create a sustainable landscape (grants, subsidies, market signals, regulations) are often short-term. And land tenure is rarely permanent. Join us to discuss the ways in which we can - and should - put land on a more permanent footing for the future.

Interactive Workshop: Peas on Earth
17:30 - 20:00

With Artist, Maya Chowdhry

Using the humble pea as a symbol of our relationship to food, along with a portion of poetry and a pair of gardening gloves, Peas on Earth gently augments our reality to allow us to connect our thirst, hunger and imagination to the politics of eating, growing and sustaining ourselves.

In this tabletop experience the audience is immersed in a poetic soundscape taking them on a journey through earth, air, fire and water; using fate to determine their worldly actions. Will they need more than luck to be able to sustain themselves in this moment and beyond?

There will be four workshops, each lasting half an hour and accommodating 12 people.

Please book your time slot on the sign-up sheet, which will be on the concertina boards in the Main Hall; although there may be further spaces available at the door.



Is the Present Neoliberal Economy Fit for Purpose?
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Tony Greenham, South West Mutual
Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party
Colin Mayer, Oxford University
Colin Tudge
Chair: Ian Rappel

If we are truly to “feed the world” without wrecking the biosphere then we need to farm within the guidelines of agroecology (treating farms as ecosystems) and food sovereignty (every society should have control over its own food supply) -- which is what is meant by “Real Farming”. But can we achieve this within the framework of the neoliberal economy – which requires all producers of all kinds to compete for profit and market share within an increasingly global market? If not --- what do we need instead? And how do we get from where we are to where we need to be?

Systems Thinking for Just, Equitable, Ecological UK Food and Farming
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Jane Powell, Economist
Helena Paul, EcoNexus
Ricarda Steinbrecher, EcoNexus

How do you effect bottom-up change in the UK food system? We know that change is vital for justice, equity and tacking climate change and biodiversity loss, yet instead of system change we face proposals for further concentrations of power, including linear techno-fixes that will merely increase our problems. In a situation where farmers take the risks and companies reap the profits, how can systems thinking and solutions help in building new, fair, resilient food systems for the UK?

Market Gardening at Lauriston Farm: Reviving small raised beds within a mixed farm
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Spencer Christy, Lauriston Farm
Andre Kleinjans, Lauriston Farm
Monique Kleinjans, Lauriston Farm

Lauriston Farm is a 210-acre community-owned farm on the Blackwater Estuary, just outside Goldhanger in Es- sex. The farm is biodynamic and is managed in a holistic, ecological and ethical way to produce beef, lamb and a variety of vegetables using small raised beds. This tra- ditional market garden method was revived and improved by world renowned farmer and author, J.M. Fortier.

For this talk, we will be hearing from the three farmers/ gardeners who look after Lauriston and find out how they used a two-wheeled tractor, hand tools and a tight plan- ting scheme, to grow high-yielding and profitable crops on a small piece of land. We will also hear more about the social farming aspect of their work.

Take the LEAP: Funding for Agroecological and Community Food Businesses
17:30 - 19:00

Speakers: Robert Fraser, Real Farming Trust
Jamie Hartzell, Real Farming Trust
Clare Horrell, Real Farming Trust
Reuben Chester, Locavore

Need finance? Then come and find out more about the Real Farming Trust’s ‘Loans for Enlightened Agriculture Programme’ (LEAP) which is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, CIVA, the A Team Foundation, Power to Change and the Halleria Trust. LEAP provides affordable unsecured loans of £25,000 to £100,000 side-by-side with a grant and a structured and tailored mentoring programme.

Come with your questions, meet the people and organisations involved, and hear from businesses that have recently secured funding.

For more information, please visit www.feanetwork.org

Being a Resilient Farmer in Times of Change
16:15 - 17:15

Speakers: Sam Conway, The Farming Community Network
Adrian Cullis, Agricultural Christian Fellowship
Charles Ellett, The Ethical Dairy
Russ Carrington, Pasture-Fed Livestock Association

Planning for the future can be a daunting process, especially in farming where we are experiencing so much economic, political and social change. Managing a farm business is challenging enough but trying to keep it sustainable and profitable in the face of adversity can have a negative impact on the wellbeing of farmers and their families. This session will provide useful tips and guidance about how farmers can build their own personal and business resilience, thus helping them to embrace the changes that lie ahead - whatever they may be.


LUNCHTIME TALK: Power, Privilege and Bio-Diversity
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Ian Solomon-Kawall, May Project Gardens

Power, Privilege + Bio Diversity draws upon the work of May Project Gardens, an award winning community project, specialising in connecting people to nature and plant based food for personal, social and economic transformation. During this talk you'll get to an insight into our permaculture-designed community garden in South London. The interactive talk explores how food growing and creativity is used to make the environmental and Vegan plant movement more inclusive.

The Herdsman: a Performance by Georgia Wingfield-Hayes

On a farm where the land is alive, and the animals peaceful, the people too are happy. Depression is not simply a problem that resides within an individual, but a symptom of environ(mental) health, an indicator that we are on the wrong path.

Storyteller Georgia Wingfield-Hayes tells the true story of Charles Ellet now happily herdsman of the Ethical Dairy, once herdsman on a 1500 cow intensive dairy farm where his mental health crashed. Through Charles’s story we see what cheap food is doing to the land, animals and people involved in its production. Charles is part of the panel in the following session on resilience.

Farming So White: Land Ownership, Race and Racism in Britain
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Josina Calliste, Land In Our Names (LION)
Ọlá Ayòrindé, Shared Assets / Land in Our Names (LION)
Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm

A workshop space for exploring why land ownership and farming are still completely dominated by white people in the UK; and what narratives and strategies are needed to challenge and change this. Co-hosted by Land In Our Names and Shared Assets, this session will explore barriers to farming for people of colour in Britain and how to overcome them; consider historical relationships to land for people of colour through the lens of empire and colonialism; and more.

The Search For Land: A European Overview
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Roz Corbett, Scottish Farm Land Trust
Adam Barnett, RSPB
Véronique Rioufol, Terre de Liens
Samson Hart
Chair: Tom Carman, Real Farming Trust / Ethex

Are you involved in finding, buying, or renting land for agroecology? Or are you aware of a land struggle to save or secure land for agroecology? We’re wanting to get a sense of the different approaches that are being tried, where the blocks are, where most innovation is happening, and the extent of the need for legislative change in the ownership and distribution of land. Please tell us about your experiences; and hear more about how the situation in England, Scotland and Wales compares with that in France, Hungary and Romania.

We’re part of an EU Erasmus-funded project whose members are Terre de Liens; TNI; ECVC; Urgenci; IFOAM EU; RFT. The project has been called the “first collaboration between all key European organisations on land for agroecology”.

Hemp: A Thread of Hope
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Joe McGahan, Hempen
Patrick Gillett, Save UK CBD
Catherine Wilson, European Industrial Hemp Association / British Hemp Association

Hemp is a wonder crop that offers many agronomic, economic and ecological benefits, holding the potential to transform our farms and society at large.

This session will describe the opportunity to harvest seed, leaf and straw in order to create a huge range of valuable natural products. These include therapeutic essential oil, omega-rich seed oil, complete protein powder, carbon-negative housing, super strong textiles, composite materials and much more.

After outlining its fantastic potential, the session will explore the practical and legislative barriers that currently limit the wider application of hemp, and collectively devise strategies for extending the positive influence of this miraculous plant.

LUNCHTIME TALK: The Nature and Nuance of Farming for Health
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Sally Woods
Pammy Riggs
Mark Measures
Ian Tolhurst, Tolhurst Organic
Chair: Lawrence Woodward, Whole Health Agriculture

Despite the buzzwords of “health and harmony”, very few farmers and growers farm for health as a priority goal. In fact, health is an elusive quality – difficult to pin down or describe let alone manage – but on some farms it smacks you in the face. Whole Health Agriculture has been set up to capture, understand and disseminate best health management practices. This participatory session will feature a panel of farmers who are passionate about farming for health and seek to identify pivotal health management practices.

Exploring Rural Enterprise and Regenerative Entrepreneurship
16:00 - 18:00

Speakers: Jonty Brunyee, FarmED
Ian Wilkinson, Cotswold Seeds / FarmED
David Bozward, Royal Agricultural University (RAU)
Emma Mills, The Kitchen Garden People
James Ogders, Stream Farm

Two linked sessions will offer inspiration and insight into the business challenges and opportunities facing start-up and enterprising farmers and growers. It will offer practical advice and help foster sustainable and regenerative rural entrepreneurship in those who attend.

Feel free to attend either one or both of the sessions.

Session 1: Introduction and Panel Session (1 hour)

In this first session we consider the advantages of diversification e.g. additional income, job creation, risk reduction and enhanced family cohesion. We will look at how new enterprises can be regenerative and what opportunities exist for new entrants.

Session 2: Business Planning Workshop (45 minutes)
Jonty Brunyee, FarmED
David Bozward, Royal Agricultural University (RAU)

Following on from the previous introductory session this session will help you to develop your new business and diversification ideas. This applied workshop will explain how and enable you to write a quick yet effective one-sided business plan using the business model canvas. What are your USPs and value proposition? What is your market? Have you identified your key costs and income streams? Who will you need to partner with?

Participants will develop their ideas in the session and will be invited to share their thoughts with others in the room.



Workshop: Personal Resilience
13:30 - 14:15

(Max. 30 people. Please book your place on the sign-up sheet, which will be on the concertina boards in the Main Hall; although there may be further spaces available at the door.)
Peter Lefort, Transition Network

Whether we are undertaking activism, business or any other project, looking after ourselves often takes a backseat. But none of us are immune to burning out. We all instinctively know that burnout is ‘bad’, and resilience is ‘good’, but without space to understand the dynamics involved they remain abstract concepts which are hard to build into our daily (and busy) lives. This practical workshop will explore the symptoms and risks of burnout, as well as how to avoid contributing to it in yourself and others, working through theory and tools to help build resilience into our lives and in our groups.

The workshop will be led by Peter Lefort, a Trustee of the Transition Network, who has run workshops on resilience for activists, volunteers and employees for many years.

Workshop: How to be Brilliant at Horticultural Training (for Growers and Trainers)
14:30 - 15:30

(Max. 30 people. Please book your place on the sign-up sheet, which will be on the concertina boards in the Main Hall; although there may be further spaces available at the door.)

Angela Raffle and Rita Oldenbourg

In response to local grower trainers saying they wanted to build their confidence, a successful workshop was run near Bristol building skills for trainers. It was so popular, this ORFC ‘taster’ session is being offered along similar lines. Interactive and fun, the session is for any growers and trainers who want to improve their teaching style. Using ‘reverse brainstorming’ to build on participants’ own innate knowledge, the session will give you insights into key principles of adult education. It will include planning, orientation, delegation skills, feedback skills, and key practices based on evidence of how people learn best.

Small-Scale Grain Production and Processing: The How To Toolkit
16:00 - 17:00

Speakers: Charlotte Oliver, Landmatters
Holly Tiffen, Transition Town Totnes

Transition Town Totnes have produced a free interactive toolkit to help others set up small-scale grain projects and learn from their experiences along the way.

Hear from the founders of Grown in Totnes about some of the things to consider when setting up small-scale grain processing facilities and about the opportunities and pitfalls that you may encounter along the way.

The workshop will demonstrate how to use the toolkit and touch on a range of experiences; from setting up and financing an enterprise, to processing grains, to marketing your products.


No Session
12:00 - 13:00

Drop In Session: An Introduction to Shumei Natural Agriculture
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Alice Cunningham, Shumei International
Ben Raskin, Soil Association

Shumei Natural Agriculture is a way of farming based on a deep respect and regard for nature. It looks to cultivate wholesome food with pure seeds and without the use of any fertilizer, chemicals or additives. It is more than an approach to agriculture, it is a way of living in harmony with nature. A guiding principle of Shumei is the inherent power of the soil to produce healthy crops. Natural Agriculture builds the foundation of a sustainable lifestyle by developing a deep respect for nature and helps restore the relationship between humankind and the environment. It also fosters an attitude of trust, gratitude and care. Following on from their impressive drumming which opened the conference, come and join the director of Shumei International, along with several farmers, to learn more about this way of farming.


13:30 - 14:15

Roundtable: LGBTQIA+ LWA
16:00 - 17:00

The  Landworkers' Alliance LGBTQIA+ group will host a discussion by and for LGBTQIA+ landworkers and allies. This interactive session aims to create a welcoming space in which to share personal experiences, successes and challenges that we face in our land-based work. LGBTQIA+ folks hope to build a sense of solidarity and support for each other and to begin building a base from which to make LGBTQIA+ folks more visible within land-based work. Come listen in and please feel welcome to bring your own story to share if you fancy.


Drop in session: Farmers Rebellion (XR)
14:30 - 15:30

Farmers Rebellion is a diverse group of farmers and growers who have come together as part of Extinction Rebellion to press the government to put in place policies that enable farming to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change and ecological breakdown. The discourse around farming and climate change is too often underpinned by blame, criticism and argument when we urgently need to be coming together and finding ways forward through collaboration and communication.The expertise and knowledge is already out there. We know how to transition to systems that work with nature, are highly productive and can draw down atmospheric carbon - ways of farming that can provide answers at a time when we really need them. Come and join us to hear more or to join the rebellion to demand government action NOW.


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ORFC 2020 Day 2 9th January



Martin Wolfe Memorial

With the death of Martin Wolfe in March 2019 agriculture lost one of its outstanding thinkers and innovators. For more than 25 years at the 56-acre Wakelyns farm in Suffolk, and always with the vital support of his wife Ann, Martin developed and demonstrated the science and methods of agroforestry and “population breeding” of cereals – increasingly recognised as key components of agroecology. Now their sons, together with supporters for whom Martin and Ann were both friends and mentors, are determined to take forward their work at Wakelyns and to keep their memory alive.

Land for the Many
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: George Monbiot, Journalist
Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green Party
Adam Payne, Landworkers’ Alliance
Tim Budden, Higher Hacknell Organic Farm
Chair: Megan MacInnes, Scottish Land Commission

How can we support the fairer distribution of ownership and access to land across the UK, and what would that mean for farmers and landworkers? Do current tax incentives encourage the consolidation of farms? Why are the world’s wealthiest buying our farmland as a tax-efficient asset or status symbol rather than as a place to produce food, and how does this impact farm succession and new entrants to farming? Join us as we consider some of the proposals to challenge and change the vast inequality of UK land ownership made in the recent 'Land for the Many' report, commissioned by Labour. We hope to cover taxation, planning, access rights, county farms and more.

Ten Years to Agroecology
10:30 - 11:30

Speaker: Pierre Marie Aubert, IDDRI
Sue Pritchard, RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission
Michelle Cain, Oxford Martin Programme
Beccy Speight, RSPB
Chair: Jo Lewis, Soil Association

How can farming adapt to address climate change? Where does nature fit in? What is the role of diets? The 'Ten Years for Agroecology in Europe' report models a future where farming in Europe can respond to climate change, phase out fertilisers and pesticides, and stop imported deforestation, whilst providing a sufficient and healthy diet for a growing population. This session will propose how a ten-year transition to agroecology is possible in the UK, exploring the innovations, policy levers and food system shifts that are required to make this leap – and call on you for the solutions.

Linking Sustainable and Healthy Diets with Farming Outputs
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Patrick Holden, Sustainable Food Trust
Joanna Blythman, Journalist and Author
Peter Segger, Blaencamel Organic Farm
George Monbiot, Journalist and Author

Chair: Sarah Sands, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme

Many environmental NGOs are now advocating plant-based diets as a solution to climate change, yet is this approach to eating compatible with the productive capacity of sustainable farming systems in the UK? What can the UK produce in a truly sustainable way? In order to answer this question, we need to differentiate between livestock that are part of the problem—feedlot beef, intensively reared chickens and pigs, intensive dairy—and livestock products that come from systems which can be part of the solution.

Join our speakers to debate how the UK should move towards a sustainable diet that is linked to sustainable farming - and what this diet looks like.

The Lean Farm: How to cut waste, increase efficiency, and maximise profits with less work
09:00 - 10:00

Speaker: Ben Hartman, Clay Bottom Farm

Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm and The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables, will explain powerful concepts from the lean system that food producers of any size and type - from livestock or arable farmers to home gardeners - can use to produce more value with less waste and work. He will provide examples from Clay Bottom Farm in northern Indiana, where he and his wife earn a living from one acre of cultivated land, working less than 35 hours per week.

13:30 - 14:15

Facilitators: Andy Goldring plus team

This session will create a space for collaboration and planning between organisations, practitioners and networks. Its part of the "CTRLShift: An emergency summit for change" event and process started in Wigan, March 2018 which has now involved over 90 organisations.
The initiative starts with two premises.

Firstly that we face huge challenges - climate disruption, Brexit, collapsing biodiversity, social injustice and rapid technological change (to name just a few!)
Secondly that we already have many of the solutions we need to overcome these challenges.

What we don't yet have are sufficient opportunities to plan together and create the new relationships and initiatives that we can use to accelerate the adoption of these nature and people friendly approaches. The session will start with a brief introduction and then use a simple facilitation process to enable participants to cluster around key areas of focus, and look at opportunities to enhance collaboration over coming months. If you can't make the session, please do drop in to the CTRLShift stall in and add your comments, activities, processes, toolkits, aims, tensions and resources to the big picture mapping we are creating during the event.

Closing Plenary
16:00 - 17:00



The Future of Agroecological Weed Management
09:00 - 10:00

Chair: Sarah Cook, ADAS
Speakers: Chloe Maclaren, Plant Ecologist, Rothamsted Research
Nicola Cannon, (RAU)
Mike Mallett, Maple Farm Kelsale

This session will explore the future of weed management – integrating an ecological and technological perspective. Chloe Maclaren will share the latest developments in weed ecology and new insights into the potential for more weed resilient systems. Nicola Cannon will delve into the role of technology and the latest innovations for non-chemical weed control - exploring the challenges and the trade-offs. We will then explore how to make this work in practice with Mike Mallett sharing some insights into the agroecological approaches to weed management he is implementing on his diverse arable / livestock / horticulture system in Suffolk.

The Farmers Researching the Wonders of Woodchip
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Audrey Litterick, Earthcare Technical
Adam Bartkowski, George Thomas Ltd
Fred Bonestroo, Home Farm Highgrove
Chair: Ben Raskin, Soil Association

Farmers are developing an abundance of innovative uses for woodchip. From using its pharmaceutical qualities as an alternative to fungicide in orchards to its use in improving soil health, suppressing weeds and even as livestock bedding. Through the Innovative Farmers programme, practical on-farm research is allowing farmers to investigate the many benefits of this versatile material. Join us to hear from a panel of pioneer farmers, orchard managers and researchers and find out about three farmer-led research projects across the UK.

Copper, Plastic and Other Contentious Inputs: How Organic Farmers are Transitioning Away
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Kate Collyns, Organic Growers Alliance
Joe Rolfe, RB Organic Farm
Andy Dibben, Abbey Home Farm
Ellen Rignell, Trill Farm
Chair: Paul Flynn, Soil Association

Organisations across Europe are investigating ways of minimising and eventually phasing out certain contentious inputs that are used in certified organic agriculture. For growers, inputs like copper as a fungicide and plastic as a weed suppressant are one solution where organic growing margins are tight. But many are coming together to do better. Join this session to hear from a panel of pioneers who are developing a host of agroecological alternatives to strengthen the practice of organic farming.

LUNCHTIME LAUNCH: Farm Carbon Calculator
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Becky Willson, Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit
Jonathan Smith, Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit
Julian Gold, Hendred Estate

Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit (FCCT) are launching the new version of their Farm Carbon Calculator. Written by farmers for farmers, it allows users to understand in detail where emissions are produced within the business and the ability of the soils, trees and hedges on the farm to sequester carbon. Freshly updated and redesigned, the FCCT will showcase how the Calculator works and discuss how it can help with management decisions and provide a robust evidence base that can be used for marketing, discussions or audit schemes.

Climate Friendly Farming: Moving Towards the Production of more Agroecological Proteins for Animal Feedstuffs
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: David McNaughton, Soya UK 
Alex Warrington – Researcher in Sustainable Food Production
Lindsay Whistance, The Organic Research Centre
Liz Bowles, Soil Association
Chair: Jerry Alford, Soil Association

The UK currently imports around two million tonnes of soya beans per year to feed its livestock. The production of this soya, in countries such as Brazil and Argentina, is known to be one of the major contributors to deforestation, and consequently, climate change. While we need to reduce our reliance on grain-fed livestock in the long term, in the shorter term we can grow animal feed proteins in the UK and reduce our demand for imported soy.
In this session we will share advances in growing and processing, which should make it possible to reduce our reliance on imported animal feeds — through changing arable farming to include legume crops within longer rotations to improve soil health and reduce overall GHG emissions.



Growing is the Easy Bit: Making a Decent Living from Food Production
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Colum Pawson, Schumacher College
Ed Hamer, Chagfood Community Market Garden
Ashley Wheeler, Trill Farm
Chairs: Caroline Aitken, Whitefield Permaculture
Jane Gleeson, Schumacher College

A session exploring existing education and training opportunities in agroecological farming, featuring discussion and Q&A on traineeships and Schumacher’s BSc Sustainable Food and Farming Business & Practical Residency in Sustainable Horticulture.

LUNCHTIME TALK: Putting Social Justice at the Heart of your Farm: Lessons from America
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm
Maggie Cheney, Rock Steady Farm & Flowers
Chair: Dee Woods, Granville Community Kitchen

How can your farm produce good, sustainable food and have a social mission too? This session talks to two farmers from the United States who have embedded social justice into their farming practice. How do they address social inequalities, food access for low-income groups, access to land and capital, and farm worker rights in their communities? It will look at food and farming with intersectionality and gender lenses, and explore the redistribution of power in the food system.

Small Farm Finances
09:00 - 10:00

Speakers: Gareth Davies, Canalside Community Food / Five Acre Community Farm
Josh Healy, North Aston Dairy
Gala Bailey-Barker, Plaw Hatch Farm
Chair: Jyoti Fernandes, Landworkers’ Alliance

Making a viable living from farming is no easy thing.  Come and hear from four farmers and growers about the business models enabling them to make a livelihood from the land.

Inspiring a new kind of agricultural economy, speakers for this session all agree on the need for small and medium scale farms to produce healthy, good and diverse food for localised markets. Each of the speakers will present approaches that illustrate how small farms can fare both ecologically and economically. As UK agriculture enters an uncertain future, the need for resilient businesses demonstrating enlightened agriculture is needed now more than ever. 

Automation or Appropriate Technology: Is there a role for robotics in the future of local food systems?
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Jenna Halliday, Catalyse Change
Jonathan Hughes
Simon Fairlie, The Land Magazine
Chair: Ruth Hancock, Landworkers’ Alliance

Automation and robotics are increasingly viewed as a necessary and desirable development in farming by government, the private sector and some producer organisations. They are considered to offer solutions to a host of issues from soil compaction and farm emissions to low profitability and labour shortages. However, many farmers and civil society organisations argue that far from solving these issues, automation and robotics will make it harder for us to create a socially and environmentally just food system. Join us for a debate on what automation and robotics would mean for small-scale producers and local food systems.

Agroecology Schools and Training for Climate Resilience
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm
Jyoti Fernandes, Landworkers’ Alliance
Chair: Dee Butterly, Landworkers’ Alliance

Farmers’ organisations around the world are setting up and running farmer-led agroecology schools and training programmes that build skills and knowledge in agroecology as well as the politics and social movement elements. La Via Campesina has a network of over 55 such schools around the world. The farmer-led agroecology school model focuses on collaborating to develop land management practices that work in that particular local area, sharing that knowledge by example, and working out how the principles can work in other localities.

Join us to hear from farmers and trainers who are developing these models to scale out agroecology in the USA and the UK.



Ruminant Methane and its Role in Global Warming
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: John Lynch, University of Oxford
ffinlo Costain, Farmwel
Clare Hill, FAI Farms
Roland Bonney, FAI Farms
Simon Fairlie,  The Land Magazine

Research by a global team of scientists, including members of the Oxford Martin School and IPCC authors, provides a new way of relating the impacts of methane to carbon dioxide, and suggests how ongoing ruminant methane emissions could still be compatible with ambitious climate targets seeking to limit further temperature increases.

This event will include an introduction to the science, a panel discussion, and the launch of a new podcast, Farm Gate, produced by Farmwel and FAI Farms.

Environmental Land Management Schemes: State of Play
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: David Kennedy, DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Ellie Brodie, The Wildlife Trusts
Patrick Barker, Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN)
Jyoti Fernandes, Landworkers’ Alliance
Adrian Steele, Soil Association
Chair: Vicki Hird, Sustain

The new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) which will replace the EU CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) in England has been in development since mid-2018. This session with DEFRA, farmers and experts will help participants to get up-to-speed and to feed back on the latest details like expected outcomes, payments, current tests and trials; and explore how ELMS links to other key developing areas of policy, like regulation. Participants can share suggestions and concerns in a Q&A and via cards which we will collate to provide us and DEFRA with valuable insight following ORFC. Hosted by Sustain and Wildlife and Countryside Link.

Saving Small Abattoirs
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Christopher Price, Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST)
Marisa Heath, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare
Glen Portman, Food Standards Agency (FSA)
Martin Evans, Food Standards Agency (FSA)
Callum Edge, Edge Butchers
John Mettrick, National Craft Butchers
Chair: Richard Young, Sustainable Food Trust

Local abattoirs are essential for local meat and for a sustainable, traceable and high welfare food system. Yet they continue to close at an alarming rate. The Campaign for Local Abattoirs has been working with the Food Standards Agency, Defra and others, having high level meetings and garnering expressions of support from the previous Secretary of State and other Ministers. In this session we will hear about the importance of small abattoirs for small-scale, sustainable livestock farming. We will also present new research, report recommendations and expose the shocking loss in value of hides and skins. We will report back on work that is underway, explore why closures are still happening and what must urgently be done to save them. 

Agroforestry: Expanding the Vision
09:00 - 10:00

Speakers: Anne Stobart, Organic Herb Growers Cooperative
Steven Newman, BioDiversity International
Chair: Ben Raskin, Soil Association

Farmers and landowners searching for a new challenge may want to look beyond the usual suspects when choosing what trees to plant in a new agroforestry system. There are huge untapped markets, either for substituting imports or for developing new products and export opportunities.

Last year’s conference explored the potential in the organic herb market. But nuts, medicinal trees, replacing farm inputs, building materials and even plastic replacements are also big opportunities for UK growers. This session will look at the opportunities and challenges for growers looking to enter an untested market. It will also explore mechanisms for bringing potential collaborators together.

Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS) on Common Land
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Julia Aglionby, Foundation for Common Land
Chris Short, Foundation for Common Land
Jenny Phelps, Gloucestershire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group
Chris Giles, Dartmoor National Park

Over one-fifth of England’s SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) area and one-third of our upland peat soils is common land. Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS) must work at landscape scale with multiple interests to address the biodiversity crisis and climate emergency. The Foundation for Common Land’s DEFRA ELM Test and Trial will start in early 2020 and will be piloting a Commons Proofing Scheme including collating spatial data to create a Commons Health Check and a Toolkit for improving governance. In this session we will explore how to draw on the best of previous experience to create future schemes where sustainable farming enterprises create nature-rich, culture-rich places.



Only The Best: What does ‘Best Impact’ Livestock, Meat and Dairy Look Like?
09:00 - 10:00

Speakers: Helen Browning, Soil Association
Charles Ellett, The Ethical Dairy
Pete Ritchie, Whitmuir Organic Farm
Chair: Dan Crossley, Food Ethics Council

Livestock farming and meat and dairy consumption have potentially important roles in future sustainable food systems. While acknowledging ‘less and better’ meat and dairy shifts, how can we celebrate contributions that good livestock farming can make, so we can transition towards UK livestock production being ‘only the best’. We’ll explore what this looks like, from farmers’ perspectives, across four aspects – health, environment, animal welfare and fairness.

Faith, Farming and the Land
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Talia Chain, Sadeh Farm
Jonathan Herbert, Hilfield Community
Lutfi Radwan, Willowbrook Farm
Mama D Ujuaje
Chair: Samson Hart

The rising movement around land, food and agroecology in the UK has been encouraging, but to solve the multiple crises we face, solutions will need to come from all parts of society, including our faith communities. This session will explore the ways in which faith and spiritual communities are engaged with land, food and farming and the specific questions that arise in relationship in this context: the politics of faith-community owned land; diaspora and food justice; belonging and identity; the land-based and agricultural roots of faith traditions; and the spiritual and ecological responsibility of faith communities.

Using Story to Reshape the Food System
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Josiah Meldrum, Hodmedod’s
Andrew Trump, Organic Arable
Tim Martin, Farm Wilder
Guy Singh-Watson, Riverford Organic Farmers
Chair: Joanna Blythman, Journalist and Author

For years most food has been treated as a commodity, with information about its provenance severely limited by a few gatekeepers. Now this is changing - complex information can be provided online, and social media allows consumers to directly interact with farmers. To take people on this journey, effective storytelling and trust building are more important than ever - reshaping the food system in a way that works for everyone and for the natural world. In this session we hear from people embracing these new opportunities to drive sales of organic, regenerative, pasture-fed and wildlife-friendly food.

The Future of Wheat and Bread
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Louise Bannon, Tír Bakery
Phil Howell, NIAB (National Institute of Agricultural Botany)
John Letts
Chair: Dan Saladino, The Food Programme, BBC Radio 4

Every year farmers around the world grow £120 billion worth of wheat, a crop that provides the planet with a significant proportion of its calories. Big challenges and opportunities lie ahead. Climate change and the spread of plant diseases are impacting on farmers. On the other side of the equation, in the field of public health, the world needs better and more nutrient-rich food. So what should the future of the world’s oldest domesticated cereal look and taste like? Food journalist and broadcaster Dan Saladino speaks to three experts working in different fields (in both senses of the word) who each have their own vision of our bread and wheat in the coming decades.

Organic cereal farmer, John Letts, is currently working on a radical approach to growing heritage wheat. He is joined by Dr Phil Howell, a former Syngenta plant breeder who now works at the plant research organisation NIAB; and Louise Bannon, a former pastry chef at Restaurant Noma, and now an organic baker and miller at the pioneering Tír Bakery in Denmark, where she bakes using slow sourdough fermentation with old varieties of grains, including Nordic Ølands and Rye.

LUNCHTIME TALK: Permaculture and Climate Change: From Extinction to Restoration
13:30 - 14:15

Can permaculture offer robust solutions to slow down the climate crisis? What projects are best practice, scientifically tested, replicable and scalable? Maddy Harland takes us on a journey from a forest garden in Hampshire to a small farm in France and then across the Atlantic to visit a multi-strata food forest in Belize. She reports on Common Earth, a project working with the Commonwealth Secretariat to seed regenerative approaches to cooling the planet in its 53 nations, and finishes with Brian von Herzen’s work in marine permaculture, farming kelp for food, fibre, carbon sequestration and regeneration of marine ecosystems.




13:30 - 14:15

The Ecology of a Sustainable Food Economy
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Chrissie Storry, Bristol Food Network
Rich Osborn, Fresh Range
Dominic Acland, Wessex Community Assets
Chair: Tom Andrews, Sustainable Food Cities

From city-wide campaigns to promote local and sustainable food to dynamic procurement systems and local supply chain collaborations, the emergence of new demand and supply chain innovations could herald a step-change towards a viable alternative food system. This participatory session will use the inspiring stories of three pioneering initiatives in Bristol and the Southwest to explore what a local food economy based on an ecosystems approach might look like, and what is needed if such ‘ecological’ food systems are to flourish across the UK.

The Circular Farm
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Callum Weir, National Trust
Martin Lines, Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN)
George Young, Fobbing Farms
Nick Padwick, Ken Hill Estate
Chair: Liz Bowles, Soil Association

A circular economy aims to create a closed-loop system by turning waste into resources. When this theory is applied to agriculture, what does a circular farm look like? This session, facilitated by partners of the FABulous Farmers project, will be based on informal, but practical knowledge exchange between farmers on the success and challenges they have faced in implementing sustainable farming activities such as agroforestry, cover cropping, minimum tillage and input reduction. Innovative farmers such as George Young and Martin Lines will be on hand to share their journey, provoke challenging discussions and answer practical questions.

What Can We Learn from Certified Pasture for Life Farmers?
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Lisa Norton, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
Alistair McVittie, SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College
Chair: Jonty Brunyee, FarmED

The first results of a new study, led by researchers at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology with sixty Pasture for Life farmers, will be discussed in this session. The project: Sustainable Economic and Ecological Grazing Systems – Learning from Innovative Practitioners (SEEGSLIP) looked at the agronomic and social impacts of this certified approach to grazing management and asked ‘What is its potential as a basis for a sustainable, UK-wide system?’ Come and hear from beef, sheep and dairy farmers who took part, as well as the researchers who will announce the interim results.



FOLLOW-ON SESSION: Transitioning Away From Contentious Inputs
13:30 - 14:15

Following the session on Copper, Plastic and Other Contentious Inputs: How organic farmers are transitioning away in the Assembly Room, this session will be an opportunity for a more informal conversation. Join a more focused workshop for a chance to ask more in-depth questions and to collectively unpack some of the practices being used to transition to agroecology.

Farmer Collaboration to Restore Nature: Landscape-scale Action Across the Farmed Environment
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Brian McDonald, Natural England
Chloe Palmer, Hope Valley Farmers (an upland group of over 40 farmers working in the Peak District)
Audrey Compton, Deer Park Farm

Since its launch in 2015 the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund has enabled ninety-eight groups of farmers and land managers to develop shared plans, coordinate action to improve land quality, and help restore wildlife and natural systems for all our benefit.

At the heart of the initiative is the transformational approach based on cooperation across holdings, addressing evidence-based environmental priorities, helping overcome isolation, depression, fragmentation and upskilling farmers and land managers. Additional groups starting in January 2020 will mean over 140 groups with up to 4,000 farmers and land managers are engaged in this dynamic new approach to up-skilling and driving positive action for the challenges ahead.

FOLLOW-ON SESSION: The Wonders of Woodchip
12:00 - 13:00

Following the session The Wonders of Woodchip on farmer-led research into woodchip in the Assembly Room, this session will be an opportunity for a more informal conversation. Join this discussion-focused workshop for a chance to ask more in-depth questions and to collectively unpack some of the innovative uses for woodchip in agriculture.

Knowing Your Soils: practical soil analysis and management
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Becky Willson, Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit
Jonathan Leake, University of Sheffield
Chair: Mark Measures, EIP-AGRI Soils

This practical session will provide an opportunity to deepen your understanding of different methods of soil analysis (chemical, biological and carbon) and how to utilise the results to inform adaptation in management practices. We will discuss how you can enhance your soil with monitoring, and explore potential changes in management, to enhance soil biology, carbon and optimising nutrients for plant health. This will include the use of organic and mineral fertiliser inputs, cover crops, manure and compost. Bring along your own soil analyses to discuss potential implications and pros and cons of different soil analysis methods.

Update: Welsh Food and Farming
09:00 - 10:00

Speakers: Corinne Cariad, Food Manifesto Wales
Holly Tomlinson, Landworkers’ Alliance Cymru
Sam Robinson, Landworkers’ Alliance Cymru
Jane Powell, Food Manifesto Wales

Wales has a forward-looking government with sustainability high on the agenda. It is small enough for individuals and projects to make a difference, big enough for economies of scale, and diverse in its landscapes and culture. It has several innovative pieces of legislation that could support a transition to fairer and more environmentally sustainable farming and food production, if political authority and public support can be mobilised to link them together. However, there is still much to do to ensure that progressive policies in development are enacted and that those that exist have meaningful impact.

In this session we will discuss recent developments in Wales, including the first Wales Real Food and Farming Conference (WRFFC) which was raised as an idea in a session at ORFC 2019 and took place in November 2019; Welsh Government policy reviews for agriculture and land management, and food and drink; and the Food Manifesto for Wales.



Citizens Assembly; An Emergency Plan for Agriculture and Wildlife

Chair: Tom Lancaster, RSPB

The UK’s climate and nature are in crisis. The State of Nature report found that 41 percent of species have declined, with changes in agricultural management being one of the main drivers behind this – and climate change will only further exacerbate these trends. A crisis requires a radical response, so the RSPB has written an ‘Emergency Plan for Nature’ including a host of policies that are urgently needed to reverse nature’s decline.

We want ORFC’s input into this plan, so we’re hosting a Citizens’ Assembly to crowdsource ideas and inspiration as to how changes to our food and farming system can help in restoring nature.

Everything You Want to Know about CSAs
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Charlotte Barry, Camel CSA
Gareth Davies, Canalside Community Food / Five Acre Community Farm
Ben Raskin, Soil Association
Dee Butterly, Southern Roots Organics
Suzy Russell, CSA Network UK
Chair: Page Dykstra, CSA Network UK

Everything you wanted to know about setting up and running a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project - or making an existing one even better. This is a practical session to answer questions and get you started. Participants will be able to rotate between groups led by experienced individuals, picking and choosing the topics they’re most interested in and being able to discuss and ask questions in smaller groups. Topics include creating a founding group and recruiting members, funding to get started and grow, crop planning and scaling up production, starting a CSA if you’re a producer, and legal structures and finance.

Land and farming singers' session
14:30 - 15:30

Hosted by Robin Grey from the 'Three Acres And A Cow' land rights history show, come and end your conference with a rousing sing. Bring a ballad to share, or come along to listen and join in with old folk songs about land and farming.

Making Change: Meeting the Climate Emergency
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Nourish Scotland and the RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Despite the recognition of the climate and biodiversity emergencies, business as usual continues. This workshop will look at some of the thoughts coming out from Inquiries around land use, food and farming in the UK, as well as encouraging participants to explore their own context using a range of change theories. Moving beyond the barriers of politics, this week’s to do list, this year’s harvest and even this subsidy cycle, what can our landscape look and feel like? And how can we as land stewards and communities get there? Come and join Nourish Scotland and the RSA to do some digging.

Lunch served in the Church
13:00 - 14:30



Tax and Farmland
09:00 - 10:00

Speakers: Louise Speke, CLA
Robert Palmer, Tax Justice UK
Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour Party
Miles King, People Need Nature

Farmers and landowners in England benefit from at least £2.4 billion a year in tax breaks – as much as they receive in farm subsidies. This session brings together researchers, politicians, campaigners and landowners’ representatives, to discuss these tax breaks and whether they are needed to support farming. As the UK reforms the way it supports farming, moving away from area-based payments towards “public money for public goods”, the panel will debate whether these recently revealed tax breaks should be redirected towards storing carbon, bringing back wildlife, and supporting regenerative agriculture.

Access to Finance: Digging for Ways to Fund Agroecology
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Andrew Voysey, Soil Capital
Zoe Wangler, Ecological Land Cooperative (ELC)
Sue Walker, Triodos Bank
Chair: Rob Yorke

How can and how should finance support the farming sector to drive positive social and environmental change? What types of finance are out there to support sustainable agriculture?

This session is designed to provoke questions and provide food-for-thought, from a panel with wide-ranging experience in financing the scaling-up of regenerative agriculture. Find out about case studies of organisations which have been successful in securing funding, and have an opportunity to ask questions about your own projects.

LUNCHTIME TALK: Natural Beekeeping
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Monica Barlow, Bees for Development
Nicola Bradbear, Bees for Development

Keeping bees can be simple. We’ll look at some basic practices of natural beekeeping, backed by recent scientific research, to show how bees manage their own healthcare. Supporting local bee populations with good nutrition and minimal interference are the best ways we can help them. Honeybees are part of our native wildlife and ecology and, together with all our pollinators, flourish best in diverse agroecological systems full of flowers – meadows, hedgerows and woodland. You’ll never look at a green field in the same way again!

The Future of County Farms
14:30 - 15:30

Speakers: Kim Graham, Shared Assets
Guy Shrubsole, Who Owns England?
Rupert Dunn, Torth Y Tir
Bridget Slade, The Norse Group
Chair: Sue Pritchard, RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

County Farms are vital to the future of farming, providing a route into agriculture for young and first-time farmers - yet over 16,000 acres of this publicly-owned land has been sold off since 2010. New research from NEF (New Economics Foundation), Shared Assets, Who Owns England and CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) reveals what’s happened to our County Farms - and how they can be revitalised to become beacons of sustainable farming post-Brexit. A panel discussion with Q&A, followed by breakout groups discussing proposed ways to help support County Farms, feeding back action points at the end.

Why Bother Farming? The Ethics and Spirituality of Agriculture
12:00 - 13:00

Charles Foster, University of Oxford
Andy Letcher, Schumacher College
Emily Watt, Farmer and Vet
Rupert Sheldrake, Biologist and Author

There are many justifications for farming, including ethical obligations to the wider world; and personal fulfilment, significance and dignity. Spiritual justifications are increasingly cited. Spiritual language has always had a place in farming, but in the machine age it became unfashionable and embarrassing to use it.

This session examines questions such as: ‘What should you feel about your land, your animals and your crops, and why?’ ‘Should scything and muck-spreading be ecstatic religious experiences?’ ‘The land gives you a living: what response does it demand of you?’ ‘Do the Abrahamic religions really teach that humans should have toxic dominion over the natural world?’ ‘Was the development of agriculture in the Neolithic regrettable, inevitably damaging both humans and the environment?’ and ‘Should every stone on the farm be seen as en-souled?’



A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for Economic Localism and Self-Provisioning
09:00 - 10:00

Speakers: Chris Smaje, Small Farm Future
Shaun Chamberlin, Landworkers’ Alliance

An overview by Chris Smaje of his forthcoming book A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity and a Shared Earth, focusing particularly on the need to rethink our approach to market trade and economic exchange as the basis of society; and on the political forces operating in the crisis conditions of today’s world which are forcing that rethink. Chris will discuss the agricultural implications of this in relation to the late David Fleming’s ideas about a ‘lean’ localism of the future, with input from David’s editor Shaun Chamberlin, and from Rebecca Laughton on developments in the small farm sector in Britain today.

Gaining Ground: A Model for Social Crofting
12:00 - 13:00

Speakers: Lucy Beattie, Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF)
David Heaney, Rossal Research & Consultancy
Chair: Patrick Krause, Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF)

Working with land and animals is proven to be therapeutic, particularly for those with additional support needs, mental or physical disability or those in recovery. Social farming, in the context of this project Social Crofting, promotes green care in some of the most remote and rural areas of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

The Gaining Ground project focuses on crofters and smallholders who currently provide such services; and looks, in detail, at their voluntary or business models in terms of diversification. Social Crofting is proposed as a small-scale agricultural production diversification model for social and community development.

Weathering the Farm / Worker Relationship
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Charlie Clutterbuck, Bittersweet Brexit
Heidi Saxby, Newcastle University
Lydia Medland, Bristol University

This session will explore waged work in farming, horticulture and market gardening. What matters in farm work? What is a fair relationship for farm workers and employers? How can migrant workers be supported by employers and the agroecology movement? Drawing on recent research and experiences we’ll explore these questions in the session: How can workers’ wellbeing be supported? What is needed to support employers? How might Brexit change things? What role should we play? The session will start with presentations and lead to interactive discussion. Whether you’re a farmer, worker or activist we’re interested in your views on fair farm work.

Rotation Rebellion: Can Plants Alone Regenerate Soil?
14:30 - 15:30

Lydia Smith, NIAB (National Institute of Agricultural Botany)
Ian Tolhurst, Tolhurst Organic
Neils Corfield
Chair: Ian Wilkinson, Cotswold Seeds

While the need for drought tolerance, and less reliance on chemical fertilisers and other costly inputs, is increasing the focus on regenerative farming systems which incorporate soil improvement, there’s some controversy about how best to achieve this. Some farmers argue that soil improving plants/crops such as herbal leys, green manures and cover crops can only be used in a diverse farming system that includes livestock in the rotation. However other farmers argue that livestock are not necessary and that the use of the right plants alone can achieve improved soil health. The session will be of interest to livestock and non-livestock farmers.

LUNCHTIME: We Have Land to Farm: Who Wants It?
13:30 - 14:15

Speakers: Oli Rodker, Landworkers’ Alliance / ELC
Oliver Bettany, Ecological Land Cooperative (ELC)
Lauren Simpson, ELC
Phil Moore, ELC
Ruth Munns, ELC

Are you thinking about applying to be a farmer with the Ecological Land Cooperative? Come to this Q&A session to get a better understanding of what’s on offer and meet the ELC team. We have plots available at our sites in East Sussex, South Somerset, Gower and Cornwall for passionate landworkers and ecological entrepreneurs to create a small farm with residential planning permission. Some understanding of our model and entry requirements is important for this session so please take time to read the information available at https://ecologicalland.coop/farm-with-elc

The 5-Fold Bottom Line: Viability at all levels? A case study of four biodynamic farms
10:30 - 11:30

Speakers: Gabriel Kaye, Biodynamic Association (BDA)
Julia Wright, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University
Janus Bojesen Jensen, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University
Laurence Smith, Royal Agricultural University (RAU)

This session looks at four Demeter-certified farms and asks whether they are healthy, resilient examples of respectful agroecological farming where nature as well as farm and people thrive.

Key findings from research conducted using the Public Goods Farm Assessment Tool, with additions for biodynamic farming, will be presented by the research team. They will provide assessments of the four farms in terms of sustainability, viability and vitality at soil, plant, animal, human and social/spiritual levels.

Consultation: Half A Century of WWOOFing: What Does the Future Hold?
09:00 - 10:00

Speakers: Scarlett Penn, WWOOF
Tony Chalcraft, WWOOF

WWOOF, which began in the UK, is now a worldwide movement with representation in 135 countries. Over 100,000 people benefit from the exchange each year. As we approach our half-century, we’re looking for ways to strengthen and further our role. The session will be interactive with participants asked to help explore how WWOOF could evolve to meet current and future challenges. Questions we’ll consider include: How can we reimagine WWOOF? Should we build a larger, more diverse movement, or is small beautiful? Should we aim to reach a wider demographic or collaborate with existing organisations? And in this, how can we best support small-scale producers?



Consultation: Conserving Crop Landraces and Wild Relatives
12:00 - 13:00

Speaker: Nigel Maxted, University of Birmingham
Karen Inwood, Plantlife International
Wayne Frankham, The Gaia Foundation
Paul Townson, Lion Seeds

Our global food supplies depend on just a few mainstream crops which are vulnerable to climate change and other pressures. Landraces and crop wild relatives (CWR) are valuable plant genetic resources with natural resilience, as well as having huge cultural significance, yet they are being lost at unprecedented rates. We need to work together to conserve this diversity in situ (on farms, in gardens and in the wild), alongside ex situ activities. This session will engage landrace farmers, CWR managers and other participants in establishing an effective new European network for conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources (see www.farmerspride.eu).

Interactive Workshop: The Food Table with Mama D
14:00 - 15:30

(Max. 30 people. Please book your place on the sign-up sheet, which will be on the concertina boards in the Main Hall; although there may be further spaces available at the door.)

Imagine you can go to market across half a millennium worth of world history. What would you buy? How would you prepare and serve it? Imagine that your choices would determine what we grow, buy, process, prepare and eat 500 years later.

What would you choose? What would that depend upon?

We offer you an opportunity to take a place at the great table of time and to make choices which will shape today’s ‘food systems’.

Bear in mind: Your time travel choices have consequences for today’s economic and political world. So how will you explain yourself to a jury of today?

Workshop curated by Mama D but organised according to your tastes!

Consultation: Strategies for Getting to Grips with Genome Editing
09:00 - 10:00

This meeting will build on the earlier session on genome editing and report on technical, policy and values-based exchanges between researchers, policy makers, producers and citizens. Coordinated by Beyond GM and GM Watch, it will encourage an exchange of views and ideas with the aim of building technical, policy, regulatory and political strategies for the organic and agroecological movements to protect themselves from any unwanted impacts of the push for a genome editing revolution.

12:00 - 13:00

Facilitated by Katie Bliss, Agricology
Chloe Maclaren, Plant Ecologist, Rothamsted Research
Nicola Cannon, Royal Agricultural University
Mike Mallett, Maple Farm Kelsale

Got a problem weed you don't know how to crack? Come and share your woes, questions and solutions with farmers and researchers at this informal weed surgery hosted by Agricology.



BREAKOUT SESSION: Working towards COP 26 in Glasgow
10:30 - 11:30

Facilitators: Pete Ritchie, Nourish Scotland 
Roz Corbett, LWA, Glasgow 
Oli Rodker, LWA & ELC 

In November 2020 the UN COP will meet in Glasgow.  This will be an important opportunity for civil society to influence global debates on the role of food and agriculture in addressing climate chaos.  Come along to find out more about what is planned for COP, both in shaping discussions within COP and fringe events and activities outside of the meetings, this is primarily an information session on what has been organised so far.  There will be a short overview about experiences of previous COP meetings and update from the COP meeting in Chile, followed by an update about what plans are happening on the ground for Glasgow. Open discussion will follow facilitated by Roz Corbett (LWA)

BREAKOUT SESSION: Social Justice Break Out Session
14:30 - 15:30

BREAKOUT SESSION: Food Sovereignty / People’s Food Policy Break Out Session
13:30 - 14:15