Press Release: Michael Gove to attend Oxford Real Farming Conference

Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affair, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP will be attending the 10th annual Oxford Real Farming Conference on 3rd January 2019, to take part in a Q&A session. This session will be hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology and chaired by Kerry McCarthy.

Following last year’s packed out plenary session with Michael Gove and Zach Goldsmith, the Secretary of State will return this year to answer questions about the future of farming in the UK.

Kerry McCarthy said: “I’m very pleased that the Secretary of State has accepted an invitation to speak at the ORFC for the second year running. It shows that agroecological approaches are entering the mainstream, and gaining in influence. This will be an ideal opportunity to quiz him on the Agriculture Bill currently going through Parliament, and of course, Brexit.”

This will compliment a raft of other sessions that dig deeper into the future of farming post-Brexit – with issues ranging from fishing policy to animal welfare regulation, and with debates exploring the value of natural capital, what constitutes a healthy diet and how to hold government to account for a ‘Green Brexit’. A full list of sessions can be found here.

Tickets for the ORFC have now sold out, with this year’s capacity larger than ever at 1,000 attendees. And with almost 100 sessions across the two days featuring more than 200 speakers, it is sure to be a memorable event.


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Kerry McCarthy is the Co-Chair of the APPG on Agroecology, member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Environmental Audit Select Committees, and was previously the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

About the Oxford Real Farming Conference (

In 2009, agricultural writer Graham Harvey invited Colin Tudge and Ruth West to help establish a new kind of farming conference. The conference, first held in 2010 as a much-needed alternative to the concurrently-running Oxford Farming Conference, provides an innovative environment for some radical discussions on some of the biggest issues facing our society today. ORFC delegates are those from across food and farming, with an interest in agroecology: a set of guiding principles to encourage whole farm systems that care for the biosphere and provide healthy nutritious food for all. The point of the ORFC is not simply to challenge the status quo but to look ahead — to ask what the world really needs, and what really can be done.