Governments are beginning to recognise the urgent need to transform our food systems. This has been made even more pressing by the current health and economic crisis caused by the COVID pandemic. Currently, there are good but rather scattered examples of governments around the world that have been developing conducive and innovative policies aimed at introducing and implementing agroecological and resilient principles.
Join three leading policymakers from three different countries (India, Denmark and Uganda) as they explain the good policy practices they are helping to put in place, which make possible the long-term transformation of the food and agricultural systems of their countries. Chaired by IFOAM – Organics International, our speakers will explore the key entry points and drivers of transformational policies including the multifaceted crisis, climate change, health, and environmental pressures.
We will hear from Prof. Rajeshwar Singh Chandel, a member of the Himachal Pradesh Government of India, about their initiative to turn the food systems of the entire state into a sustainable one, from Mr. Alex Lwakuba of the Ugandan Government about their brand-new policy on organic and from Paul Holmbeck, the Director of Holmbeck Eco-Consult on how their countries consumers became the most pro-organic ones in the world.
Diverse crop rotations are key to a successful agroecological and regenerative food system. Innovative farmers and growers across the globe are using a range of strategies and crop mixtures to build soil health, reduce pests and weed burdens, and enhance natural capital. In this session, curated by the FarmED team, you will be introduced to the key principles of rotation and hear about the diverse cropping systems at the Rodale Institute (Pennsylvania, USA) and FarmED (Oxfordshire, UK). An open discussion and Q&A will follow.
The UK has exited the EU but is in the process of striking trade deals with new partners around the globe and leading a big free trade agenda. This has enormous implications not only for our own food standards but those of our partners. This session is to explore where we are and discuss what we can still influence and how. Will the UK be leading the globe in setting high standards for the food that we accept in trade deals? Will we strike deals that support high environmental and animal welfare standards at home and abroad? Or will we unwittingly facilitate and lock in low standards in partner countries, making it harder for their farmers and citizens to farm in a nature-friendly way? We will be exploring who makes these decisions and what can we do to influence with some possible break out sessions led by trade campaigners.
With global hunger likely to double as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, the need for food systems transformation has never been more urgent. Across five continents, Agroecology Fund partners have been on the frontlines of relief efforts, mobilizing powerful grassroots networks to strengthen long-term food security and resilience. The Agroecology Fund launched an Emergency Fund to support 59 such community-led responses to Covid-19. A panel of grassroots organizations will share their strategies to provide healthy, agroecologically-produced food for rural and urban food systems.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500
No-till arable farming has revolutionised the arable farming mindset and is of interest to organic farmers because of its potential to reduce cultivations whilst providing weed control, fertility and soil health. But is it possible?
Cover crops or green manures have always been part of organic arable systems but are now commonly used conventionally as part of regenerative farming systems.. The 4 pillars of regenerative farming are no-till, continuous ground cover, crop diversity and livestock integration.
In organic systems, cover crops have generally been ploughed in to provide fertility for the rotation but adopting organic no-till will require termination of the cover crop and this is difficult for organic farmers who cannot use chemicals.
One solution? A non-aggressive, low growing permanent cover crop such as small white clover, which shades out weeds and provides fertility.
In this session, we talk to two farmer-participants from our Innovative Farmer programme. They have been looking at the potential of no-till with living mulches with a group of organic and conventional farmers running on-farm trials, plus a European organic farmer who carries it out already.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 70 [FULL]
In November 2021, the 26th UN Climate COP in Glasgow will face the monumental task of bridging the gap between countries’ current climate commitments and the significant transformation needed to tackle the climate emergency. With food systems currently accounting for 1/3 of total greenhouse gas emissions, the road joining Glasgow to Paris and the important goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees must go through the farm gate and involve both farmers and their local communities for a just transition. While cities and farmers around the world lead the way with integrated food strategies to drive food system sustainability, neither they nor food systems sustainability are part of the negotiations at COP26.
Recognising that global change is enacted locally, the Glasgow Process aims to address this gap by bringing together cities, farmers and other local actors to amplify their voices at COP. This interactive workshop builds on the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration, which brings together local governments of all sizes in a unified call to put food and farming at the heart of the global response to the climate emergency. It explores the methodology of the Fork to Farm dialogues, which aim to build understanding, trust and relationships between cities, local communities and farmers that can drive the food systems transformation we need.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent crises, as a result of lockdowns, have exposed the fractures of human societies’ relationship with nature. In a world dominated by capitalist globalisation, these crises are not blips or anomalies that require a few tweaks to make the system a little more sustainable. No, it is a forceful reflection of processes that engender the economic, ecological and social crises that already existed.
Key international forums and publications are focusing during this critical juncture on identifying drivers of biodiversity loss and climate change, and powerful forces are rallying to advance false solutions that ensure powerful economic actors maintain their profit-making while pretending to preserve nature.The tragic story of the Ebola outbreaks in Central Africa and the DRC in particular, cannot be told apart from interconnections between resource extraction and exploitation, ecological collapse, precarious livelihoods, financialisation and crippling indebtedness.
In this session, the panel will discuss how the relationship between ecological disturbance and human health has been shaped by distorted logics of austerity, profiteering and financialisation of human life and death, shaped largely by the pressures of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. They will highlight how the collaboration between big Northern based conservation groups, industry and governments are pushing a battery of dangerous and false solutions, embedded in destructive and exclusionary logics of commodification, dispossession and financialisation.
Including trees in farm management offers opportunities to future-proof our farms against the effects of global climate change. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent throughout the world. 60% of UK farm businesses have been affected by severe weather over the last 10 years. Soil degradation and loss are evident as wet winters carry our topsoil onto roads. Annually, flood damage costs the farming sector £1.9 billion, with a rise to £2.4 billion expected by 2050. We hear how growing trees can improve the profitability of your farm by helping to protect your soils during wet and dry weather.