Working towards Net Zero to reduce global warming has well and truly arrived for us all and is even more important now as we strive to reach Government targets and look to the possible new requirements and structures of future farming payment schemes. Farmers are key and incredibly well placed to help deliver this globally through a range of changes and options for their farming practices.
This session on reaching Net Zero or even Sub-Zero by using nature friendly solutions brings you practical ways to help achieve this on your farm. A panel of farmers from across the UK will share their work and experiences in the delivery of achievable Net Zero practices and will highlight the most recent thinking work on this. As well as presentations, you will have an opportunity to put questions to the panel.
Farmer Managed Seed Systems (FMSS) have, for hundreds of years, played a crucial role across the African continent in ensuring a diverse diet for millions of people and sustaining biodiversity. However, there is no continental law governing seeds in Africa and corporates have taken this as an opportunity to grab resources from the agricultural sector - which still occupies 70 % of the population into Africa - and sell them seed, fertilizers and pesticides. In some regions various stakeholders such as seed companies and their allies, are promoting uniformity in the name of high yield seed and food security.
Despite the push of multiple legal-political instruments to install industrial seed systems as the vehicle of African agriculture, 80% of seeds used by farmers in Africa come from their own reserves. In this panel, organised by AFSA, we will learn about two levels of resistance to the African seeds takeover by industry: first is led by civil society organisations at sub regional level, engaging the push of seed law revision favourable to hybrid seeds and GMO’s. Second is at national levels where farmers’ organisations break the law by organising seed festivals; sharing indigenous seed, knowledge and practices.
COVID-19, Brexit and economic disruption are changing the UK sustainable food and drink markets, presenting new opportunities and challenges for organic farmers. This session outlines emerging trends and explores how farm businesses are adapting to build resilience in a time of change.
A changing world provides new opportunities and challenges for organic farmers.
Drawing on robust organic market trend data, and featuring speakers from flagship organic farm businesses, this session offers valuable insight into the performance of, and outlook for, the organic food and farming sector. It provides opportunities to see what these farm businesses are doing in response to an uncertain and changing market.
Hosted by Soil Association Certification and featuring speakers from Riverford, and The Ethical Dairy, we explore how organic operators are adapting their businesses and routes to market to maximise opportunities and build resilience into their sustainable food and drink markets.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 50
Farmer-to-farmer learning is a pillar of the food sovereignty and agroecology movements, enabling territorially-specific learning and alliance-building to support farmers’ livelihoods and broader socio-political transformations. Most accounts of experiences in this field are based on rural contexts and rural farm models. However, the broadening food sovereignty and agroecology movement is also reaching out to urban and peri-urban farmers, some of whom were once rural and found themselves absorbed by expanding urbanisation. Their livelihoods are affected by specific problems of neoliberal urbanisation: speculative land markets and gentrification impacting access to land and housing; erosion, pollution, and destruction of living soils; degradation of riverways; fragmentation of farmland and progressive farmers’ isolation from solidarity networks of proximity; lack of farming infrastructure; ongoing deskilling and producers-consumer’s separation.
In this workshop, the organisers would like to hear from farmers and farmers’ movements of any political and practical training, strategising and learning initiatives that they have/are developing, to address these specific ‘urban’ challenges. This session aims to contribute to the co-creation of a ‘toolbox’ of strategies for shaping a political urban agroecology. The organisers will begin the session sharing some experiences drawn from the www.urbanisinginplace.org project. Participants are encouraged to prepare a 5-10 minute account of their experience.
This session will be of interest to farmers and activists engaged in farmer training and in the support and empowerment of peri-urban and urban agroecological farmers.
We cannot prevent climate and ecological breakdown without radical change to the food we eat and how it is produced. The IPCC Special Report on Land Use shows the extent of change required to restore natural carbon sinks, to help mitigate against temperature rises of 2 degrees and beyond, and adapt to avoid the worst impacts such as flooding and food shortages.
The CEE Bill lays out a pathway for the creation of a strategy to deal with the Climate and Ecological Emergency, in line with the UK’s Paris Agreement 1.5oC commitments. Key points:
The UK Government and UK companies will be accountable for our entire emissions and ecological footprint resulting from all supply chains - international as well as domestic.
The UK Government will be obliged to protect and restore UK ecosystems to reverse the decline in biodiversity and crucially to protect and restore ecosystems that are of critical importance to help mitigate and adapt to climate change: our natural carbon sinks - peatlands, woodlands, soil, grasslands, wetlands as well as the oceans.
Our panel explores how this strategy might work in practice, in the creation of pathways to a fair and just transition to a zero carbon food system and a thriving natural world.
To understand food sovereignty, we must understand the current issue of power at the root of our food system. Indigenous leaders, Chris Newman and Jo Jandi not only recognise the centralisation of power but are also actively working to redistribute power in their local communities. How? By democratising and embedding food sovereignty into our food system. Chris brings his experience from Sylvanaqua Farms in the Northern Neck of Virginia, and Jo Jandi brings his experience with the Pun Pun Center for Self-Reliance and Thamturakit in Northern Thailand. The two are finding ways to address the local nuances that come with being in different places while finding common ground as they’re still fighting the same battle against the domination of industrial agriculture. With Chris’ focus on securing land for Indigenous and Black-American farmers, and Jo Jandai’s work to fight against neoliberal policies, the two will be able to share in their common experience and learn from one another.
This session will hear from four projects in Western Europe pioneering ways of providing access to land for ecological food production and new entrant farmers. We’ll learn of different business models used in the UK, Germany, Belgium and France to inspire different models across the world and give insights into the context in which these projects operate and the practicalities of making them work.
CSA groups have sometimes been labelled as middle class. And although sociological studies show that it is true that many CSA members have a background of higher education, the essence of community supported agriculture is to back local organic/agroecological farmers, be inclusive and build social cohesion. CSA farms using agroecological practices are conscious of their key role in providing healthy, nutritious food for all while preserving soil health and agrobiodiversity.
There are a wide range of solidarity mechanisms that are implemented by CSA farms and groups around the world. The COVID-19 crisis contributed to casting a light on some of them: solidarity funds to offer shares to marginalized people, sliding schemes allowing members to pay a price that is proportional to the income, bidding rounds based on voluntary financial contributions and working shares, amongst them.
How efficient are all these techniques in making CSA more inclusive? How can farmers and consumers participate in the social inclusion efforts? In extremely different contexts, CSAs have developed ad hoc strategies to bridge the gap between different segments of our societies. This session will tell stories from the ground from three different continents.
This session will explore the many facets of hedgerows, from wildlife habitat to cultural history, from ecosystem services to ecological resilience.
Nigel Adams and Dr Jo Staley from the UK introduce the importance of hedgerows, their roles in agricultural landscapes and current policy relevance. They will outline the contribution that hedgerows can make to nature conservation along with the many ecosystem services that they provide, and the importance of sensitive management to guarantee their survival into the future.
Colleagues in Canada and The Netherlands will present their own very different hedgerow stories: from a country that has never had hedges to one that almost completely lost them.