Farming for 1.5°C is an independent inquiry that was set up in 2019 to find consensus between a panel of scientists, farmers and environmental NGOs on how Scottish farming can contribute to keeping global warming to no more than 1.5°C. The panel was innovative in its make-up as well as its ways of working, interested in building relationships and respect amongst its members and those providing evidence. All of the members went through a journey of one sort or another, culminating in reports that were backed by the Soil Association and NFU Scotland and picked up by media across the UK, referenced by the Scottish Cabinet Secretary and labelled by farmers as “essential reading”.
This session will be a conversation between the two co-chairs of the Farming for 1.5°C Inquiry, a climate activist and a beef and sheep farmer. The panel will talk about the pros and cons of the process, as well as the outcomes and the response to them. What can we learn from this integrated way of working?
ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 12
The mainstream food system needs to be turned on its head and replaced with one that is good for growers, easy on the planet and great for all our futures. Join Better Food Traders for three train-the-trainer sessions and become an ambassador for Know Better Food, a peer-learning method that supports behaviour change for a better food system.
If you are a UK delegate who is part of a small ethical food business, these workshops are for you. They will help you with word-of-mouth marketing and customer loyalty and there’s freedom to make the approach your own.
You will learn engaging online facilitator techniques using Mural, Zoom, jamboards, thought maps, buddy framework and blob trees plus more…
There are only 12 spaces available, and participants must make sure they are available for all three 90-minute sessions at the same time on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Nitrogen is a challenge that requires international action. Hear from the international experts on the grand challenge we face, and from activists seeking to put nitrogen at the top of the climate agenda in the build up to COP26.
Nitrogen is a grand challenge for agriculture. The climate impact of nitrogen has been overlooked for too long. Meeting the aim to feed the human population adequate diets along with the ambition to keep global warming below 1.5C mean radical action on nitrogen is urgent.
Making the change we need to see means combined action in multiple areas, which include reducing reliance on – and use of – synthetic fertilisers; shifting global diets away from high meat consumption; and incentivising farm practices that are based on sustainable nutrient management, such as agroecology.
This session brings together international experts who outline the scale of the nitrogen challenge for farming; small-scale farmers from the global south to explore the challenges and opportunities around managing nitrogen, and; activists working to achieve global commitments to reduce nitrogen excess at the international climate conference, COP26.
The availability of active nitrogen is a key issue in the research project the Soil Association is currently undertaking with partners in the UK and France.
Smallholder farmers in the global south represent some of the world’s most financially underserved communities. Often these farmers struggle to balance subsistence farming with the desire to invest in cash crops that would allow for increased income. By contrast, institutional and other private ethical, social and impact investors find it difficult to identify and support investment-ready smallholder farmer pipelines, primarily using private debt and private equity. Consequently, the tendency has been to invest in mid-sized and large operations. Are the capital markets well-positioned to support small agroecology enterprises? How can the responsible investment community work with local stakeholders to develop and support pipelines of agroecological partners?
ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 50
The conditions imposed by COVID-19 have acted as a magnifying glass on our societies and food systems, laying bare existing dysfunctions and inequalities but also sites of resilience. From the early months of the pandemic, we have seen an impressive response on the ground from food producers to retailers, communities and neighbours, who got food to where it was needed in immediate reaction to shock. Against the backdrop of longer-term problems locked into our food system, their adaptations emerge like desire lines – an urban planning phenomenon where collective bottom-up problem solving defies unhelpful structures – toward a resilient, sustainable and fair food system. As we face the task of ‘building back better’ in a new normal, now is the time to reflect and avoid blindly following the well-worn path to a place we don’t want to return to. What can we learn about resilience from the innovation and solidarity of those who hold the food system together amidst the chaos?
Using examples from across the UK to trace transformation across new behaviour, innovative logistics, material adaptation and fundamental values, this engaging workshop is for actors whose steps formed collective desire lines across the food landscape to learn together and reflect on the legacy of their initiatives.
The discovery of bacteria as a cause of disease ushered in a 'sterile' era - giving us a century in which medicine and agriculture killed off germs, insects, weeds, and other perceived pests in hopes of improving life, without understanding that all living systems are nested, and that we cannot kill off parts of the biological workforce without threatening the whole. This 'get rid of bad things' approach now sneaks in everywhere, even with the best intentions: for example seeing/selling soil carbon as a way of getting rid of atmospheric carbon.
Can we embrace a more "fertile" paradigm of care for our inner and outer landscapes? Didi Pershouse, author of The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities will show how climate cooling is a biological dance, how the hidden biological economy enfolds our own, how the sterile paradigm took hold of our fears and imaginations, and how people can learn to work in fertile collaboration with other species - and with each other.
China’s agroecological and organic farming sector is developing rapidly as increasing numbers of consumers have the economic means to consider the safety and health of their food. The market potential is huge, but many challenges remain including educating the consumer and building trust, supporting new entrants, recovering damaged ecosystems and creating viable market conditions for ecological food producers.
Join this session to learn more from a panel of speakers who are all major influencers in building the popularity and resilience of the agroecology sector. The panel will discuss the state of agroecological food production in China, the barriers to its growth and the innovative solutions that are balancing and harmonizing the cultural, social and economic facets of agroecology. Using the impacts of digital applications and scientific research along with traditional cultural ideals surrounding food and nature, people of all generations are engaging with better food and farming.
Panelists include Ada Qin, founder of the social enterprise Abovefarm, academic and advisor on organic farming and ecology, Professor Yuanguan Xi, the organiser of Beijing Farmers’ Markets and creator of Foodthink, an online platform to promote ecological food systems, Tianle Chang and ecological farmers Gang Liu and Joanna Li. The panel welcomes audience interaction for vibrant discussion and exchange of ideas.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 55
This is a closed session for Black people & people of colour, including those from African & Asian diaspora, Latinx & indigenous peoples.
LION is part of a growing movement of Black people & people of colour (BPOC) returning to land work, addressing issues of food inequalities and disconnect from nature. In this session we invite ORFC BPOC attendees to discuss two intertwined threads of repair: of the land and of ourselves. How do we approach the task of reparations in holistic and nourishing ways? LION members will reflect on our own learnings from the past year, from the BPOC caucus held as part of the ORFC last year in the UK to the latest iteration of the Black Lives Matter movement.
To change the world you need to tell a story which will inspire change and that is exactly what Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer have done at La Ferme du Bec Hellouin. Described by Eliot Colman as the ‘United Nations of all the best sustainable farming ideas’, Perrine and Charles have drawn their inspiration and knowledge from so many different sources; they incorporate the modern techniques of bio-intensive ‘micro-agriculture’ into the broader context of permaculture, but also traditional learnings from the Parisian market gardeners and what they call their ‘barefoot mentors’.
In this session, Perrine will show how all of these learnings influenced the farm’s design, from the Mandala garden, the island garden, ponds, companion planting, bio-intensive planting, terraces, layering, the forest garden, raised beds, mulching, the use of perennial plants and an abundance of trees. She will show how Permaculture gives us the tools we need to design productive human systems that take their inspiration from nature and living ecosystems.
Perrine and Charles’ story is heartwarming and gives us all hope for the future. It is a shining example of how farms can be places of abundance, of healing, of beauty and of harmony and how human beings can be an essential and positive force for good. This is a session not to be missed!