Volunteer online at ORFC 2022!

ORFC Global 2021

Full Programme

This seven-day programme offers over 150 sessions that have been programmed with partners and farming communities from across six continents.  It includes a mix of talks, panel discussions, workshops and cultural events on everything from farm practice to climate justice to indigenous knowledge. Please take some time to explore!

Please note that although workshops are free to all registered delegates, separate, advance registration is required for all workshops, and spaces are limited. Workshop registration opened to all registered delegates from Tuesday, 29 December 2020 and was sent via email. Register early to avoid disappointment!

View a PDF of the full programme here

View a printable PDF programme here

Please note the times in the online programme below should display in your local time zone.

Workshop

Speakers

James Woodward

Vicki Hird

Languages

English

14:00 - 15:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Supply Chains and Infrastructure for Agroecology in the UK

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

Join this exciting workshop to discuss and explore the barriers and opportunities to scaling-up supply chains and infrastructure for agroecological farming. We want to delve into the problems with the current centralised system and look at ways the sector can open up better opportunities for farmers: how could we expand the network of local abattoirs, millers, food hubs and more? How can we ensure that farmers get fair access to markets and gain more pence on the pound? There will be interactive sessions so that delegates can share their experiences and ideas from here in the UK and around the world, so come along and get stuck in.

Farm Practice
Panel Discussion
14:00 - 15:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

The Agroecological Farming Practices of the Shashe Community of Zimbabwe

The Shashe block of farms, in the Maszinvgo province of central Zimbabwe, is home to 500 farming families. Together with the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF)’s and Shashe Agroecology School, they have worked to revive arid cattle-ranching land into rich, abundant food forests.

The school trains farmers in agroecological farming techniques such as inter-cropping, water-harvesting and farmer-to-farmers exchanges but at the heart of their practice is a special emphasis on seed and food sovereignty and ecological production integrated with seasonal ceremonies and rituals. There is also a deep emphasis on farmer led solutions to socioeconomic, ecological and cultural issues, which has stimulated designing a methodology for holistic nurturing of landscapes at the Shashe block of farms.

Join farmers and the founders of the Shashe Agroecological School in Zimbabwe, as they put their new internet connection to the test!

Panel Discussion

Speakers

Verónica Villa

Chair

Nnimmo Bassey

Languages

English, Español, Français

15:00 - 16:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Which Way Forward? Grassroots-led Conversations on the Role of Technology in the Food System

Global corporations claim their new technologies will benefit us all, but they could threaten us, particularly small-scale food producers and consumers. Even before COVID-19, the arrival of big data, synthetic biology, robotics and other tech were being hailed as the answers to hunger, climate change and even infectious disease. In the summer of 2020, ETC Group began convening conversations with, and among, civil society organisations, social movement allies and communities with whom we work. “Which Way Forward?” examined the implications of technological trends, especially those advanced under COVID-19, particularly as they affect the Global South. They will also outline alternatives for the future. In this session you can hear from Southern activists who have taken part in the dialogues. They will give their views on the process, the technologies under discussion and their vision for the democratisation of technology.

Farm Practice
Panel Discussion
15:00 - 16:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

The Value of Trees in a Hotter Climate

Co-hosted by MVArc (Portugal) and the Woodland Trust (UK)

Already we are seeing the difference in our weather patterns from climate change. Integrating trees within the farming system can buffer extremes by providing shade for crops and livestock. In this session, we will hear from speakers from the UK, Spain and the USA about the role of trees in a hotter climate, including practical management considerations and benefits for both livestock and crops. Can you do something now which will allow you to plan ahead to make your farm more resilient?

Workshop

Speakers

Liz O’Neill

Ralph Underhill

Pat Thomas

Languages

English

15:00 - 16:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

We’ve Been Framed: Changing the Way We Talk about GM to Address Urgent New Threats

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

The rise of gene editing techniques, Brexit and other factors have turbo-charged the promotion of genetic modification (GM) in food and farming. At the same time, many of the words, images and metaphors used to oppose GM inadvertently reinforce beliefs and narratives that undermine the cause they are intended to serve. This workshop will help ORFC global delegates to understand the problem and become part of the solution.

GM Freeze recently brought a group of campaigners, scientists and agriculture experts together to analyse the way that discussion about GMOs is framed, how this helps and hinders different perspectives and what we can do to change the way that we, the media and others talk about GM in food and farming. This workshop will introduce the principles behind the We’ve Been Framed project, launch our new messaging guide and give participants a chance to try out some re-framing techniques for themselves.

The workshop will be facilitated by Liz O’Neill (GM Freeze) and Ralph Underhill (Framing Matters) with input from Pat Thomas (Beyond GM).

Panel Discussion

Speakers

Guy Singh-Watson

Gabriela Delgado

Josiah Meldrum

Chair

Rob Haward

Languages

English, Español

16:00 - 17:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Why Ownership Matters

Conventional structures of business ownership have been shown to be completely incompatible with the needs of the planet and society. Short term profit motivated thinking has cost us dearly and the implications of veracious capitalism and the consumerist society that it has created are now coming home to roost. Urgent action is required and business needs to be a big part of this – they can’t just wait for customers to demand action from them. Movements like BCorp give cause for hope – galvanising businesses around the world behind a desire to balance profit and purpose. But without a fundamental rethink of business ownership – will business ever really be fit for purpose for our future.

In this session we will consider businesses that have chosen or are considering different paths of ownership to seek to lock in values for the long term. The session will be chaired by Rob Haward, MD of Riverford and will include Guy Singh-Watson, Riverford’s Founder, and Gabriela Delgado, who represents a co-operative of cardamom growers in Guatemala.

Panel Discussion

Speakers

Saulo Araujo

Deirdre (Dee) Woods

Gisèle Yasmeen

Chair

Colin Ray Anderson

Languages

English, Español

16:00 - 17:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

In the Belly of the Beast: Organising for Food Sovereignty in the US and Beyond

This session will focus on the US Food Sovereignty Movement (USFSA) and the process of organizing for food sovereignty in the “Belly of the Beast”. We will think together about how we can work across boundaries, amongst different constituencies to mobilize for food sovereignty in contexts, like the US and the UK, from where industrial and corporate agriculture is consolidated and projected onto the world. This session is organized in the spirit of mutual learning and solidarity with the intention that new ideas, connections and inspiration can emerge from sharing the history, processes, challenges and vision of the USFSA.

The session will include a talk by Saulo Araujo from WhyHunger (US) who will present his talk, “In the Belly of the Beast”, which will provide a historical and contextual analysis of neoliberal policies and its effects on grassroots organizing in the United States. This will be followed by a dialogue between Saulo and Gisèle Yasmeen from Canada and Dee Woods from the UK, who are each engaged in their own movements working for food sovereignty in these different national contexts. The session will be introduced and moderated by Colin Anderson, who is plugged into both the USFSA and the UK Food Sovereignty Movement.

Farm Practice
Workshop

Speakers

Gavin Towers

Philip Burgess

Amanda Frisby

Chair

Hugh Blogg

Languages

English

16:00 - 17:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Let’s Kick the Copper Habit: Promoting Blight Resistant Potatoes Within Retail

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

How do we transition away from copper reliance in potato production? A look at the latest blight resistant potato varieties, a discussion on the barriers of getting these into the mainstream and how supermarkets could play a major role. How can we emulate the Netherlands covenant which transformed the organic potato sector?

Appealing to those interested in how we transition away from copper reliance in potato production, and building on research for Organic-PLUS, we consider how to phase out contentious inputs in organic agriculture.

We take a look at the latest blight resistant potato varieties from Agrico - how stacked gene resistance makes them even more robust and why farmers will benefit – and we hear from the RiSS group based in Scotland. They have been exploring how to improve resilience in the organic potato sector and potentially influence policy and the implications this could have on the whole of the UK.

We also discuss the barriers of getting blight resistant varieties into the mainstream and how major supermarkets can play a role in consumer acceptance and demand. We hear from Waitrose on how they hope to show leadership on this issue. How can we strive towards the transformation seen in the organic potato sector in the Netherlands?

Thanks to Organic-PLUS for funding this important research.

Farm Practice
Panel Discussion

Speakers

Will Harris

Emily Miles

Marisa Heath

Sara Grady

Alice Robinson

 

 

Chair

Patrick Holden

Languages

English, Italiano

17:00 - 18:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Making Small Abattoirs Sustainable

Abattoirs are the linchpins of local food and sustainable livestock systems, adding value to meat, serving local consumers, reducing distance to slaughter and producing traceable by-products. Organised by the Sustainable Food Trust, this session is chaired by CEO Patrick Holden who will outline the current situation in light of the Agriculture Bill, Covid and Brexit. The panel will then discuss what is needed to make small abattoirs sustainable for the future.

Beginning with Will Harris, owner of White Oak Pastures and home to one of America’s only on-farm slaughterhouses, we will explore how the problems facing small abattoirs are mirrored across the pond. He will talk about why slaughtering on farm, or as near to the farm as possible, is so important, and will share his knowledge of the best ways to achieve this.

Head of the Food Standards Agency Emily Miles will then speak about the situation in the UK and what is needed from a regulatory and governmental point of view to ensure the small abattoir sector can be resilient and thrive. She will talk about measures already being taken by the FSA and give insights to the impact of Brexit and COVID-19, looking to the future and what more can be done.

Marisa Heath from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare will share the work of the new small abattoir sector group, including work on waste, reducing distance to slaughter and how Government support could enable small abattoirs to thrive.
Finally, we will hear from Sara Grady and Alice Robinson about how to make small abattoirs sustainable from the ground up, through developing by-product markets. They are adding value to what has in recent years become a waste product for abattoirs - hides and skins - by developing leather that is fully traceable back to the farm.