ORFC Global 2021 Session Recordings Now Available!

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.

Farm Practice
Workshop

Speakers

Andy Dibben

Andrew Webster

Dominic Amos

Chair

Kate Pressland

Languages

English

17:00 - 18:00 GMT
Monday, 11 January

Fighting Weeds and Pests with Plants: Learn about the Findings from Farmers and Researchers in the UK

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

What are the latest practices farmers are trialling to tackle weeds and pests using plants rather than agrochemicals? Join this practical session to hear from a panel of farmers, growers and researchers as they discuss the latest results and tips to come out of the Innovative Farmers’ network of farmer-led trials.

Can you tackle couch grass with allelopathic plants like buckwheat? What trap crops are best for deceiving potato pests in commercial farms? Can you beat weeds by finding varieties of wheat that are best suited to organic conditions? These questions (and more!) are being asked by farmers and researchers who are teaming up across the UK to pioneer nature friendly farming techniques that tackle pests and weeds without using agrochemicals. Through the Innovative Farmers programme a range of ecological practices are being put to the test on real farms where the trials are codesigned by the farmers. A process which ensures the outcome is realistic and easier to implement. Join this practical session to hear the latest results and analysis, get tips and find out more about the farmer-led research model.

Farm Practice
Workshop
12:00 - 13:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

From Margin to Mountain: Farmland Nature-based Climate Solutions at Every Scale

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 140 (Full)

Nature-based solutions to climate change are rising up the international agenda. Farmers across the globe have a central role to play in delivering multiple outcomes from our land – food, nature and climate. Natural habitats that increase biodiversity as well as helping to mitigate and adapt to climate change are vital.

This workshop gives a space for farmers around the world to discuss the potential for nature-based solutions at different scales on their farmland to tackle the dual crises of climate change and ecosystem collapse. Farmer case studies from a range of countries and farming systems will set the stage for deeper discussions on how farmers can embrace nature-based solutions like woodland, agroforestry, peatland and semi-natural grassland, and what support they need.

Come and join us to hear from farmers from Ireland to Finland, Sierra Leone to Essex and to tell your story as well.

Farm Practice
Workshop

Speakers

Abi Bunker

Kristin Bash

Joe Wookey

Clive Bailye

Chair

Jenny Hawley

Languages

English

13:00 - 14:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Fixing Nitrogen: The Nitrogen Challenge in the UK

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

Nitrogen is an element essential for all life on earth and vital in food and farming. But when used to excess, it becomes a dangerous pollutant to our air, rivers, soils and seas. In traditional farming systems, atmospheric nitrogen is naturally ‘fixed’ by plants such as peas and beans and returned to soils in animal manures. However, the creation of synthetic fertilisers has disrupted this cycle and become the single biggest driver of nitrogen pollution globally, pushing us beyond the boundaries the planet can withstand.

As more is understood about the impact of nitrogen pollution on our rivers, soil and plants, we also need to understand the impact it has on the climate crisis.

In this workshop, led by Plantlife’s Policy Manager Jenny Hawley, farmers, public health professionals and environmentalists discuss how to strike a nitrogen balance, closing loops and treating nutrients as too good to waste. The panel explores how solutions that work with nature address these challenges, and have the potential to improve profitability and farm resilience too.

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.

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.

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).

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.

Workshop

Speakers

Didi Pershouse

Languages

English

17:00 - 19:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

How Farms Can Soak up the Rain, Create Resilience to Flooding and Drought, and Improve the Health of Crops, Animals, and People

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

Healthy topsoil forms a living matrix, a “soil sponge” that can soak up, hold, and filter rainwater, and maintain its structural integrity during water and wind events. This natural infrastructure makes life on land possible. By regenerating it, can address many of our major challenges:

- improve the health of crops, animals, and people
- provide resilience to flooding, drought, heatwaves, and wildfires
- recharge water tables
- clean up lakes and rivers
- improve air quality
- reduce conflicts over land and water
- create landscapes with food and water for all
- create habitat for diverse species

Didi Pershouse will engage participants in deep discussions about the soil sponge's central role in the soil-plant-animal-atmosphere continuum; how all life on land participates in the creation of the soil sponge; and how we can help create the conditions for it to naturally regenerate. 

Workshop

Speakers

Anna Lappé

Languages

English

18:00 - 19:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

SPINNING FOOD: How to Identify the PR Tactics Industry Uses to Shape the Story of Food

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 25 (Full)

In this interactive workshop, author and activist Anna Lappé details the spectrum of food industry influence—from the most obvious (advertising) to the most hidden (like deploying third-party experts). Using real-world examples, she will help us increase our own capacities to spot industry spin. She’ll also explore some strategies advocacy groups and others have used to expose spin and how we can push back against the misinformation.

Workshop
19:00 - 20:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Can Agriculture Be Decolonised? Opportunities and Obstacles for Agroecology

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 40 (Full)

The session aims to create a space for dialogue around the idea of agroecology as a movement for decolonization and racial justice. We would like participants to share their experiences and knowledge of agroecology and collectively examine both the opportunities and limitations of agroecology as it is practiced today. Through a series of interactive and dialogic activities we intend to look deeper at how industrialised modes of producing and managing food systems have shaped our ways of thinking, even within the agroecological movement itself.

We will start the session by sharing a call and response song as a grounding exercise. This will be followed by small group collective critical reading and discussion of definitions of agroecology from different sources. We will be asking participants to keep notes and think about what they can do practically and locally to further their understanding and practise of agroecology. Towards the end of the session we will ask participants to share with wider groups the results of their small group discussions. The session will be closed with a cultural offering: a poem, song, reflection or anything else participants may wish to offer.