- Conference Overview
- Plenary Sessions
- Wednesday 27th January 2016
- Business tools and support for new entrants/converters
- Eyes on the prize: the long view on weed control and soil maintenance
- Forage production for improved animal performance
- Which soil test for my system?
- Food Sovereignty: Linking the global and local
- Succession and innovative land access schemes
- Finger on the Pulse
- Minerals: can they be too much of a good thing?
- Tackling the challenges of organic fruit and viticulture
- Agroecology and organic action plans – time for England to catch up?
- Thursday 28th January
- Can technology and very short supply chains transform local food availability
- More feed from our own resources
- Protected cropping in organic systems
- Homoeopathy at Welly Level - unrecognised success
- Making seed sovereignty happen in the UK
- Customer satisfaction. Ensuring consistent supply and quality of organic food
- Better soil management
- How to sequester more carbon on your holding
- Can tree planting on livestock farms lead to a net increase in productivity and profit?
- Farming for food quality
Sessions & Workshops
A shared vision for future – bringing different traditions together
Chair: Lawrence Woodward (ORC Policy Adviser)
The movement for change in agriculture embraces a wide range of agroecological traditions, from integrated pest/crop management to permaculture, from organic farming to agroforestry and holistic management. Are they really all uniquely different, or is the common ground they share, in terms of ideas and history, more important?
The opening plenary addressed the question of shared approaches and world views between the organic and sustainable agriculture movements. It was highlighted that currently the partners from different agroecological traditions are estranged, and there is not much communication. In addition different terminology is being used in the various approaches and in some cases the use of strict-absolute terms has put farmers off. Greater communication should therefore be encouraged and the importance of the new Agricology project was highlighted in this respect. The importance of a functioning market was also pointed out and that being a successful business can provide a convincing example to others, although the market can also create obstacles (e.g. through requirements to use unsustainable packaging).
Jyoti Fernandes, Lawrence Woodward and Phil Jarvis
The discussion that followed the presentations brought out the following points:
- More support should be given to producer-led research in the UK to allow for collaborative working between different sustainable agriculture traditions
- Consumers should be active in lobbying for state/EU-support for sustainable food and farming
- Make use of the resources at www.agricology.co.uk to learn about upcoming events and best practices.
Individual speaker presentations and abstracts
Phil Jarvis (Allerton Project): Rejuvenating ourlandscape – The Allerton approach
My personal vision for the future of farming and food is:
- More shared goals and cooperation between Defra’s agencies, farmer’s representatives and industry stakeholders to develop ‘common ground’ and a ‘win win’ approach to the environment, practical farming and food production.
- A functioning market place that is less reliant on subsidies and grants that provides the mechanisms for a profitable less bureaucratic industry. This will allow us to invest in solutions for the challenges ahead.
- Innovation that combines well researched technology and sound agricultural husbandry, that can be transferred with the skills required, to our next generation of land managers.
- A farming landscape that embraces the environment, rejuvenates our soils and continues to support our rural communities.
Christine Gosling (Berkeley Farm)
As an organic dairy farmer, my vision of the future of farming and food is one of balance where:
- everything that is borrowed or taken from nature is paid back or compensated for.
- every person is fed adequately with a balanced , nourishing diet, relieving the pressure on the earth to produce higher yields of resource intensive and less healthy food. and
- there is a balance of respect for biodiversity and our need toproduce food.
Jyoti Fernandes (Land Workers’ Alliance and organic smallholder Fivepenny Farm, Dorset)
As a small-scale producer and representative of the Land Workers’ Alliance, our vision for the future of agriculture is:
A much higher percentage of land in the UK farmed sustainably with a large proportion of food being produced on small and medium scale farms primarily for British markets to contribute towards greater food security.
Jonty Brunyee (The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association and Cotswold organic farmer)
As a pasture-fed organic livestock farmer, my vision for the future of farming is:
A farming system that provides nutritious food from high welfare ruminants, positive economic returns for farming families and environmental regeneration. I believe that beef, sheep and dairy systems based on a natural diet of 100% pasture (grasses, herbs and legumes) offers a sustainable solution to many of the problems associated with the livestock industry today.