The following lists, with links, the events Sustain staff will be running or are involved in, at this year's Oxford Real Farming Conference. You can see the full and fabulous ORFC Global 2021 programme here when you have signed up. Do join us for these and other sessions.
Thursday 6 January
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM What Progress On Environmental Land Management Schemes And Wider Farm Policy? - Hear from farmers and sector experts then make your own assessment of current ELM design and early roll-out in workshop format exploring four topics. Run By Sustain, Wildlife and Countryside Link and Soil Association.
9:00 AM to 10.30 AM From survive to thrive with three Better Food Traders - A panel session with the founders of successful ethical food retailers, Growing Communities, London, Better Food, Bristol and Locavore, Scotland. Kath Dalmeny of Sustain chairing.
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM What Is Needed To Get Us To A Pesticide-Free Future? Join us for this fascinating and informative presentation and panel event to explore some of the challenges and solutions for reducing pesticide use in the farming sector. - Vicki Hird of Sustain chairing
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Linking Short Supply Chains With Data - Short food supply chains have a problem. Whatever technology you are using to manage your farm or organise your distributions, your data is locked in a silo. In this session Open Food Network are announcing their upcoming project The Food Data Collaboration and explore what it means for the sector and how community food enterprises and producers benefit. Kath Dalmeny of Sustain chairing.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Scaling Up Peri-Urban Agroecology: Future Strategies, Policy And Practice - The edges of cities offer a dynamic and strategic opportunity to scale out agroecology. Agroecology offers an alternative to destructive urbanisation creeping into peri-urban areas; highlighted through unaffordable housing developments, sanitised green belts, and the loss of valuable soils. The workshop will make space for participant dialogues to develop strategies and next steps to take forward a vision of holistic, farmer-led, and socially just farming in peri urban areas. With Rob Logan of Sustain, Shared Assets, Ubele Initiative, and Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University
Friday 7th January
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM - Food Policy On Trial: In The Dock - Shaking Up Dairy Regulations - Join the jury in judging if dairy regulations are fit for delivering dairy systems that are fair for people, planet and animals. Will Defra’s planned supply chain Code of Conduct and potential changes in the role and remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator promote more ethical dairy? Food Ethics Council run and Vicki Hird speaking.
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM - Diverging From The EU - UK Rules On Farm Antibiotic Use - On the 28th of January the EU is implementing new regulations on farm antibiotic use, leaving the UK lagging behind on our farm antibiotic rules. This panel explores the potential pitfalls and plusses of taking a different regulatory course to the EU. With Sustain, Soil Association, The George Veterinary Group and the Alliance to save our Antibiotics. Kath Dalmeny of Sustain chairing.
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM - Rebugging The Planet - Join A Conversation With Two Bug Lovers On Ways To Help The Vital Invertebrates - Dung beetle and invertebrate expert, campaigner and farmer Sally-Ann Spence and farm campaigner, bug lover and author of Rebugging The Planet, Vicki Hird, will interview each other on their work, on farms, bugs, farm policy and practice - and then more bugs. With Sally-Ann Spence, and Sustain’s Vicki Hird
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM - Beyond The Farmgate: Exploring Supply Chain Needs For Diverse Agroecological Systems - This is a rich example of local enterprises – five in total – and individuals working together in a way that enhances biodiversity and soil life, and conserves agrobiodiversity (seeds and varieties), while also challenging the so-called unviability of small-scale organic production. Our objective is to present the actors and discuss the history that allowed this collaboration to flourish, as well as explore other less obvious benefits of such partnerships, and agroforestry projects in general, which include enhancing social cohesion, revitalizing rural economies, and community wellbeing. Run By James Woodward of Sustain with Growing Communities, farmer George Young, Hodmedod’s, Organic Research Centre.
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM - Exploring Challenges And Opportunities For Council Farmland To Support New Agroecological Farmers - Scaling up agroecological, regenerative approaches and enabling new people into farming and growing will be critical to the agricultural transformation we need. Despite sales, council farm estates still cover 100,000 hectares nationally and have great potential to support and democratise access to working the land, increase diversity in the sector and to be farmed in more innovative ways to tackle climate and nature crises and deliver a host of benefits to local people and communities. Run by CPRE with Cornwall Council, Shared Assets, Defra, and Sustain’s Vicki Hird.
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM - Supporting local meat supply chains - Exploring the need for more local abattoirs and butchery for farmers across the UK. It has been well documented how small abattoirs have declined over the past few years and we now have only 60 left across the UK. But without their services, farmers cannot sell meat direct to consumers. The future of local, high welfare, traceable meat from sustainable systems therefore hinges on the existence of a thriving small abattoir network. This session will explore options to achieve this. What are the barriers to setting up a new abattoir? Could mobile abattoirs be the solution? What about community-owned models or farmer-led hubs? What is needed to enable this? Organised by the Sustainable Food Trust, with Marisa Heath, Andy Gray from Elston Farm, Peter Greig from Pipers Farm, Tom Blunt, John Mettrick, and Kath Dalmeny from Sustain.
5:00 PM – 18:30 PM – Closing Plenary – Kath Dalmeny from Sustain will be one of the people reflecting on the Oxford Real Farming Conference 2022, what we have learned, and what we need to do together over the coming year.
Published 4 Jan 2022
Sustainable Farming Campaign: Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.
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