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Real Bread picks at ORFC 2023

Some highlights of the Oxford Real Farming Conference.

. Credit: Oxford Real Farming Conference

. Credit: Oxford Real Farming Conference

This year’s conference promises a huge programme of sessions around Oxford and online. In addition to the Sustain sessions, three that might be of particular interest to (and/or involve) Real Bread Campaign supporters and friends all take place on Thursday 5 January 2023.

The in-person event is fully booked but registration for online sessions is still open. The following information is taken from the ORFC programme.

Nicholas Supiot and the Alchemy of Baking

Film screening online
12:45 - 13:45 GMT

Twenty-five years ago, Nicolas left Paris for a village in Brittany, where he decided to make bread. The wheat comes from his own farm, where grains, peas and beans grow side by side. The baker works with coarse salt and fleur de sel from Bourgneuf-sur-Retz sent to him by a friend. Directed by Eileen Byrne, Germany, 2022. 

Living Bread: The way of the peasant baker

Town Hall Assembly Room and online
14:00 - 15:30 GMT

Speakers: Rupert Dunn (heritage wheat baker), Jean-Marc Albisetti (biodynamic grain grower and miller), Rosy Benson (artisan baker and educator)
Chair: Michel Pimbert (Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University) 

‘We consider bread and agricultural products as spiritual nourishment and physically vital as well as emotionally, culturally and spiritually healing’.”(Panis Vita) The peasant baker is someone who grows, mills and bakes with landrace heritage grains on a small scale. It is a model which combines tradition and innovation, producing the best possible quality of bread from nutritionally dense grains. During this session we will be hearing from Rupert Dunn and Jean-Marc Albisetti, who have run peasant bakeries in the UK and France respectively, and Rosy Benson of the field bakery at Gothelney Farm. We will take you through the key aspects, equipment and techniques which make a peasant bakery come to life, as well as exploring wider cultural questions concerning what makes this a distinct livelihood.

From Field to Bakery: Radical But Realistic Policy Changes for Accelerating Diversified Grain Systems in The UK

16:00 – 17:30 GMT
Town Hall Council Chamber 

Speakers: Kimberley Bell (Small Food Bakery, Nottingham), Josiah Meldrum (Hodmedods), John Turner (organic farmer, Lincolnshire) 
Chair: Stephanie Walton (Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London)

A transition to agroecological, climate resilient food and farming systems requires new grain systems, from seed to field, to baking and retailing. Our current agricultural system is almost exclusively focused on productivity and consistency, unintentionally creating an unjust and unhealthy grain system from soil to gut. The sort of radical change needed to deliver an equitable, climate-resilient food and farming system won’t be delivered by fine tuning the existing predominant model. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the problems, but innovative food producers - seed breeders, farmers, millers and bakers – are doing the important work of reimagining the grain and bread system as they envisage a system where skills are nurtured, communities are nourished and values are shared. The panel will share their own experiences, with a focus on areas where policy has the capacity to enable change and where it is stifling progress. Their work illuminates areas where change is most needed and where we can all play a part in delivering the sort of transformation that the UK is hungry for.

See also

Published Tuesday 3 January 2023

Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.

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