News Real Bread Campaign

Grainiacs assemble!

Farmers, millers, bakers and other non-commodity grain enthusiasts invited.

Rye growing on Green Acres Farm. Copyright: Mark Lea

Rye growing on Green Acres Farm. Copyright: Mark Lea

The National Organic Conference 2023 takes place on 4 July at Green Acres Farm in Shropshire.

The annual event is run by Sustain alliance member OF&G Organic, ‘with the aim of discussing the practical challenges and opportunities faced by UK organic farmers specifically and also the wider UK organic sector.‘ Organisers promise it ‘will look at the whole of the farming experience from seed to shelf.’

Re-graining control

Of key relevance to Real Bread Campaign supporters and the wider Real Bread community will be a discussion on bringing genetic diversity and seed breeding back into the hands of farmers and growers, run by members of the UK Grain Lab collective.

They will present the latest work on genetically diverse cereal varieties, as well as the need for UK seed legislation to recognise the importance of heterogeneous grain and cereal production.

The panel

  • Dr, Charlotte Bickler, the Organic Research Centre
  • Dr. Edward Dickin, a crop lecturer at Harper Adams University and a keen plant breeder
  • Steven Jacobs, OF&G’s business development manager and curator of the Conference
  • Josiah Meldrum, co-director of Hodmedods
  • John Turner, who farms organically in Lincolnshire with his brother Guy and was a founding member of Pasture for Life

More speakers 

Other people presenting during the day include:

  • Ben Briggs, agricultural journalist and former editor of Farmers Guardian
  • Stephen Briggs, The Climate Farm Demo
  • Roger Kerr, OF&G’s chief executive
  • Gareth Hughes, the Open Food Network
  • Henrietta Inman, Wakelyns Bakery
  • Joel Williams, Integrated Soils

Other organisations represented include Harper Adams University, Organic Arable, Organic Trade Board, Woodland Trust.

Mark Lea, owner of Green Acres Farm and Conference host, who has held organic certification for more than 20 years

Mark has around two dozen different cereal varieties for visitors to look at. These include ‘some of the oldest wheats recorded in Britain’, some very recent varieties, and cereal populations working with the old and the new. Participants will also be invited on a farm walk around the newest plantation of agroforestry at Green Acres Farm.

Read more and book at the OF&G Organic website.

See also

Published Thursday 8 June 2023

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