Oxford Real Farming Conference

Ruth Hayward reports back from the Oxford Real Farming Conference last month.

Early in January, I went along to the Oxford Real Farming Conference, set in the beautiful surroundings of Oxford. The conference is for people who think that it is possible to have good food for everyone forever, and to encourage fresh thinking on this; and that this can be done through an agriculture based on principles of sound biology.

There were over 50 workshops and talks over two days. Some of the highlights were:

  • the launch of the UK branch of Via Campesina, an alliance of people who work the land and campaign for the rights of small producers
  • a workshop explaining the principles of Food Sovereignty – this movement is gathering momentum!
  • an inspiring presentation by Manchester Veg People.

Manchester Veg People is a fantastic example of how individuals can change the food system, and make a living! Started by people who saw the need for this, the organisation brings together producers and consumers in the Manchester area. The consumers include the university, pubs, and shops, rather than individuals. Growers can now sell directly to these organisations, so have a fair price for their produce, and consumers can request certain crops to be grown, and have access to affordable, local vegetables.

I think there is a big gap for an initiative like this in Newcastle. If you want to know more get in touch with us or visit their website: Manchester Veg People.

For more info on the conference go to: Oxford Real Farming Conference

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