Farming and food enthusiasts will come together next month to explore mixed, whole organic farming systems and organic food supply chains.
Billed as the UK’s largest organic on-farm event, the Organic Farmers & Growers’ annual National Organic Conference will be hosted by organic farmer Mark Lea on Tuesday, 4 July, at Green Acres Farm, Shropshire.
The one-day event will focus on organic arable and integrated livestock systems as part of a mixed, whole farm approach. It will also explore natural capital and organic food supply chains, highlighting the benefits delivered by organic agriculture.
Delegates will be shown around the 180ha mixed farm business, which has been certified organic for more than 20 years. They will also hear from experts in organic agriculture and food on a global scale.
Mr Lea’s arable enterprise includes organic oats grown for the Organic Arable farmer collective. It includes more than a dozen diverse wheats, incorporating landrace, heritage and modern varieties and specially bred crosses, with some included in Organic Research Centre trials.
The farm also has a flock of 200 New Zealand Romney sheep, a living mulch trial and some areas of agroforestry. Mr Lea is working with the Woodland Trust to establish mixed woodland to enhance the farm landscape, store carbon and build healthier soils.
OF&G business development manager Steven Jacobs, says: “UK food and farming faces some significant challenges, with agri-environment schemes still to be fully formed, and increasing economic uncertainty and a worsening climate crisis.
“Despite consumer concerns with rising prices across grocery categories, the UK organic market remains buoyant with an annual value of over £3bn.
“With many shoppers increasingly concerned about the potentially catastrophic loss in biodiversity and the effects of climate change on future generations, now is the time for the organic sector to step up and communicate its value in helping to mitigate these challenges.”
For full details, visit www.ofgorganic.org