Reclaim the Fields have been invited to the Oxford REAL Farming Conference, and I will be giving a presentation as part of the ‘Taking the Initiative’ section of the event.
Every January for over sixty years, the Oxford Farming Conference has set the agricultural agenda for the coming year.
In January 2010 a small group with an interest in agriculture launched an alternative event to explore the issues they believed mattered most to people – health, animal welfare, biodiversity, food security. So began the first annual Oxford Real Farming Conference, founded on a manifesto that set out a simple aim: to provide good food, for everyone, forever.
It now has a full timetable of speakers from all areas of ecological agriculture and has called for ‘An across the board rethink’:
The world’s agriculture needs a total re-think and urgent action. We need:
- To design agriculture as if we truly intended to feed people without wrecking the rest of the world – what has been called “Enlightened Agriculture”, or “Real Farming”.
- To ensure that farming has its own momentum and continuity so that it continues to thrive whatever may happen to governments.
- To take matters into our own hands. It’s all too obvious now that governments are not to be trusted with our farming. We, people at large, Ordinary Joes, must take control and do what needs doing – together with those farmers and scientists who still retain a sense of what farming ought to be, and of how to do what needs doing.
A sea-change is needed, in short – and a shift of power away from the centre to people at large and to the farmers who best understand what can be done. We won’t bring this about in two days. But we will certainly help the momentum – and trigger some new and practical initiatives that really could make a difference.
If you are attending the conference, please drop me an email as I would love to meet interested RTFers and network. For more information about the conference, please see the website here: http://www.oxfordrealfarmingconference.org/