The inaugural Wales Real Food and Farming Conference (WRFFC) will address the economic and health impacts of stronger rural and urban food and farming communities in the face of environmental and political uncertainty.
The conference aims to look in detail at how a closer network of food producers and community groups can work together to locally and nationally better address public health and environmental concerns.
WRFFC will welcome delegates and speakers from food and farm businesses and directors of civil and private institutions, including the Welsh Government, RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission and the Sustainable Food Trust.
“We need to consider food production in the context of the whole food supply system and this event is an opportunity for all the players, whether producers, processors, distributors, retailers or consumers, to develop strong networks and change our approach together,” said Dr Sarah Watson-Jones, co-organiser of WRFFC and lecturer at BioInnovation Wales.
“Taking a circular economy approach helps to build a resilient, healthy and resource-aware food system, reducing waste and generating new income streams.”
Polly Davies, OF&G (Organic Farmers & Growers) licensed organic farmer at Slade Farm, will speak at the conference about the current state of UK food markets. “Really good food markets are building across Britain. We’re busier than ever, now is a great time to be farming with nature and growing great food,” she said.
“There are a lot of challenges and to make the most of the opportunities we’re seeing, there needs to be more support and more recognition of what farmers in Wales can do with our food and for our environment.”
WRFFC co-organiser and countryside manager at RSPB Cymru, Arfon Williams says food producers have a vital role to play in restoring and maintaining our natural environment and they must be supported: “With huge uncertainties and challenges facing nature, climate and the economy, this conference provides a chance for our community to come together, be proud of what we’re all doing and show how we can help each other.”
WRFFC takes place on 11 and 12 November 2019 at Aberystwyth University. For more information visit https://wrffc.wales/.
Photo: ® Polly Davies.