Oxford Real Farm Conference

Oxford Real Farm Conference

As growers and activists, one of our highlights of the year always comes early. The first week of January is the Oxford Real Farm Conference. This is a gathering of the agroecological farming movement in the UK where farmers, growers, activists, scientists and all those interested in fixing our broken food system get together to learn form each other, to discuss, collaborate and bring about change.

With close to 5,000 attendees the ORFC has grown immensely in the last few years as increasing numbers of people are becoming determined to get together and make change happen, it is where the food revolution is brewing!

Its’ growing popularity is catching the attention of more and more organisations working within a wide range of sectors which are increasingly getting worried about how the food system is damaging our health, communities, economies and environment and so they are taking part wanting to be part of the solution. While ORFC attracts and welcomes anyone interested in bringing about meaningful change for a fairer and healthier food system; its core and the majority of people attending are grassroots actors of the agroecological farming and food sovereignty movement.

This year again the topics of food poverty, local economies, community resilience and social justice were at the centre stage of the debates; and so was the worry of further damage to health, environment and communities from a system that puts profit before people and is inherently undemocratic and non-transparent. But the ORFC brings together a huge diverse and inspiring range of projects, initiatives and solutions to get the transformation going, from the ground up. It’s 3 days of a huge feast of ideas, enthusiasm and determination, I always leave fully charged for the year!

We need to change the food system. It is causing too many problems without anyone being accountable and it’s on autopilot with a course of destruction. We need to move to a food system that has the overall health and wealth of all as its core. At ORFC, I heard from so many of those building this alternative food system based on justice, joy and solidarity that I can’t but remain positive and get back to work on our little corner of Devon. At Hilltown Organics and with Harvest Workers Co-op we’ll keep feeding the fire, we need to increase the opportunities and support for a different way to farm, to trade, to generate health and well-being, to regenerate our land, our soils and our souls. Join us in 2022 in creating a better food system for all!

The infographic is by @seobhanhope_illustrates