Outstanding cereals event: mission accomplished
Date Published: 14/07/2009
Well, National Organic Cereals 2009 is done and dusted – and it was a stonker!
I know that sounds like blowing our own trumpet, but it wasn’t the success it turned out to be purely because of the organisation. It was down to the fact that pretty much everyone who mattered was represented: farmers, millers, consultants, traders, professional and support organisations, you name it.
The official head count (as in, those ticked-off on the delegate and exhibitor registration sheet) amounted to 189. There were a few more people on top of that who showed up as well.
The speakers were very well received and the information imparted was right on-topic, making the day the practical, warts-and-all look at organic arable we intended it to be. The wide array of exhibitors added to the overall usefulness of the event and the caterers laid-on a superb lunch of organic beef, followed by afternoon tea and cake. The weather even played its part by staying dry until the tail end of the packing up!
We were delighted that our headline sponsor, Triodos Bank, was able to announce its ground-breaking initiative to provide a £5 million fund dedicated to supporting converts to organic arable farming at market-beating interest rates.
There was a buzz around John and Alice Pawsey’s farm, at Shimpling, Suffolk, throughout the day and we must pass on our thanks to them once again for being the perfect hosts.
John’s farm walks to view the specially planted trial plots were a highlight of the day which seemingly no-one wanted to miss.
Tonnes of credit has to go to OF&Gs’ development officer, Steven Jacobs, who was the driving force behind the whole thing and the man with the frazzled, “I’m only standing upright now because my backbone doesn’t have a hinge” look on his face at the end of the day. Nice job, Steven.
You can take a look at our collection of photos from the event on our Flickr set, here (or click on any of the photos above).
A lot of new acquaintances were made and some old ones renewed and, perhaps the most important result of the day, we spoke to non-organic farmers who came to learn and are now seriously considering delving into organics.