4th July 2023 at 08:30-16:00
Now in its 16th year this one-day event is held on a successful organic farm business with the aim of discussing the practical challenges and opportunities faced by UK organic farmers specifically and also the wider UK organic sector.
The event is open to all farmers who have an interest in exploring regenerative and organic techniques.
Since 2008 the OF&G annual on-farm conference has brought together people from across the food and farming community and from all over the British Isles, Europe and beyond.
The conference originally named, National Organic Cereals, helped to highlight the opportunities that could be gained from farming cereals and pulses organically.
We are finding however that the conference is increasingly finding relevance with organic livestock farmers and the wider supply chain.
Farming faces some significant challenges and everybody is looking to build strength and resilience into their businesses.
We believe that organic farming offers possibly the greatest set of opportunities for growers in the UK and consequently we want to provide an opportunity for the whole sector to come together to discuss practical, real world issues in a on-farm environment.
To that end we have decided to rename our annual event, The National Organic Conference (NOC). The aim being to provide a platform for the organic community to come together to meet, to share, discuss and wherever possible celebrate, resilient, organic food and farming.
We hope you can join us.
Green Acres was first certified as an organic farm by OF&G in 1999.
The farm is home to the Lea family who were also our hosts in 2018. There have been some fairly big, and quite small, but important changes that Mark has made to the farm system and to his farm business in the intervening years.
We are delighted to be returning and give Mark space to update you all on the Green Acres story.
Focusing on a whole system mixed farming approach we’ll show you round a successful sheep and arable farm that has a range of really exciting enterprises including agroforestry, living mulch and a diverse collection of different milling wheats from some of the oldest to some of the most modern varieties available.
OF&G’s NOC23 will highlight innovative farming techniques, alongside the delivery of the multiple public goods that organic brings alongside the entrepreneurial approach Mark is taking.
Mark Lea said, 'Connecting with the people who eat and process our food makes us feel like food producers rather than commodity producers and is much more rewarding!'
The team from Organic Arable will also be able to provide further insights into cropping and market opportunities.
The Organic Research Centre will present the very latest organic crop science and the Organic Trade Board will be on hand to give details on the latest market data.
Our host this year is an organic farmer who has held an organic certificate for more than twenty years. Mark Lea has developed a set of innovative enterprises on his family farm in Shropshire.
These include a flock of New Zealand Romney sheep, oats for Organic Arable and oat miller, White’s, and peas for Hodmedods who are a small but growing independent business, founded in 2012 to source and supply beans and other products from British farms.
Mark will also have two dozen different cereal varieties for visitors to look at. These include some of the oldest wheats recorded in Britain, but also modern varieties and populations mixing both old and new.
A recent tree planting project has been successfully completed at Green Acres Farm and the Woodland Trust will be on site to talk about the support they can offer to farmers thinking of planting trees on their own farms.
NOC23 will look at the whole of the farming experience from seed to shelf. To help us focus on soils we are very pleased to announce that we have two of the most experienced and highly regarded soil educators in practice today.
Dr Julia Cooper has taken part in our annual conference before and it’s great to welcome her back. Julia has had a long career as lecturer on Soil Science recently joining the senior research team at the Organic Research Centre.
Joel Williams is also a friend of our conference speaking to NOC audiences previously. Joel will be coming from his home in Canada where he runs the independent consultancy, Integrated Soils and describes himself as a “Soil health educator, rethinking soils through a lens of biology”.
OF&G Certification Officers will be on the farm all day which gives you, our licensees, the opportunity to have a chat, which for some of you, and some of the team here at OF&G will mean being able to meet in person for the first time.The full line-up will be released soon. Booking is due to open in April.
So, you may wish to mark the date in your diary, 4 July 2023, OF&G’s National Organic Conference, Shropshire.
More details will be released soon.
If you are interested in attending, in sponsorship or becoming an event partner please contact Steven Jacobs: