4th July 2023 at 08:30-16:00
This one-day event is always 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 for 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.
Our host this year is an organic farmer who has held an organic certificate for more than twenty years.
Mark Lea has developed a suite 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 solely from British farms.
The team from Organic Arable will also be able to provide further insights into cropping research and market opportunities.
Mark has around two dozen different cereal varieties for visitors to look at. These include some of the oldest wheats recorded in Britain, but also some very recent varieties, and cereal populations mixing the old and the new.
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 National Organic Conference is fully catered, with a light breakfast, a two-course lunch and an afternoon tea all served as part of the ticket price.
We are really pleased to that this year we have one of the country's top restaurants as our service provider.
CSONS is an award winning family-owned business operating two globally inspired cafe restaurants in Shropshire dedicated to using the best locally sourced produce.
Some of the menu for NOC23 will have come from our host farm, and all of us in the OF&G offices are very much looking forward to tucking in.
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 one of the most experienced and highly regarded soil educators in practice today.
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”.