The Cynhadledd Gwir Fwyd a Ffermio Cymru – Wales Real Food and Farming Conference was established to explore sustainable food and farming, bringing together farmers and other food businesses, environmentalists and people involved in public health, food education, food sovereignty and social justice.
The conference aims to open conversations and take positive steps about the future of food in our country, mapping out a sustainable 21st century food system for Wales and how we might begin to build it.
Inspired by the Oxford Real Farming Conference, the first Wales Real Food & Farming Conference, was held at Aberystwyth in 2019, and this year, the conference looks forward to meeting in person at the Lampeter campus of UWTSD on 23-25 November 2022. Organisers will be working with UWTSD’s new initative project, Canolfan Tir Glas, which is pioneering a new relationship between the University, the community and the food and farming sectors. The conference therefore will explore how a new vision for food and society can be realised through local action.
A series of workshops and sessions are planned for the first two days of the conference, and on the final day there will be an opportunity to visit local projects in the area. During the conference, Radio 4 Presenter Sheila Dillon will be taking part as well as S4C’s Ffermio presenter Alun Elidyr, Jon Gower, Patrick Holden and Carwyn Graves. Sessions will be held on the new Sustainable Farming Scheme, school meals, local food partnerships, agroforestry, soil health, education, food poverty, entrepreneurship, and access to land.
Conference organiser Jane Powell said:
“These are challenging times, and so there is all the more reason to come together and share what we know. Food and farming are fundamental to our society, and we have a huge opportunity here to create an inspiring vision for our future. After two years online, we’re thrilled to be running an event in person, and in Lampeter.”
Simon Wright, UWTSD’s Director of Food and Rural Economy adds:
“It’s appropriate, that the 2022 WRFFC will be taking place in Lampeter, at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David campus, as it continues to mark two hundred years as the birthplace of Higher Education in Wales.
I’ve been helping the University formulate its ideas around Canolfan Tir Glas and in particular the establishment of a new school of food (Academy of Contemporary Food Wales).
“There is an imperative for action and this is going to be very much a case of building the road as we travel upon it. We need to consult, we need to plan, and we need to be strategic, but at the same time we want to start delivering and making a real difference on the ground and, by the time of the conference in November, we hope to be in a position to provide more detail on what that activity will look like and how it will evolve.”
The conference is sponsored by UWTSD’s Canolfan Tir Glas, Organic Farmers & Growers CIC, Hybu Cig Cymru, Natural Resources Wales, Coed Cadw Woodland Trust, Garden Organic, Food Sense Wales, Soil Association Certification, and the Nature Friendly Farming Network.
Roger Kerr, Chief Executive of organic certifiers, Organic Farmers & Growers said:
“We are very pleased to support the Wales Real Food and Farming Conference. As we face the current challenges it is critical that we offer greater clarity to people about how the choices they make through the food products they buy can bring a positive contribution to help fight climate change and stop biodiversity loss. These are increasingly important considerations alongside the very real need to provide local food to the people of Wales.
“Only by working collaboratively across Wales can we ensure the continued resilience and strength of the Welsh farming sector, while delivering a much more robust and sustainable food system.”
Gwilym Dyfri Jones, UWTSD Provost for the Lampeter Campus said:
“The Lampeter Campus community is delighted to be hosting the Wales Real Food & Farming Conference in November. It looks forward to welcoming interested parties from across Wales and further afield to Ceredigion to discuss and agree how to build and develop a sustainable food system for Wales for the foreseeable future. This is such an important conference given the current challenges facing our communities at present.”