AN all-Wales food and farming conference which was a sell-out in its inaugural year is once again aiming to ignite big changes in UK food and farming systems.

The Wales Real Food and Farming Conference (WRFFC) will take place virtually from November 16-19, and aims to build on last year’s sell-out inaugural event in Aberystwyth with a full agenda of online seminars, interactive discussions, and practical video demonstrations.

The keynote speaker line-up includes: John Davies, president of NFU Cymru; Jane Davidson, architect of the Well-being of Future Generations Act; Ffion Storer-Jones from the Rural Youth Project; Prof Davy McCracken from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Hill and Mountain Research Centre and Carwyn Graves, food historian and author.

Topics include the role of the Future Generations Act in shaping the future of food; net-zero farming; upland agroforestry; expanding Welsh horticulture and Welsh food branding.

Steven Jacobs, WRFFC treasurer and business development manager at OF&G (Organic Farmers & Growers), says: “The food system in the UK isn’t equal. And while natural landscapes are suffering, many of our population are too, with some unable to afford healthy food on a budget.

“But we can build food and farming systems that work for people and nature. To do that, we must recognise where things haven’t been working as well as acknowledge where they have, along with gaining more support from our communities and the government.”

Kim Stoddart, who is also on the organising team for the WRFFC, and is the editor of 'The Organic Way' and Garden Organic’s representative for Wales, adds: “As concerns around climate change increase and pandemic fears worsen, it’s more important than ever that we all come together to collaborate on our future food systems.

“For those that are able to grow some food at home or on an allotment, sowing seed to be nurtured into produce to bring to the table is one of the most empowering actions we can take right now”.

WRFFC event manager, Jane Powell, says: “The fantastic community response to the pandemic shows there’s enthusiasm for local self-reliance and strong communities, and we have an opportunity now to bring people together around food.

“Farming, growing and fishing are central to that, and so is the natural world. If we get that balance right, we have the foundation on which to build a healthier society.”

To book tickets and find out more about the event, visit Follow the WRFFC on Twitter @wrffc20.