Thousands to gather in support of agroecology at ORFC

By Sarah Buckingham


The Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) 4-6 January 2023 is set to be the largest and most diverse gathering of the UK and global agroecological and regenerative farming movement in the event’s history.

The discussions come at a critical time, in the wake of the failures of COP27 and COP15 to take meaningful radical action in the face of multiple crises across nature, climate, food and farming, coupled with uncertainty over the future direction of UK food and farming policy.

The programme has been developed with partners in the UK and across the world who promote and support agroecology and food sovereignty. Together they represent millions of small-scale farmers, food producers and activists, including under-represented voices and marginalised communities.

In person tickets to ORFC 2023 are sold out; online tickets give access to more than 70 sessions including live-streamed content direct from Oxford, with recordings available for replay straight away.

Book online tickets to ORFC 2023

Francesca Price, ORFC Director, said:
“We’re really excited to be working with partners to bring together the largest and most diverse ORFC yet. As a result of the hundreds of session ideas we received earlier this year, we’ve weaved together a programme that covers the vast array of topics the movement is interested in; from farm practice to food policy, from land-use to climate activism, from justice issues to spiritual ecology.”

Jyoti Fernandes, Policy and Campaigns Coordinator at Landworkers’ Alliance, said:
“ORFC is an opportunity for all those working to transform our food and farming systems here in the UK and across the globe to make meaningful and lasting connections, to share ideas and experiences, to educate, inspire and to mobilise. We live in a time of intersecting crises, and the need to come together in person to build momentum has arguably never been greater. The LWA is excited to be hosting our own room at ORFC once again, and our programme this year includes sessions on topics from local food systems and farmer-led research to international struggles for land justice.”

Josina Calliste, co-founder of Land In Our Names (LION), said:

“This year’s ORFC comes at a critical time for addressing injustice in our food, land and farming. Involvement from underheard groups has increased with each conference, and LION celebrates the opportunity to gather to discuss key justice issues at ORFC 2023.”

Book online tickets to ORFC 2023

Vicki Hird, Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator at Sustain, said:
“”In a time of multiple crises, from cost of living and pandemics to conflicts and climate emergency, food producers are rightly gaining more attention than ever. We all need to eat, and that food must be affordable, accessible, healthy and sustainable, whilst ensuring farmers and food workers can thrive. At ORFC we have the best opportunity to learn from great UK and global farmers and growers on nature and climate friendly methods, and to share ideas about how we can collaborate on getting vital changes needed in policy, in supply chains and in the food industry to secure a just and sustainable food system.”

Cordelia Hughes, Communications Of
ficer at Shared Assets, said:
“Shared Assets is co-hosting a space with Land In Our Names again this year, focussing on holding conversations with social justice at their core. ORFC provides this movement for better food and farming with an opportunity to properly engage with one another, learning about our ideas and the issues that matter to, and affect us. We are excited to learn alongside those in the justice sessions about the issues that matter, in order for our food movements to flourish in a way that is diverse and equitable.”

Pete Ritchie, Director at Nourish Scotland, said:

“For much of the last half century we took food for granted. But since the food price spike of 2008, we’ve lived through a series of shocks – accelerating climate change and nature loss, Brexit, the pandemic, and most recently the invasion of Ukraine and rampant food price inflation. ORFC brings farmers and others together to see how our food and farming system can become more resilient and be part of the solution for climate, nature and health.”

Book online tickets to ORFC 2023

Pavel Cenkl, Head of Schumacher College, said:
“ORFC is an essential gathering to share ideas, build relationships and most importantly work collectively to put ideas into meaningful action. As we come together in person for the first time since the pandemic, and in the face of crises in cost of living, energy and armed conflict, the ORFC is ever more critical to underscore the importance of agroecological approaches across a broad range of sectors. Schumacher College and Dartington Trust are proud and honoured to join practitioners, educators, change makers, and others in contributing to a regenerative agroecological future.”

Jimmy Woodrow, Executive Director of Pasture for Life, said:

“There’s no better and brighter way to start the year than to be in Oxford, where the annual gathering of farmers, food businesses, NGOs, policymakers and many others at ORFC makes for a truly restorative week, and never more so than in 2023 after two years online. The conference is the highlight of the season for Pasture for Life and many of our 900 members; a community who, for the most part, work remotely. Oxford is where plans are hatched, friendships are rekindled and the strength to weather the multiple storms raging around us is restored. As a key partner, we’re delighted to play our part in bringing this conference to life.”

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