Organic approaches to future food security will be conference focus

Organic and agro-ecological approaches to future food security will form the focus of a major conference in Birmingham this month.

The annual ORC organic producer’s conference (Aston University, Birmingham, 18-19th January 2012), will explore the potential contribution of organic and agro-ecological approaches to CAP reform and food security, highlighting ways of improving the delivery of public goods and the sustainability of UK food production systems.

Headline speakers for the opening session on CAP Reform include Dr Juern Sanders (pictured) from the von Thuenen Institut in Germany, and Christopher Stopes, president of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements’ EU Group.

The session will examine the implications of the European Commission’s proposals for the organic sector, including the automatic qualification of organic producers for the greening element of the single payment and a higher profile for organic farming in rural development.  The session will consider whether the organic sector can look forward to a better future under the new CAP.

ORC director, Nic Lampkin, said: ‘The range of topics and the expertise of the speakers promises to make this conference one of the best and most relevant to developing practical solutions to the challenges facing agriculture and society that has been held in recent years. It will demonstrate that organic farming, emphasising agro-ecological principles and environmental sustainability, is still highly relevant to the future development of agriculture in the UK, Europe and globally. The messages are not only relevant to organic producers – there is much that should be of interest to UK agriculture in general, and to the industry’s leaders in particular.’

• The full list of speakers and workshops for the event has been published and can be found at