"We need to talk about food"


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08 November 2022
As record high food prices trigger a global crisis, conference looks at how we can play our part.

BRITISH growers and suppliers are reminded that the South of England Agricultural Society 2022 Farming Conference is taking place next Wednesday (November 16th).

This year’s conference will focus on food in today’s society, considering whether we can produce nutritious, sustainable food, that we can all afford. 

Chaired by BBC Farming Today presenter Charlotte Smith, guest speakers include:
•    Sheila Dillon, Presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme
•    Judith Batchelar, Ex Brand Director of Sainsbury’s
•    Tom Gribble, Local Arable/Dairy Farmer and Trustee of the Society
•    Henry Dimbleby, Co-Founder of Leon Restaurants

Duncan Rawson, a Nuffield Scholar sponsored by the Society, and one of the organisers of this year's Farming Conference, said: “Rising food prices have a greater impact on people in low and middle-income countries, but there remains a paradox - whilst we see more of the population go hungry, we still are facing an obesity crisis, a crisis which is not going to get any better if people cannot afford healthy and nutritious food. 

“In the last 60 years our diets have become more homogenous and increasingly dominated by staple foods that are high in energy and low in micronutrients. Three crops – rice, maize, and wheat – provide more than 50% of the calories that we gain from plants. People, particularly the poorest, do not consume enough nutrient-rich food such as fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. 

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“Against this backdrop is the ever-increasing need to reduce the environmental burden of food production to meet the targets required to arrest global warming. A need that is hampered now by more regular climate shocks, such as droughts, that make it more difficult for the food industry to meet such targets. All of this raises a fundamental question – one which is the subject of this year’s conference - can we really produce nutritious, sustainable food, that we can all afford?” 

The Farming Conference will start at 7pm and is FREE to attend, in person or online, but visitors must register here

Photo (from left): Chair – Charlotte Smith, plus guest speakers: Sheila Dillon, Judith Batchelar, Tom Gribble, and Henry Dimbleby. 

See full details of forthcoming events
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