Oxford Real Farming Conference got off to a Flying Start

The Oxford Real Farming Conference got off to a flying start on Wednesday 6th January, welcoming over 750 delegates to the city's iconic Town Hall.

The conference saw the launch of a new Land Manifesto from the Land Workers Alliance, which made important points about the looming crisis caused by expensive housing and access to land for those looking to work in rural areas

Real Oxford farming Conference

Photo - Maria Faraone

Kerry McCarthy, Shadow Environment Secretary, welcomed the launch saying that the Labour Party had an important role to play in ensuring that future policy was "rural-proofed" - ensuring that rural areas, and there specific needs, receive as much attention as urban areas. "Housing, transport and employment are rural issues too," McCarthy said, "and we must ensure we don't impose policy that's applicable to urban areas onto a countryside environment."

The manifesto, titled "Equality in the Countryside," lays out 46 policy proposals for greater access for rural people to land, property and employment in the countryside, and was launched at the 7th annual Oxford Real Farming Conference. McCarthy said that the Labour Party is "keen to explore new ideas" and emphasised her opposition to the system of intensive and industrialised farming.

Speaking about Day 1 of the conference, Patrick Holden Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust said:
"It has been amazing to see the Oxford Real Farming Conference develop over the last 5 years. It seems that the event is now really coming of age. The level of interest and debate amongst the farming community this year has been truly extraordinary. The challenge facing all of us, is to decide how best to use this opportunity to move forwards and create a food system that genuinely serves the health and sustainability of both people and the environment."

Oxford Real farming Conference

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