Conference Puts Biodiversity, Regeneration at Heart of Farming

A conference to be held in the Lake District seeks to rethink the provisioning of meat, dairy, wool and leather focusing on reversing Britain's declining biodiversity, regenerating soil and providing a resilient income for family farms.

The UK has fallen frighteningly close to the bottom of the world league table for biodiversity, with one in ten UK wildlife species facing extinction, according to a major recent report. However, a new way forward is possible, says a conference, to be held in the heart of the Lake District on 4th November, which invites farmers, consumers and businesses to rethink the provisioning of livestock products.

highland Cattle

"Every family needs a farmer", open to professionals and consumers, will be hearing how holistic management, which includes using livestock as tools on the land, can reverse Britain's declining biodiversity and regenerate soil, leading to healthy plants and animals and, ultimately, improved human health.

In the wake of Brexit it will also hear how holistic farming can make family farms economically resilient.

Conference organiser Sheila Cooke says:
"When farmers make informed choices about their approach to farming, and consumers make informed choices about what they eat and wear, we can actually change the story of the soil, water and biodiversity of the British Isles."

She continues: "November's one-day conference is asking 'How do we create a dynamic, sustainable agriculture that produces high-quality products at reasonable cost to consumers, while regenerating soil and wildlife habitat, and providing prosperity for farmers?'"

The conference is being produced by 3LM, a member of the Savory Network, which champions holistic land and livestock management.

Daniela Howell, CEO of Savory Institute, explains:
"We all play a part, through the choices of what we eat, to send a signal to the marketplace. We want to eat a product that regenerates our soil, our climate, and our social fabric. The same with what we wear. This is what we'll be exploring and unveiling in the conversations we'll have at this gathering."

3LM's aim is to bring together farmers, consumers and businesses to support each other in laying the foundation for remaking the meat, dairy, wool and leather supply chains into a regenerative supply ecosystem - a supply chain that regenerates soil and nature. "In so doing, we meet the needs of today's world, whilst influencing tomorrow," says Cooke.

The day will open with keynote addresses from Graham Harvey, the man behind the agricultural storyline at The Archers, and Rebecca Hosking, farmer and BBC documentary filmmaker, A Farm for the Future. Patrick Holden, of the Sustainable Food Trust, will deliver the dinner speech.

Talks from the simultaneous global Savory Institute event in the USA will be broadcast, including one by founder, Allan Savory, as well as case studies on meat, dairy, wool and leather.

The Lake District's own Caroline Watson, of Primal Meats, will give a workshop on quality meat and dairy for robust human health, and The Wool Room's Chris Tattersall will speak about quality wool for a healthy lifestyle.

Chris Cook, of UCL's Institute for Security and Resilience Studies, will speak on a novel approach to farmer succession called, "land partnerships".

3LM's Christopher and Sheila Cooke will preview a 2017 Savory Institute programme that verifies products are made from regenerating soil, offers farmers better access to markets and, likewise, helps manufacturers and consumers gain access to regenerative raw materials and products.


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