The Oxford Real Farming conference took place on the 6th and 7th of January and included a panel discussing the Square Meal report (published on the Food Research Collaboration website.) Representatives of the organisations that contributed to the report were present, including the Chair of FRC, Professor Tim Lang.
Here are some selected quotes from the speakers:
Mike Clarke, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: “At the conference, we’ve heard inspiring examples from sustainable food initiatives producing good quality food in a way that is fair for people, farmers and nature. Going forward, we need a step change that allows this to become the norm, through strong government leadership to address the challenges laid out in the Square Meal report.”
Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming: “If we choose food from the land, not from factories, we can make a big difference but we are still in dire need of leadership. In fact, there has never been a greater need for leadership in food policy and never a greater lack of it from the Government.”
Dan Crossley, Executive Director of the Food Ethics Council: “It is high time for a radical reframing of our food and farming systems. We hope Square Meal will trigger much-needed debates across the country, stimulating new ideas about food and farming policy and increasing pressure to act on whoever comes into power in May.”
Vicki Hird, Senior Campaigner at Friends of the Earth for the Land Use, Food and Water Security Programme: “Now we need the debate across the UK where such discussions are either polarised or, worse still, absent, so government can no longer ignore the clear public interest in a better food and farming system.”
Professor Tim Lang, Chair of the Food Research Collaboration: “In this election year, I hope the British public asks candidates what they’ll do to reorient UK food and farming industries around public and environmental health. The evidence currently suggests policy is drifting while troubles are mounting. The mismatch of bodies, food supply, health and culture must be addressed.”
You can read a full report on the event on the City University website.