20 May 2018
Agriculture in an uncertain world will be the theme of a free public meeting 'The Future of Farming' at 7.30pm on Thursday 14th June, upstairs at the Cheese & Grain in Frome.
Addressing the need to feed ourselves is one of the most fundamental tasks of human society, yet farming is subject to serious disruption from climate change, ecological destruction and social upheaval. Many aspects of British farming face an uncertain future as a result of Brexit. Meanwhile, farming practices themselves have a big impact, both on the environment and on society.
The speakers at the meeting both have first-hand experience of farming in Somerset. Oliver Dowding is an organic farmer in Shepton Montague, and is South West Green Party's spokesperson on agriculture. Oliver will outline the state of farming in the UK, and the issues raised by Brexit. Ahead of the meeting, Oliver said: "There are myriad uncertainties facing both agriculture and all those involved in connected businesses and the rural areas. With Defra's recent 'Health and Harmony' consultation having drawn 44,000 responses, there is clearly widespread interest in future policy."
Chris Smaje is a co-founder of Vallis Veg, Frome's local market garden, and also a founding member of the Landworkers' Alliance. Formerly a university-based social scientist, Chris writes about farming and environmental issues for various publications, and blogs at Small Farm Future. In his talk, he’ll explain the important role of local, small-scale agriculture in both rich and poor countries for delivering global sustainability and social justice.
There will also be a chance for questions and discussions of all these issues. The meeting is organised by East Mendip Green Party, and is free for all to attend.
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