This year’s Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) felt more necessary than ever. Gathering in person for the first time since January 2020, the great and the good of agroecology turned their attention to the pressing matters of the day: the intersectional crises of biodiversity, climate, energy and cost of living. The movement discussed available support for small-scale farmers, and solutions provided by transformed food and farming systems.
The event – and the movement – continues to grow, this time combining a virtual programme and in-person event. Online speakers represented six continents, whilst hundreds gathered in Oxford to discuss transforming food and farming systems for good.
The following takeaways represent common threads from the expansive programme which, each year, provides so much more in terms of connection, solidarity and mobilisation than any single lesson learnt.
1.Positivity nurtures hope and seeds change – Good things are happening “below ground”, but the movement needs better storytellers.