“Groundswell – defined in the Oxford Dictionary as ‘a growth of strong feeling among a large group of people’ – and what better word to name the most inspiration 2 day agriculture event, hosted by The Cherry Family at Lannock Manor Farm. Groundswell is the only regenerative agriculture show and conference held in the UK, and creates a forum for farmers and anyone else involved in food production to learn about the theory and practical applications of adopting regenerative farming principles.
A line up worthy of Worthy Farm – it was farming meet Glastonbury, with an audience just as excited to see Tony Juniper or Glen Burrows as those waiting to watch Sir Paul strut his stuff. However, at Groundswell the only beetles we were focused on were the ones rolling around in the dung. With over 150 sessions taking place over Wednesday and Thursday across 10 different venues within the show, it was a trek making sure we could get as much in as possible – and we did our best! We, of course, rewarded ourselves with an Honest Burger made from the meat from the amazing Ethical Butcher and may have had more than one glass of Regen Wine in the Earthworms Arms later in the day…
With so many great seminars, safaris (dung beetles are the UK version of the Big 5), plots and stands it would be impossible to highlight them all but here are our top 5 from 2022:
– The Saviour of the British Food System, Henry Dimbleby didn’t fail to deliver in his session, telling the audience clearly that the food systems have to change – we need to escape the junk food cycle, reduce diet related inequality, make the best use of our land, and create a long term shift in food culture. You’ve got our vote Mr Dimbleby! After a week of disappointment from all of the supporters of the new Food Strategy it great to see and hear that Mr D isn’t finished yet.
– An all lady line up at an Ag show, this session ‘How is Big Business Adopting Regen Ag’ featured WWF & Tesco who are working together to tackle 7 key areas for change as part of the Metric & Sustainability Innovation Fund: Climate/Agriculture/Marine/Diet/Food waste/Packaging Deforestation. Anna Turrell, Head of Environment at Tesco maintained that: “Retail has a very frontline position in taking leadership in how we shape, engage and influence across our food system”. Such a key topic of discussion – we need more UK food industry heavyweights on stages discussing their pledges to incorporate regenerative processes into their supply chains.
– LEAF – Continuing the legacy and vision from the great Caroline Drummond, the LEAF team highlighted the importance of engagement with consumers – we all need to know where our food comes from and how it was produced. How do we connect the farmer to the plate? The success of Open Farm Sunday has been incredible – how better to know where your food comes from than to visit a farm?
– Merlin Sheldrake – well. No words. Spell bound? Hypnotised? Both. Quite possibly the most captivating hour on fungi I have ever or am likely to ever experience. Yes , you read that right – fungi! Did you know that mycorrhizal fungi are so prolific that their mycelium makes up between a third and a half of the living mass in soils?
– Seth Itzkan, Co Founder of Soil4Climate with the quote of the event when he said ”farmers and ranchers can be climate heroes”. Mic drop. Boom.
After 2 days of dung beetle safaris, regen cheese, regen wine, perennial farming, identifying healthy soil, decentralising food supply chains, fantastic fungi, new books, seeing old friends and making new ones, we are leaving the 2 days sunburnt and exhausted, but inspired and most importantly, full of hope.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE?
Understanding regenerative agriculture is a critical part of influencing for a better food and farming future.
We need to continue this important conversation and amplify the movement – we always say once you know, you can’t unknow and we need more people to know about the power of regen.
We are hosting a special edition Regenerative Agriculture Masterclass. Please join us, and invite your colleagues and networks – we need to keep this important conversation going.
This is an open access masterclass which will cost £50pp for non-members and £15pp for Ally Community Members. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss corporate rates for groups or for your senior leadership team.
Join Future Food Movement and Charlie Curtis, Future Food Movement Coach and Director of Progressive Agriculture to explore these principles and learn how to influence for change in your organisation.