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Small-scale farming and the future of the European food system

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International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

80-86 Gray's Inn Road

London

WC1X 8NH

United Kingdom

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Critical theme: to explore what the future looks like for small-scale farms in the UK and European food system.

About this Event

Globally, small-scale farming is crucial for producing food and for sustaining the livelihoods of millions of people.

In European food systems, the important but under-appreciated role of small-scale famers is under threat.

On Wednesday, 22 January 2020, IIED will host a critical theme event to discuss how small farms fit in the future context of the UK and European food system.

It’s not just Brexit. The future of European food systems is being shaped by many different – sometimes contradictory – drivers. The large-scale agro-food processing and retailing industries are increasingly churning out processed foods and degrading the environment. At the same time, more people are concerned about the climate impacts of agriculture and demanding better rather than more food.

Small farms are an under-appreciated part of the food system, but they play an important role both in Europe and across the developing world and could have an even more relevant role in the future.

Small farms produce considerable amounts of food and generate jobs for many people. They are dynamic, diverse and entrepreneurial. People are drawn to small-scale farming by necessity, but also for business, political and lifestyle choices.

This critical theme will explore the future of UK and European food systems through the lens of small-scale farming, drawing on the findings of the SALSA research project about the status and role of small-scale farming across Europe, including lessons from small-scale farming in Africa.

Are small farms inefficient and uneconomic? Or do they offer a glimpse of what a more sustainable food system might look like?

Our speakers will discuss the challenges and opportunities of small-scale farming, why it is important here and now, and how it can contribute to more sustainable food production in the Europe and beyond.

About the panellists

Alejandro Guarin (chair), senior researcher, IIED

Professor Teresa Pinto-Correia, director, Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (ICAAM), University of Évora and leader of the SALSA project

Vicki Hird, sustainable farm campaign coordinator, Sustain

Rosemary Champion, smallholder, The Accidental Smallholder

About attending

The discussions will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to network.

How do I get there? IIED is on Gray's Inn Road in Central London. The closest tube stations are Chancery Lane and Kings Cross.

Is there disabled access? Yes. If you have any questions about attending, please email us at this address: anne.schulthess@iied.org.

About data protection: The information you provide will be held on our database to process your booking. We do not share data with any third parties. Please let us know if you do not want to receive any further information from us.

Photography and videotaping: This event will be photographed, and/or videotaped on behalf of the organiser(s) for display, distribution, and broadcast, including on television and the worldwide web. By attending or participating in this event, you are giving your consent to be photographed and/or videotaped and waive any claims regarding the use of your image or contribution.

Tickets: Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please arrive promptly.

Photo: Shirley Clarke and her husband farm sheep in Scotland. Seventy per cent of Scotland’s land is devoted to farming. The Clarkes have diversified by offering farm tours and have received awards for nature conservation (Sarah Wood via Flickr, Crown Copyright)

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Date and Time

Location

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

80-86 Gray's Inn Road

London

WC1X 8NH

United Kingdom

View Map

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