Back to Latest Posts

Oxford Real Farming Conference

Abundance members Frances Northrop and Kai Heron organised a panel at the Oxford Real Farming Conference this week. The UK’s industrial food system is buckling under a series of converging and mutually reinforcing crises: the cost of energy, the cost of off-farm inputs, the inaccessibility of land for new growers, and the system’s tendency to pollute and deteriorate the ecosystems it relies on. The panel titled Commoning Food Systems Through Alternative Forms of Ownership suggested that alternative forms of ownership could hold the key to a more just and ecologically regenerative food system. The panel included Rob Booth from the University of Birmingham, and Oli Rodker from the Land Workers’ Alliance and Ecological Land Cooperative. Ollie Zhang from the Open Systems Lab presented his proposition for Fairhold property, a proposed class of ownership allowing landowners to make their land available as a platform for the community. While Kai presented his work developing Public-Common Partnership models for county farms (council owned farms) as a means to democratise food systems, regenerate ecosystems, and ensure that access to good food is a right not a privilege.