Farmer-led innovation and post-Brexit policy initiatives discussed at new forum

31 Oct 2018

A forum led by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) to support farmer-led initiatives and fresh thinking on policy issues welcomed representatives from over a dozen organisations.

Attendees included representatives from Natural EnglandInnovative Farmers (Soil Association), the Scottish Government Rural Network Support UnitRural Innovation Support Service (RISS)Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG)ADASLinking Environment & Farming (LEAF)Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GCWT)Farm Carbon Cutting ToolkitPasture for LifeFarming ConnectAgriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)DEFRALandbridge,  Newcastle University, University of Bristol and Exeter University.

The aim was to share best practice, initiate the process of collating policy evidence from a collective input and to set up a ‘recognised’ network of practitioners to further promote and support future policy initiatives in this area.

Lisa Williams van Dijk, Knowledge Exchange Programme Manager at the RAU said: “With the UK’s imminent departure from the EU the need for new and diverse approaches to knowledge production and innovation in our sector has never been greater.

“Facilitated farmer-led initiatives play a key role in managing this change. Several of these initiatives are already in operation with farmers working together to increase their adaptability and resilience and maintain their profitability and productiveness throughout this period and in the future.”

Dr Julie Ingram of CCRI said: “Our interactive workshop was a great opportunity for many of those involved in these projects from across the UK to meet and exchange their experiences.  It revealed that, although approaches differed slightly on how to implement these initiatives, there was clearly a common understanding of the core principles involved. This provided a good platform on which to build future collaboration.”

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