Last week, I was invited to attend the Soil Association Annual Conference in London – the day was entitled, “Giving it Welly – Grassroots Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture.

The day was hosted by Charlotte Smith of BBC Radio 4′s Farming today fame and the delegates were treated to a stimulating day on many thought provoking topics.

Tina Barsby from NIAB, in the session on what can organic and non-organic farming learn from each other, was promoting cooperation and sharing of best practices in both sectors and encouraging a closer rapport to develop innovation in sustainable agriculture.

That was a message that rang true to me throughout the day – the blurred lines between organic and non organic and the passion and enthusiasm of those present to learn from each other!

The challenges of social innovation to develop sustainable agriculture was another recurring theme – what can be learned from other sectors and countries. Nothing precious here, just a realisation that to foster change needs effort and that inertia can be overcome.

I was greatly impressed by the optimism and enthusiasm of the audience and the confidence they had in their movement…The food was pretty good too!

Header Photo: Stewart Black