Farming News - Largest UK organic on-farm event returns for its fourteenth year

Largest UK organic on-farm event returns for its fourteenth year

29 Jun 2021
Arable

This year, the UK’s foremost organic on-farm conference, OF&G’s National Organic Combinable Crops (NOCC), will return as a live, in-person event featuring a series of presentations, seminars, and farm tours. Registration is now open to attend the event, hosted at John Pawsey’s mixed arable and sheep farm in Shimpling, Suffolk on 6 July.

Organised by the largest certifier of UK organic land, OF&G (Organic Farmers & Growers), NOCC is held in association with Agricology, the Organic Research Centre, the Organic Advisory Support and Information Service, Organic Arable, Triodos Bank and the Woodland Trust.

Respected broadcaster Charlotte Smith resumes her role as event convenor, leading a broad range of conversations throughout the day. After transferring last year’s NOCC to a series of webinars, OF&G’s business development manager, Steven Jacobs, explains places for the 2021 conference will be limited in order to operate safely.

“Firstly, it is so good to invite people back on farm. Of course, the safe running of NOCC is our main priority and we want to ensure it is, as always, a great day out for our wide range of attendees. We are limiting delegate places to ensure social distancing. However, with fewer places available, we are experiencing high demand.”

“OF&G’s annual farm conference has always had a broad appeal, we make the programme as inclusive as possible. The catering will be, as ever, top notch this year with the team from the Bakery at Wakelyns farm serving up tasty, locally sourced and beautiful food. Places are not only for organic farmers; we welcome non-organic farmers and industry delegates from across food networks to discuss the challenges and rewards in the organic sector specifically but in faming more generally as well,” continues Mr Jacobs.

John Pawsey's family have farmed in Suffolk for four generations. Mr Pawsey started converting the 650hectare farm to organic production in 1999. This decision, like for many other farmers, was initially motivated by commercial benefits, as well growing concerns about overworked soils and diminishing biodiversity. A previous Chair of the NFU’s Organic Forum and a former member of the NFU Combinable Crops Board, Mr Pawsey is keen to promote the use modern technology to help control weeds and disease without the use of chemical pesticides. Operating as a carbon negative farm, delegates will see first-hand how Mr Pawsey is building soil fertility naturally using legumes and green manures, plus take a tour of this year’s crops which include wheat, spelt, heritage wheat and his first ever crop of organic oil seed rape.

OF&G will be joined by Defra’s Future Farming team and the crop research team from the ORC and NIAB, who will be on site to talk about seeds and soils. The overarching theme of the conference is ‘the need for seed diversity’ and that need has never been greater.

“It’s essential we build long term resilience into our farming systems. OF&G’s NOCC conference provides an excellent platform to focus on both the economic and the environmental solutions that an organic systems approach delivers, as well as addressing the numerous challenges that face British agriculture in the aftermath of Brexit, ongoing policy upheaval, and climate pressures” adds Mr Jacobs.

To register interest in a delegate place email admin@oforganic.org

Presentations and the NOCC farm walk will all be recorded on high quality video and will be made available online following the event. This includes a pre-recorded discussion with Charlotte Smith, John Pawsey and another OF&G licensed farmer, NFU Deputy President, Stuart Roberts who frankly consider organic farming, new government payment schemes and the future of UK farming.

Use the hashtag #NOCC21 and follow @ofgorganic on social media.