In this installment of Global Trends, we delve into the realm of organic farming, a topic stirring up increasing interest worldwide. Join us as we navigate through the intricacies of organic farming and its perceived benefits, from improved health to environmental sustainability.
Joining us is our esteemed guest, Barbara Bray, with over 20 years of expertise in the agri-food sector across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Currently serving as the Honorary Officer for International Affairs at The Nutrition Society and a co-chair at this year’s prestigious Oxford Farming Conference, she paints a clear picture of the global trends and consumer sentiment toward organic food.
In this conversation, we will discuss the history of organic farming, tracing its growth from the holistic farm treatments of the 20th century to the environmental consciousness and focus on sustainability of the present day. Dive into an insightful analysis of worldwide organic production statistics from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, and discover the rising interest in organic food that was catalyzed by the pandemic.
Explore the various debates surrounding organic versus conventional farming, and learn how consumers' demands for traceability and transparency are influencing the food industry. We also tackle the challenges in distinguishing between organic and conventional nutrition claims on food labels, complicating consumer choices.
Jeff Moyer, Chief Executive of the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania, shares his views on the organic-agriculture revolution and the Institute's influence in this movement. He talks about the transformative partnerships with universities, government agencies, and major food companies like Unilever and Nestle. Discover how the Institute leverages these alliances to guide research dollars towards healthier farming practices and how it supports the shift towards organic and regenerative agriculture.
Then, crossing the Atlantic to the UK, we speak with Roger Kerr, a veteran of the organic farming scene and Chief Executive of Organic Farmers and Growers. Hear his insights on how strict organic principles have spurred innovation, leading to inventive physical and cultural methods of weed and pest control.
Finally, we touch down in Italy, where Cristina Micheloni of the Italian Association for Organic Farming highlights the pivotal role of public
lobbying for new rules, and serving as educators.
procurement in the expansion of organic farming. Learn about the interconnectedness of food systems and the need for consumer and citizen alliance in the quest to feed a growing global population organically.
This is an episode packed with deep insights, as we unpack the layers behind the global trend of organic farming and its impact on health, environment, and food production. It's an enlightening conversation you wouldn't want to miss!
MBE, PHD RESEARCHER AND CONSULTANT IN NUTRITION, QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST
Barbara is a PhD researcher in nutrition at Queen’s University Belfast, a TEDx speaker and director of her own consultancy, Alo Solutions Ltd.
She speaks at food and agriculture events, she has spoken on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and represented the Private Sector Mechanism in speeches at the UN Committee for Food Security in Rome.
Barbara is passionate about diet and food. Her Nuffield Farming project on ‘Vegetable Production For Specific Nutritional Need’ looked at international food policies and private initiatives to promote consumption of vegetables that benefit our health.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FOR ORGANIC FARMERS & GROWERS CIC, U.K. CERTIFIERS GROUP
Roger Kerr comes from a farming background and has worked on various farms over the years. He helped establish Calon Wen, the Welsh organic dairy farmers co-operative in 2000 and became their Managing Director. Calon Wen were the first ever to secure a branded organic milk listing in a U.K. major retailer along with developing branded butter and cheese lines.
Roger is also Chairman of the U.K. Certifiers Group, the U.K. representative on the IFOAM EU Council, the Director of Finance of the Organic Trade Board and the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, and a Trustee of the Organic Research Centre.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RODALE INSTITUTE
Jeff has been working at Rodale Institute for over 45 years and became CEO in September of 2019. He was project leader for the highly acclaimed Organic No-Till project and is the author of two books on this subject: “Organic No-Till Farming – Advancing No-Till Agriculture Crops, Soil, Equipment” and “Roller/Crimper No-Till – Advancing No-Till Agriculture.”
His vast experience and knowledge regarding organic farming has provided the media with a reliable source and perspective for information on current agricultural issues.
AGRONOMIST, PRESIDENT OF AIAB (ASSOCIAZIONE ITALIANA AGRICOLTURA BIOLOGICA) FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA
Cristina Micheloni is an agronomist with a degree in Ecological Agriculture from Wageningen University, and has been engaged in organic farming since early '90s, when she set up the first Documentation and Dissemination Centre for Organic Farming in Italy.
Cristina combines advisory activity with on-farm research and regulatory development. In her Region, Friuli Venezia Giulia, she established a specialized advisory service for organic farmers. In the last years, she started several experimental activities on-farm on topics such as organic no-till, new value chains and plant-based proteins.