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Soil Association conference attracts new audiences

Soil Association conference attracts new audiences

Date: 17.10.2013

The annual Soil Association Conference saw plenty of new faces this year as it brought to light issues surrounding ‘good food for all’.

Held at Central Hall in London’s Westminster, the two-day event highlighted the work of the Soil Association and raised some of the issues facing the industry. Monty Don, president of the Soil Association, opened the conference with a plea to ‘get back to basics’.

“I’m a gardener and a man of the soil,” he said, “and the Soil Association is about the earth. It is important that we are looking at the end product and what matters is looking after our planet.”

The opening day of the conference was focused on the Food for Life Partnership and tackling child poverty and Don stressed that eating organic food is a right, ‘particularly for children and the sick’ and therefore accessible to all.

With a large number of non-members attending the conference, Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association, said it provided vast grounds in which to discuss wider issues.

"It was great to see so many different people come together to talk about the challenges we face and to see that the landscape of public health is changing with a shift towards food at the core,” she said. “The day left me with a sense of the profound responsibility we have as an organisation, to continue to innovate, evaluate and deliver programmes and tools that will help release the potential of good food to heal and nourish our communities.''

Speakers included Myles Bremner, director of the School Food Plan and delegates heard case studies of successful large scale projects including Sustainable Food Cities.