On July 10 and 11, 2017, the Sustainable Food Trust is hosting the Harmony in Food and Farming conference at Llandovery College in Wales. The conference will explore the way principles of harmony related to food and farming. The conference is in part a response to the “growing recognition of the need for a new and systemic approach which promotes the health of the planet and its people.”
The conference will explore the philosophy and principles of harmony, including sessions on natural capital, education, ecosystems, economics, faith, and music in agriculture.
Harmony in Food and Farming expects more than 300 participants, and it is intended for anyone with “an interest in making sense of the world and exploring the deeper meaning of the world in which we live and work.”
Patrick Holden, founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust, will give the opening remarks for the two-day event. Holden was the founding chairman of British Organic Farmers and worked for nearly two decades for the Soil Association, leading the development of organic standards.
The harmony theme was inspired by Harmony: A New Way of Looking at our World, a book by the Prince of Wales which discusses the fundamental laws found in nature. Holden says “the theme of food and farming is not covered in depth in the Harmony book. So I thought, why not organize an event which is inspired by harmony thinking but examines the way in which principles of harmony manifest in food and farming? That’s what we’ve tied to do for the Llandovery college conference.”
Other speakers include Tony Juniper, co-author of Harmony; Helen Browning, Chief Executive of the Soil Association; and Alexander Müller, a member of the German Council for Sustainable Development and leader of the UNEP TEEBAgFood study. Sir John Eliot Gardiner, who Holden calls “arguably one of the world’s greatest living conductors,” will also speak.
The conference will include time for several parallel sessions to allow participants a closer look at insights in various topics. Some scheduled parallel sessions include The Farm Ecosystem, Harmony Principles in Farm Architecture, and Harmony and the Carbon Cycle. Other parallel sessions will expose participants to urban food system design, the bridge between the raw materials and the food we eat, how farmers can be a part of climate change mitigation, and new models for local food systems.
The conference will also involve field trips such as a visit to Holden Farm Dairy, Wale’s oldest organic dairy farm, or Blaencamel Farm, one of the United Kingdom’s oldest fully integrated, organic, and sustainable horticultural businesses. The conference aims to serve local and sustainably produced food.
Holden hopes “that those who attend the event will leave better informed about the way in which Harmony principles impact the food and farming world and inspire us to take account of them in our future practices.”