On 14th October The Future Leap Network and Future Leap Hub ran a hybrid business event titled “Farming, Biodiversity and Regeneration” supported by Better Food, a local and ethical food store based in Bristol who are opening a new shopfront on Gloucester Road. The event was hosted at Future Leap, and before the event began the physical and virtual attendees enjoyed some pre-sessional networking. Those in physical attendance also had some delicious catering from the eco-cafe.
Lauren Fields of Future Leap welcomed the attendees before giving an insight into The Future Leap Network, Future Leap Hub and the many benefits of membership, as well as the Festival of Sustainable Business. She then introduced the speakers:
- Liz Bowles, Soil Association
- Dr Elizabeth Westaway, Growing Real Food for Nutrition CIC
- Flo Taylor and Bethany Horne, Seaweed Surf Shack
Liz Bowles, Soil Association
Liz spoke about how we need a transition to agroecology to meet the climate, nature and health crises we face. Soil Association have partnered with Food and Farming Countryside Commission to conduct research with IDDRI to explore whether a transition to agroecology could be applied in a UK-specific context. Liz shared the findings to date which shows how the UK could feed the population in 2050, eliminate imports of overseas protein (like soy), and deliver GHG emissions savings all whilst phasing out synthetic pesticides and nitrogen. To enable this transition, significant dietary shifts are required- away from intensively produced meat and towards vegetables and plant proteins. The modelling provides a first step towards optimising trade-offs between the interconnected climate, nature and health crises.
Dr Elizabeth Westaway, Growing Real Food for Nutrition CIC
Growing Real Food for Nutrition is advocating a shift to diversified regenerative/ agroecological production systems to improve human and planetary health. In the UK, a worsening epidemic of diet-related non-communicable diseases is deleteriously impacting individuals, their families and the NHS. Grffn considers the solution lies in farming practices promoting biodiversity to improve soil and plant health; thereby ensuring the production of high quality nutrient dense food. Key findings of the Bionutrient Institute’s ongoing study on crop nutrient variation was shared along with an update on the development of their bionutrient meter for a nutrient dense food supply chain.
Flo Taylor and Bethany Horne, Seaweed Surf Shack
Flo and Beth introduced Seaweed Surf Shack from their homes in Wales before sharing how 3D ocean farming works, why we should all be eating more seaweed, some of the main nutritional benefits of eating seaweed and how you can also help seaweed restoration projects around the UK.
Attendees brought many questions for the panel in between each speaker, from the physical and virtual audience. The variety of questions brough an insightful discussion throughout the event.
60 Second Pitches
To encourage networking, attendees made use of the 60 second pitch opportunity, including event supporter Better Food. Pitches were also carried out by Network members Skylark Media and Garrett Creative.
Lauren brought the event to a close, thanking Better Food, the speakers and attendees, which without our events calendar would not be possible. Virtual and physical attendees stayed to network for a final round before continuing with their day.