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LEAF’s Public Engagement Conference

How can we make a step change in public engagement in food and farming?

Commentary from the day | Photographs from the day | Feedback from attendees

Held on Monday 12th September 2016 at The Auditorium, Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd, 33 Holborn London EC1N 2HT



Full press release here.


This event, kindly hosted by Sainsbury’s, explored how we can all work together to make a step change in public engagement in food and farming.

The success of initiatives like Open Farm Sunday continues to build, but as an industry we all know we need to do more.  In an increasingly urban society, the dominant trends still reflect an increasing disconnection from farming, nature, and the environment.

Our core question for this event was: How can we make a step change in public engagement with food and farming? 
Taking inspiration from the experts, as well as from a range of sectors beyond our usual frame of reference; testing out new ways of thinking and working, and starting to develop real strategies and solutions that we can all take forward and develop as an industry.
Speakers included:

  • Caroline Drummond MBE, LEAF
  • Professor Michael Winter OBE, Exeter University
  • Jon Alexander, New Citizen Project
  • Beth Hart, Sainsbury’s
  • Fran Barnes, Director of Communications, National Farmers’ Union 
  • Patrick Middleton, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • Chris Manley, NFYFC Chairman & Sainsbury’s
  • Ian Pigott OBE, Thrales End Farm, LEAF Demonstration Farmer, FACE Chairman 

Building public trust and understanding in food and farming has been one of LEAF’s core charitable objectives since we were established in 1991 and it continues to be a key part of our work.  
A huge thank you to our kind hosts for the LEAF Public Engagement Conference: