Musician-turned-farmer to speak at conference
31st January 2024
Andy Cato will form part of the line up at this year’s Writtle Farmers’ Conference, which also features Tim Lang, emeritus professor of food policy at City University London, and Groundswell’s John and Joanna Cherry.
The annual event will take place on 7th February at Writtle University College near Chelmsford, promoting knowledge exchange and collaborative opportunities.
Andy is one half of the Grammy-nominated electronic music duo Groove Armada and co-founder of Wildfarmed. Fifteen years ago, an article about the environmental and health consequences of food production inspired him to sell his rights to Groove Armada songs and buy a farm in France.
He said: “For a long time, I’ve been immersed in the practical difficulties of farming that combines food and nature, and field to plate supply chains that can support it. So it’s fantastic to see that the dial is moving and Writtle are leading the way, both teaching and bringing together people who are trying to make a positive difference.”
Andy spent a decade trying to find a more restorative and sustainable way of growing food. He was awarded the 2020 Laureate Nationale for innovation in agroecology and the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole.
Now back in Britain, and farming as a tenant of the National Trust, Andy and his Wildfarmed colleagues are on a mission to help farmers move towards soil-focused farming, and make food available on the high street at affordable prices.
Andy added: “In my years as a farmer, gaining first hand experience of what an incredibly difficult and often very lonely profession it is, a key lesson was that knowledge exchange and collaboration are fundamental if we are to move towards systemic change.”
The Writtle Farmers’ Club launched in 2023 and draws upon Writtle’s 130 years at the heart of the land-based sector. It provides opportunities for the agricultural sector to come together, share views and set a course for the future.
The conference takes place on Wednesday 7th February from 11am to 5.30pm. For more information and to reserve your free place (including refreshments), visit Writtle Farmers’ Club.
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