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Empowering People and Shaping Policies for Resilient Agriculture and Food Systems Professor Michael Winter speaks at Wilton Park Conference, 7-9 October 2013

Michael Winter was one of two key introductory speakers at this three day conference held at Wilton Park.

Along with Franz Fischler, former Commissioner for Agriculture, Michael looked at the implications of empowering people and shaping policies, why change is necessary and how to link technical developments to behavioural change.

The aim of the conference is to establish a set of change principles and policies that could empower people involved through the food system and enable them to play their part in the development of robust and resilient systems; systems that will ensure long-term food security while being both environmentally stable and socially just.  Together with previous discussions in the Wilton Park series on ‘Global agriculture, food and land use’ this sixth and final conference will also recommend policy options for those involved at national, regional and global level as well as those supporting agricultural and food security, i.e. donors.

Running through the discussion there is the imperative of helping farmers to (a) improve their farming systems to make their livelihoods more productive and more sustainable; (b) the need to ensure that the results of higher levels of spending on agricultural research and development are more successfully disseminated to farmers;  and (c) the need to make the whole food system more sustainable by encouraging greater resource efficiency and reducing waste (now called ‘sustainable intensification’).

Speakers and delegates attending the conference from around the world including Africa,  Europe, Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines and India. 

Wilton Park has run these conferences over a three year period in association with the University of Exeter and supported by Associated British Foods and the Small Foundation.  This final conference was also supported by the Charities Aid Foundation, through the CAF Global Advocacy Fund and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.  See the full programme.  

8 October 2013