Feeding the World, Farming the Planet

Abby Allen, Henry Dimbleby, Tara Garnett, Dimitri Houtart, Nick Saltmarsh
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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • From £3.25 – £12 Concessions available

What are big challenges in farming and food production, and what comes next?

This event takes place in the British Library and will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person, or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up.  In-person ticket bookers will also be sent a bonus link to the online event. Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

The online version of this event will be live captioned.

The question of how we feed ourselves has never been more urgent. Farmers are split between pressures of rewilding, regenerative farming, biodiversity, and how to make a living from the land. The environmental impacts of how the land is used and where our food comes from create challenges that policy-makers struggle to wrestle with, and leave consumers with more questions than answers. In the centre of it all lies the challenge of just how we feed ourselves when the global food system is under more pressure than ever.

Delve into these questions – and answers – of land use, farming, the environment and food with Henry Dimbleby whose latest book, Ravenous, explains not just why the food system is leading us into disaster, but what can be done about it; Dr Tara Garnett whose work looks at how the food system can become sustainable, resilient, and ultimately ‘good’; Nick Saltmarsh of Hodemedods who for over 10 years has been working with British bean farmers to increase diversity on farms and in the food we eat, for the benefit of farming and farmed landscapes, the environment, individual health and our food culture; and Abby Allen of Pipers Farm who advocates for reconnecting with small-scale family farms for eating meat more sustainably and ethically. Chaired by Dimitri Houtart, BBC Rural Affairs Champion & BBC Audio Rural Affairs, Food, Natural History & Environment Editor. 

This event is part of the . 

Abby Allen is a Director of Pipers Farm, a food writer, and an ardent campaigner for slow, seasonal produce. Living in rural Devon, Abby has spent the last 10 years behind the scenes of some of the country’s most recognisable ethical food brands. Her passion for sustainability, and specifically seasonality, is at the heart of everything she does, using her words to persuade others to reconnect with small-scale family farms and enjoy the magic of nature.  Abby co-authored her first book last year The Sustainable Meat Cookbook, which received high acclaim. The book argues for eating meat in a better way; sustainably, ethically and intelligently

Henry Dimbleby is the co-founder of LEON, and the Director of The Sustainable Restaurant Association, which runs some of London's most successful street food markets. His work with DEFRA culminated in the National Food Strategy – a policy proposal widely praised by industry wide figures such as Yotam Ottolenghi and Sir Partha Dasgupta. In 2013 he co-authored The School Food Plan, which set out actions to transform what children eat in schools and how they learn about food.

Twitter: @HenryDimbleby

Tara Garnett is a researcher at the University of Oxford, and the Director of TABLE , a global platform for thinking and dialogue on key debates about the future of food.  TABLE seeks to facilitate informed discussions about how the food system can become sustainable, resilient, just, and ultimately ‘good’. Tara’s work centres on the interactions among food, climate, health and broader sustainability issues; she has a particular interest in livestock as a sector where many of these converge. She is also interested in how knowledge is communicated to and interpreted by policy makers, civil society organisations and industry, and in the values that these different stakeholders bring to food problems and possible solutions. TABLE is a collaboration between the University of Oxford (where Tara is based), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Wageningen University and Research.

Twitter: @TableDebates

Dimitri Houtart is passionate about food, food production and the environment.  As the BBC’s Rural Affairs Champion, Dimitri helps and advises on the coverage of rural issues across the whole of the BBC including some of the big blue chip series.  Dimitri also has direct responsibility for much of BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds rural affairs, food, natural history and environment programming. Dimitri’s portfolio includes the daily news programme Farming Today as well as series such as Costing the Earth, The Food Programme and many more. All together he is responsible for nearly 1,000 programmes a year. Over the years Dimitri has won several national and international awards for his productions.

Dimitri is passionate about disability rights and is a strong advocate for the integration of people with disability in all parts of our society. Dimitri loves food, beer and wine and does enjoy a bit of cooking too. 

Twitter: @DimitriHoutart 

Nick Saltmarsh is a co-founder of Hodmedod, a business working to increase diversity on farms and in the food we eat, for the benefit of farming and farmed landscapes, the environment, individual health and our food culture. Hodmedod was born in 2012 from the realisation that fava beans were grown but little eaten in the UK, though a delicious and nutritious food that can help build healthy soils and benefit farming systems. Bringing the beans back into British kitchens proved the catalyst to build a network of farmers diversifying arable rotations by introducing existing, forgotten and novel pulses, grains and seeds, including carlin peas, naked barley, quinoa, chia and camelina. A proud winner of Best Food Producer in the BBC Food and Farming Awards, Hodmedod now works with over thirty different crops to produce a diverse range of over 100 plant-based wholefoods. 

Twitter: @nicksaltmarsh / Instagram: @hodmedods

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Name: Feeding the World, Farming the Planet
Where: Pigott Theatre
The Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: From £3.25 – £12
Concessions available
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now

* Please note that there is a £1.50 transaction fee when tickets are posted, or for telephone sales when an e-ticket is requested.