In the 3rd week of January, Regen Action took place in London. Created by the Culpeper Family, which owns several pubs in London, Regen Action focused on key issues in the transformation of our food system. From the 24th to the 26th of January, panel talks were held with experts in sustainable agriculture and value chains. They included Guy Singh-Watson from Riverford, Peter Greig from Pipers Farm and Patrick Holden from the Sustainable Food Trust. After the speeches, the debates continued over dinner. Key issues were the still vague definition of ‘regenerative’ and its often somewhat inflationary use – which was intensively discussed during the first evening. The certification and clear rules in organic farming are a step ahead of regenerative farming and make it easier for consumers to choose the right products. The regenerative aspect is part of the organic framework, says Singh-Watson, even if it is not included in the certification standard.
The second evening focused on how to make regenerative food accessible to all. Glen Burrows, founder of The Ethical Butcher, talked about his journey from being a vegetarian to becoming a butcher and Teri Clayton, Co-Founder of My Biome Box, gave insights into her work around the health impact of sustainably produced foods. The discussion continued around the importance of policy interventions as well as broader consumer education on agriculture and food systems to facilitate holistic change. The second evening made it clear once again how deeply rooted the problems are in the food and agricultural system and how much they are connected to other economic sectors and problems (e.g. the housing crisis). Nevertheless, the enthusiasm for sustainable agriculture among the visitors was great. The event managed to draw in people from different backgrounds and from both the city and the countryside with different levels of knowledge about the topic.
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