Northern Ireland’s First Food, Farming And Land Convention Announced

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Michael Fakhri has been announced as a keynote speaker for Northern Ireland’s first ever Food, Farming and Land Convention, which will run on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th February.

The free online event, inspired by the Oxford Real FarmingConference, is set to explore the future of food systems on Tuesday and farming and land management on Wednesday, specifically looking at how these can deliver a more resilient future for Northern Ireland.

This important addition to the NI calendar will hear from farmers, producers, politicians and policymakers including the Ministers for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and Department of Economy. Key sessions include what do we mean by Better Meat and Dairy; Policy and Practice in a Pandemic; The Right to Food; On-Farm Nature Based Solutions; and a panel debate on the vision for food and farming to 2030 

John Martin, RSPB NI Head of Policy and Advocacy commented, “The timing of the convention could not be more apt. Covid-19has brought unprecedented challenges, not only has it changed the way we live and work but it has forced us to re-evaluate our relationship with nature. Our food and farming systems have a vital role to play in helping the recovery from Covid-19 andaddressing the long-term challenges around the nature and climate crises. This in turn will provide a more prosperous future for farmers and rural communities. The convention will provide an important space to discuss how we can work together to build a more resilient future.” 

Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food said:

“ I’m delighted to be taking part in Northern Ireland’s first Food Farming and Land Convention and to engage in conversations around the future of food and farming. In the autumn, the UN will convene the Food Systems Summit, which will launch new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food . Conversations like these are crucial in the lead up to this important event.”

Michele Shirlow, MBE Chief Executive Food NI said:“It’s a true privilege to be invited to take part in major discussions on the long-term future of food and farming, the only industry with genuine engagement right across Northern Ireland. This conference will make an important contribution to the debate on the future of farming and food production both locally and beyond”.  

The popular event is due to attract a diverse range of audiences from across the industry and is being hosted by Nature Friendly Farming Network, RSPB Northern Ireland, Belfast Food Network, Food NI, Food Farming and Countryside Commission and Northern Ireland Environment Link. To book your free ticket,  visit