The Future of Local Food & Farming

The Future of Local Food & Farming

Future Local Food & Farming is a new rural business conference organised by Hampshire Fare with Hampshire County Council and sponsored by Winchester City Council.

This important new rural conference will be held at Westley Court, Sparsholt College, on 23 February 2015. The conference will include case studies and key speakers discussing the challenges and opportunities facing those working in the rural economy, including farmers and local food and drink producers.

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager, Hampshire Fare, says: “As Hampshire Fare represents members from the local farming community, food and drink producers, and the hospitality industry, we are delighted to be involved in organising the first Future Local Food & Farming conference.

“We are establishing the conference agenda at a time when the rural business economy is undergoing great change, including increasing diversification within farming, while the growth of the internet has enabled farmers and producers to create brands, develop new business dynamics and establish new relationships. There is also evidence of a rise in interest in the rural economy from those with professional backgrounds.”

Mike Wright, Chairman, Hampshire Fare, who will be welcoming delegates and compering the conference, adds: “These are interesting times, particularly as farmers and growers are under increasing pressure to produce more with less. This new rural business conference will examine these changes and challenges, inform delegates with business advice and insights, and promote best practice with experts drawn from the farming sector, rural business, tourism, research, academia and local and central government.”

Cllr Rob Humby, Leader of Winchester City Council which is sponsoring the event, is keen to promote the sector.  “Winchester is a rural district with a rich heritage of farming, food production and innovation.  By sponsoring the event we are helping to bring the excellent speaker line-up to the people who make our beautiful countryside what it is today, and who supply our acclaimed independent restaurants.”

Key note speakers will include: Tim Jackson, Principal, Sparsholt College, who will be joined by Will Brock of Brock Farm Shop and graduate of Sparsholt College; Charles Trotman, Senior Rural business & Economics Advisor, CLA; Martyn Pring, owner, Rural Farm Shop Co, and Researcher, Bournemouth University; Simon Robinson, Chairman, Hattingley Valley; Stacey Hedges, owner, Hampshire Cheeses; William Buckley, owner, Bossington Estate. Speeches will be followed by a question and answer session, plus the opportunity to visit trade stands including Trading Standards, CLA and more.

It is intended that this conference will provide an inspirational, thought-provoking platform for debate, facilitate collaborations, encourage the development of new and innovative practices, and contribute to the development and growth of the rural economy.

The conference is free to attend for all, however spaces are restricted and are primarily for farmers, producers and those invovled in rural hospitality. If anyone is interested in attending they need to register with Hampshire Fare by contacting Amanda Buckenham at or call 02380 733830.

Download the Sparsholt Conference Agenda