In response to the current challenges facing the food chain, Kent County Agricultural Society will be uniting speakers from across the agricultural industry on the evening of Wednesday 24th January 2024 to discuss the key pressures impacting on food security in the UK.

The Kent Farming Conference will bring together three key figures from across the arable, livestock and soft fruit sectors of the farming industry. With supply chain issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, fertiliser shortages caused by the invasion of Ukraine, and rising input costs affecting prices on the shelf, food security is at the forefront of the minds of produces, politician and the general public alike. Our presenters, each of whom has a different sector focus, will discuss how they are mitigating these ongoing pressures and how we can collectively work towards better food security.

Lincolnshire arable farmer, Andrew Ward MBE, first made the headlines when he founded the charity Forage Aid in 2013 to support some of the hardest hit farms across the UK during an unprecedented snowstorm. Since then, Forage Aid has continued to support farmers affected by severe weather, earning Andrew his MBE as well as Farmers Weekly’s Farming Champion of the Year award. Andrews’s hit YouTube account, Wardys Waffle, receives up to 30,000 views on his Farm Updates!

Joining us from Kent’s soft fruit industry, Marion Regan MBE is the Managing Director of Hugh Lowe Farms, a major supermarket supplier and the supplier of all of Wimbledon’s infamous strawberries! Hugh Lowe Farms and their associated businesses have bene pioneers in both growing technologies and on-farm environmental initiatives for many years, earning Marion an MBE for services to the fruit industry in 2014.

Finally, Peter Greig, founder of online butchery and food delivery business Pipers Farm, has left his families intensive poultry farm in Kent in search of new style farming. After relocating to Devon with his wife, Pipers Farm was born! Peter and his family produce high-welfare, extensively reared meat from their herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle as well as sheep, pigs, free range poultry and game to supply to their online customers. Peter’s passion for high-quality and high-welfare food produced in harmony with nature have led to a new way of looking at both farming and business.

Nikki Dorkings, General Manager for the Kent County Agricultural Society, said:

‘We are delighted that Andrew, Marion and Peter are able to join us and share their wealth of experience, insights and ideas. Recent events have highlighted some of the vulnerabilities of our current supply chains, which is why we are bringing together representatives from the entire agricultural sector to discuss the ways it can respond to the ever-present challenge of feeding a growing population. It promises to be a lively, but enjoyable, evening’