The first Marches Real Food and Farming Conference will be held at Partridge Farm, Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire on September 15 and 16.

Organised by The Shropshire Good Food Partnership, The Marches Real Food and Farming Conference will bring together local and national scientists, farmers, growers and chefs in a diverse and exciting programme focussed on creating a regenerative and future-proof food and farming system in the region and further afield.

The programme is wide-ranging with panels, talks and discussions featuring among others Chris Smaje (A Small Farm Future), Josiah Meldrum (Hodmedod’s), Niels Corfield (soil health expert), “Regen-Ben” (regenerative farmer) and chef Margot Henderson.

The conference includes a programme of practical sessions, from seed cleaning, biochar production and compost turning to microscopy. The event is also a chance to make local connections and build partnerships, as well as sample food and drink from local producers.

SGFP founder Jenny Rouquette comments: “There will be opportunity for dialogue and debate, with thought leaders and people from the region involved in all aspects of the food system.

“We’ll be covering topics such as relocalising the food economy, making regenerative agriculture pay and the crucial link between soil, plant and human health. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn, make connections and get involved in what is one of the most important challenges facing our communities and to be part of this exciting event.”

The Marches Real Food and Farming Conference has been inspired by the Oxford Real Farming Conference, now in its 15th year, as “a movement dedicated to transforming food and farming systems”.

The SGFP was established to create a local food system to benefit people, place and planet and brings together representatives of all aspects of the food system, from growers to retailers, food banks, community organisations and councils.

The SGFP is part of the national Sustainable Food Places movement, which brings together pioneering food partnerships from across the UK, driving innovation and best practice on all aspects of a healthy and sustainable food system.

To see the full programme and list of speakers or to book tickets, visit or contact hello@shropshiregoodfood or see the conference social media accounts on Facebook @shropshiregoodfoodpartnership and Instagram @shropshiregoodfood.

Wild meadow seed harvesting in Shropshire. Photo by Terry Moore

Jenny Rouquette, founder of the Shropshire Good Food Partnership