LEAF Annual Conference 2023

Tradition, Transformation and Tactics:
Reshaping and rethinking the next chapter for global farming and the role of LEAF

Home / LEAF Annual Conference 2023

An action-packed day!

Our annual conference, set in the beautiful grounds of Stoneleigh Abbey, was a truly inspirational day. It brought some of the smartest minds in industry together, to discuss and debate the future of food and farming, sharing positive insights into more sustainable and nature-based farming solutions.

The conference kicked off with our guest speakers delivering their sessions on Health, Diversity and Enrichment which underpin our 10-year strategy:

  • Nick Padwick, Farms and Estate Director at Wild Ken Hill, outlined the practical measures being taken on the 800 hectare arable estate in Norfolk, to build soil resilience to drive improvements in crop health and climate change mitigation.
  • Caroline Mason, founder of sustainability consultancy, Seeds to Thrive, explored the role of farmers and retailers in enriching the natural environment and wider society.

“Nature needs our voice. Mindsets are shifting with climate change and biodiversity is now top of the political agenda. We must work together to lift and raise the bar, to get curious about new ways of working" - Caroline Mason

  • Taking up the theme of diversity, Ed Ikin, Director of Wakehurst, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, challenged the view that net-zero and ecological diversity are separate.

(From left to right) Professor Mike Berners-Lee, Ed Ikin, Tom Heap, Nick Padwick & Caroline Mason

The next chapter of LEAF

The second session delved deeper into LEAF's strategies, synergies and successes, with the LEAF Directors, sharing insights into the next chapter of LEAF and how we continue to drive change and keep ahead of the game.

"LEAF are here to lead, convene, do, and deliver" - Carl Edwards, Director, Education & Public Engagement, LEAF

(From left to right) LEAF Directors: Clare Mike, Vicky Robinson & Carl Edwards

The inaugural LEAF Lecture

Finally, the day ended with the inaugural LEAF Lecture, delivered by Professor Mike Berners-Lee, who urged the industry to accelerate the development of more agroecological, integrated and multidisciplinary science and practice.

To make this happen, he called for farmers to be adequately incentivized to make the necessary radical changes to their practices, attitudes, and mindset.

“We have all the tools to ensure the survival of mankind and to further reduce carbon emissions over the next few decades, but we need as much new thinking as we can. Shifting to more climate positive farming solutions presents a huge intellectual challenge – deciding what to grow and what is the right thing to do on any given piece of land.” - Professor Mike Berners-Lee

Professor Mike Berners-Lee


A BIG thank you!

A huge thank you to all of our speakers, to our wonderful conference chair Tom Heap, to the LEAF Directors, LEAF Chairman, Philip Wynn & LEAF Vice Chairman, Cedric Porter for all of your inspirational and thought-provoking talks, covering such a diverse range of topics. We also thank all of our delegates who attended, bringing some of the smartest minds in industry together to shape the future of agriculture and our conference 2023 sponsors, Oxbury Bank Plc and Frontier Agriculture for all of your generosity and support.

Finally a big thank you to everyone who continues to support LEAF and our ambitions to deliver a more global, sustainable farming and food system!

To see more about the conference, read our press release or take a look at some of the highlights of the day here!