Bishop Burton College Rural Business Conference

Bishop Burton College Rural Conference to examine climate change issues in response to Government’s new food strategy

Bishop Burton College is offering a free conference to farmers and rural businesses who want to find out more about the challenges they face from climate change, food security and population growth.

The event, entitled: ‘Heading Towards the Perfect Storm’ Climate Change, Population and Food Production, will be held at the College on Tuesday 2nd February between 9.30am and 3.30pm and is open to anyone whose business may be affected by climate change who wants to find out more about how global warming will affect the UK’s agriculture industry.

The conference is being organised by the College’s Assistant Principal (Higher Education) Kevin Kendall and is supported by Yorkshire Forward; Yorkshire Agricultural Society; Yorkshire; FareExchange and HSBC Bank PLC.

The event will be chaired by Howard Petch CBE.

Mr Kendall believes this Rural Business Conference is a must for anyone from agriculture or the allied industries.

“Food security is now a top priority for the Government,” he said. “And as such agriculture is now under the microscope as politicians make sure land-based industry in the UK is fit for purpose as we face the issues posed by climate change and population growth.

“With the recent unveiling of the Government’s new Food 2030 strategy it is absolutely vital that farmers and producers are aware of changes in government strategy and how some farmers are already adapting to these challenges.”

Food 2030, the Government’s new food strategy, is the first of its kind in over 50 years.  It sets out the Government’s vision of what they would like the food system to look like in 2030, and how the UK can achieve this.

The conference will feature a number of high-profile industry speakers such as Professor Nicola Spence, chief executive, Science City York. Professor Spence was until recently the chief scientist at the Food and Environment Research Association (FERA).

Bishop Burton College BeverleyKevin Kendall, Assistant Principal (Higher Education) is charged with organising the Bishop Burton College Rural Business Conference

Prof. Spence will set the scene by talking about Climate Change, Population and Food Production: The Grand Challenge, while Prof. Christopher Pollock of Aberystwyth University will address delegates on Climate Change and UK : Adapt to it, Mitigate it or Ignore it?

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Director of corporate affairs at Morrisons Richard Taylor will give a retailer’s perspective and Co-founder of Census-Bio and Visiting Professor at Harper Adams University College Melvyn Askew will talk about how industry can respond to the challenges.

Mark Berrisford-Smith, chief economist of HSBC Bank PLC will also be on hand to deliver an economic viewpoint.

A number of farmers from around the Yorkshire and Humber region will also offer an insight on how they are adapting their practices to deal with climate change and population growth.

Andrew Manfield, a farmer and contractor from York will speak on a Positive Approach to Arable Farming, Tom Megginson, a farmer from East Yorkshire will examining the role of anaerobic digestion, while Tom Salmon, MD of Hedon Salads will give an address on salad crops with a low carbon footprint.

Delegates will also be given the chance to field questions to the speakers and to network with like-minded businesspeople.

Kevin Kendall continued: “It promises to be an excellent event, with many high-profile speakers who will no doubt offer some very thought provoking addresses.

“I’m sure all of those in attendance will come away from the event with plenty of ideas and information on how they can meet the challenges of climate change and population growth.”

If you would like to attend the Bishop Burton College Rural Business Conference ‘Heading Towards the Perfect Storm’ Climate Change, Population and Food Production, please contact Kate Parker in the College’s Services to Business Department on 01964 553076 or email:

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