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Future of sustainable farming discussed at event

PUBLISHED: 15:10 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 18 September 2018

Graham Elliott, Natalie Bennett, and Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw. Picture: Waveney Green Party

Graham Elliott, Natalie Bennett, and Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw. Picture: Waveney Green Party

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The former leader of the Green Party attended an event in Beccles exploring the future of sustainable farming.

The Food and Farming event at Beccles Public Hall. Picture: Waveney Green PartyThe Food and Farming event at Beccles Public Hall. Picture: Waveney Green Party

Natalie Bennett, who was the leader of the party between 2012 and 2016, gave the keynote speech in the ‘Food and Farming’ event at Beccles Public Hall last Wednesday, September 12.

The event included a panel debate with panellists including a founder of bean producers Hodmedod, Josiah Meldrum, arable farmer Rob Raven, cattle farmer Helen Reeve, and was chaired by journalist Jez Fredenburg, who provided the base for the panel to inform, inspire and entertain.

The evening also came on the same week as the unvieling of the new Agriculture Bill by Michael Gove, secretary of state for environment, food, and rural affairs.

The bill set out the government’s plans for replacing the Common Agricultural Policy when the UK leaves the European Union.

Due to demand for tickets, stalls were put into the foyer and the balcony of the hall was used for additional seating.

A Waveney Green Party spokesman said: “While the bill was discussed it did not stop the debate covering the really important issues of food security and land reform, neither of which were considered in the bill.

“It was an inspiring and timely discussion with an amazing panel.”

Waveney District Green councillor for Beccles North, Graham Elliott, said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome Natalie Bennett back to Beccles and listen to her knowledge and passion about food and farming.

“It was fantastic to see the Public Hall full to the brim and to have such an engaged audience for the evening.

“It is really encouraging to know there are so many people who really care about the future of food and farming in this country.”

Suffolk County Council Green councillor for Beccles, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, added: “I left the event feeling really excited about the future of farming and how the way we grow food here in Suffolk, and beyond, can be better for communities and the environment.

“It was inspiring listening to the farmers who are pioneering new ideas, putting their conviction into practice. Michael Gove tweeted about our event and we really hope he is interested in the ideas it celebrated.”

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