The Oxford Real Farming Conference and our plans for 2016

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays! It’s been a whirlwind start to 2016 at Indie Farmer and we’ve got lots of exciting plans for the coming months…

But firstly I’d like to say a warm welcome all the new subscribers we met at the 7th annual Oxford Real Farming Conference last week. It was our third ORFC and the organisers had kindly given us a small stand in the main hall – being our first year as an ‘exhibitor’ I was a little apprehensive as to how it would go…but over the course of two days our small team of volunteers and myself were greatly encouraged to meet many regular visitors to Indie Farmer and also quite a few who hadn’t heard of us before.

So I thought it might be useful to recap on how we came into being. Indie Farmer began back in 2013 as a passion project when I came up with the idea to showcase stories of smaller-scale independent farmers and food producers to a wider audience. In my spare time I set about visiting inspirational farmers and food makers, interviewing and photographing them with the aim of re-connecting people with the origin of their food. With the support of a couple of graphic designer and developer friends  I created the Indie Farmer logo, built a website and we went live in April 2014

Since then we’ve been lucky enough to be profiled by a number of online and print outlets and our audience has grown steadily. We now regularly publish a mixture of stories and reports from our passionate community of freelance contributors; new entrants, young and older farmers, urban farmers, food entrepreneurs, eco-chefs, permaculturalists, investigative food journalists, photographers, bloggers, scientists and industry insiders from the UK and beyond.

Over the coming months we’re aiming to re-launch with some great new community features and resources, which we hope will improve your user experience on the site. We’ll be adding an online shop, directory and jobs board and revamping the design to allow for advertising opportunities.

We’re excited for the new phase in our journey and want to thank everyone who supports us by reading and sharing our stories. To quote Colin Tudge from this year’s ORFC.

‘There are 3 basic ways to bring about change, one is revolution, the other is reform [and neither of those is going to work in this context]. What we’re advocating is renaissance – we’ve got to start again from first principles, re-think what agriculture is for, re-think how to do it and then get on and do it”