Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

The future for agricultural land use - productivity, environmental sustainability, and innovation

Morning, Thursday, 19th March 2020

Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW


This conference will examine the next steps for agricultural land use, and the future for agricultural policy and regulation.

It will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the latest science, and key developments in innovation in this area - and what more can be done to meet the productivity and environment challenges for the sector.

It takes place with the new government moving forward with major policy initiatives, including the updated Agriculture Bill and the Environment Bill.

We expect discussion on the future priorities for agriculture and the new regulatory regime, as well as the impact of moving towards a system of payment for public goods in areas such as environmental and animal welfare standards under the Agriculture Bill.

Delegates will also consider the impact on agriculture of the Environment Bill, and the role that the new Office for Environmental Protection will play in scrutinising environmental policy and law.

With the Committee on Climate Change Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK report highlighting the importance of sustainable land use in enabling the UK to meet the Government’s net-zero target, further sessions look at the way forward for policy and sector practice -  including areas such as biodiversity and soil health - as well priorities for technological and scientific innovation.

The agenda also looks at the practicalities of increasing farming productivity and the future competitiveness of the UK agricultural sector.


We are pleased to be able to include in this seminar keynote addresses from:

  • Professor Gideon Henderson, Chief Scientific Advisor, Defra;
  • Professor Sir Charles Godfray, Chair, Science Advisory Council, Defra and Director, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford; and
  • Professor Tim Benton, Director, Energy, Environment and Resources Department, Chatham House.

Further confirmed speakers include: Jean-Marc Chappuis, Federal Office of Agriculture, Switzerland; Rob Cooke, Natural England; Dr Katrina Hayter, UK Research and Innovation; Tom Hind, AHDB; Rohit Kaushish, NFU; Dr John Kerr, The Scottish Government; Guy Thallon, Fera and Carolina von der Weid, Embassy of Brazil.

The agenda

  • The future of agriculture land use - key issues and policy priorities;
  • Transforming farming - sustainability, innovation, public goods and productivity;
    • Developing an agricultural system that delivers public goods and improves productivity;
    • Increasing soil health - sustainable food production and regenerative agriculture;
    • Supporting biodiversity and species protection across agriculture;
    • Implementing new technology and addressing barriers to adoption; and
    • ‘Balancing domestic agriculture policy priorities - productivity, the environment and volatility’.
  • Adapting agriculture to the challenges of climate change and the future of food security;
  • International case studies on agriculture land use - increasing food production and improving environmental standards; and
  • Next steps for policy in agriculture and land use management.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

This Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum conference has attracted particularly strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: Defra; BEIS; the  Environment Agency; the Food Standards Agency; the Animal and Plant Health Agency; the NAO; DAERA; Northern Ireland Environment Agency; The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.

Keynote Speaker

Professor Gideon Henderson

Chief Scientific Advisor, Defra and Director, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford

Keynote Speakers

Professor Gideon Henderson

Chief Scientific Advisor, Defra and Director, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford

Professor Sir Charles Godfray

Chair, Science Advisory Council, Defra; Director, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford

Professor Tim Benton

Director, Energy, Environment and Resources Department, Chatham House


Mr. Jean-Marc Chappuis

Assistant Director-General, Head Department Knowledge Systems, Technology and International Affairs, Federal Office for Agriculture, Switzerland

Dr John Kerr

Head of Agricultural Policy Division, The Scottish Government

Dr Katrina Hayter

Challenge Director, ISCF Transforming Food Production Programme, UK Research and Innovation

Tom Hind

Chief Strategy Officer, AHDB

Guy Thallon

Strategic Business Development, Fera

Rohit Kaushish

Acting Chief Economic Advisor, NFU

Rob Cooke

Director, Natural England

Carolina von der Weid

Head of Agriculture Section, Embassy of Brazil