Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

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

Morning, Thursday, 19th March 2020

Central London


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

Sessions look at the 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.

We expect discussion on the future priorities for agriculture and the new regulatory regime, following commitments in the Queen’s Speech to reintroduce the Agriculture Bill - as well as discussion on the impact of moving towards a system of payment for public goods in areas such as environmental and animal welfare standards.

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

Further sessions look at what more can be done to promote sustainable use of land - taking into account areas such as biodiversity and soil health - whilst moving towards net-zero emissions, as well the role of technology 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 delighted to be able to include in this seminar keynote addresses from:

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

Further confirmed speakers include: Rob Cooke, Natural England; Dr Andrea Graham, NFU; Dr Katrina Hayter, UK Research and Innovation; Tom Hind, AHDB; Dr John Kerr, The Scottish Government; Guy Thallon, Fera; Carolina von der Weid, Embassy of Brazil and a senior speaker from the Federal Office for Agriculture, Switzerland.

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: Animal and Plant Health Agency; BEIS; Defra; Food and Standards Agency; NAO; 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

Mr. Jean-Marc Chappuis

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

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


Dr Andrea Graham

Head of Policy Services, NFU

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

Rob Cooke

Director, Natural England

Carolina von der Weid

Head of Agriculture Section, Embassy of Brazil