29 June 2018
Future regulation for organic farming

Producer meeting in Cirencester

3 July 2018
National Organic Combinable Crops 2018

Booking now open!



18 June 2018
Martin Wolfe receives lifetime achievement award

For services to plant breeding, diversity, the environment and sustainable food production.

11 June 2018
Impacts of conversion to 100% organic management

New research reveals the production impact of a large-scale conversion to organic management in England and Wales



18 June 2018
Government support needed for agroforestry

Parliamentary wake up call for putting trees at the heart of agriculture

Letís Cultivate Diversity

Category: News
27 July 2017

Let's cultivate diversity

As part of the CERERE project, (Cereal Renaissance in Rural Europe), a three-day meeting Letís Cultivate Diversity was held at Hayon Farm, in the Wallonia region of Belgium, from 22-24th June.

The meeting gathered farmers, millers and researchers on diverse cereal varieties in Europe and beyond, including Belgium, France, Italy, the UK, Hungary, Luxembourg and Denmark, to share experiences.

A key focus of discussions was around breeding and preservation of local and heritage varieties of cereals; this covered areas of practical and legislative challenges of participatory breeding, and the role of Ďpeasant farmersí and farmer collectives in sustaining genetic and cultural heritage.

There was also much interest in connecting farmers to processors (millers especially) and markets, through decentralised and alternative marketing strategies, and the balancing of multi-stakeholder requirements along value chains of diverse crops.

The second day included a presentation on the importance of local and artisanal mills, both for maintaining traditional knowledge and skills of milling, as well as their role for enabling processing and marketing of diverse cereal varieties. There was also a practical demonstration on making sourdough, linking to workshop discussions on quality management, of seeds, flour and final products, such as bread. Throughout the event were tours of the crop trial site, which explaining the story of their breeding programmes, and the characteristics of diversity in their heritage and modern varieties of wheat, as well as a rye population.

In addition to cereals, Hayon Farm includes legumes and cattle grazing within their rotations, and produced goats cheese which is sold at local farmers markets.

Keywords: Cereal breeding participatory heritage

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