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MASTERCLASS TO MEET WELSH ORGANIC CHALLENGE

Posted 27 August 2002

A FARMING ROADSHOW that will take the Tesco Food and Farming Masterclass on tour around the UK will begin in Wales next month.

The one-day seminar, entitled 'Organic Food: Meeting the Challenge in Wales?' will be presented by Harper Adams University College, the UK's largest specialist institution of Higher Education for the land and food-based industries, and by Tesco, with the support of the Welsh Development Agency and the National Farmers Union in Wales.

Tesco have announced their intention to increase their organic market to £1 billion within the next five years and have thrown down the gauntlet to British agriculture to help them achieve that goal by growing more organic food.

This seminar will be a forum in which farmers and producers can hear about and discuss issues that will shape the development of the organic market. This will include an outline of one vision for the future of organics, ways of developing organic brands, a farmers' perspective on marketing organic livestock to turn a profit and a look at the performance of different organic milk production systems.

The high profile group of speakers who will attend includes Carlo Leifert, Professor of Ecological Agriculture and Director of the Tesco Centre for Organic Agriculture at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and Richard Weller, Leader of Organic Research for the Institute of Grassland & Environmental Research (IGER).

Martin Cooke, Divisional Technical Manager for Tesco, and Nigel Elgar, Director of Graig Farm Producers Ltd, will also attend to address delegates.

The seminar has previously been held at Harper Adams University College, in Shropshire, and was so successful on that occasion, that organisers decided to tour the UK and make the event accessible to all.

Martin Hingley, Harper Adams' Senior Lecturer and the Tesco Teaching Fellow organised the event and acted as Conference Chair. He said: " By repeating the organic food seminar, on at least three more dates over the coming months, we hope to spread a greater understanding of the challenges we all face to meet the growing demand for organic food in the UK."

The Organic Food seminar will be held at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys, on Wednesday, September 18, 2002, between 10am and 3pm. Places are free to anyone whose primary business is farming and will cost just £50 per person to all other delegates.

Given the quality and reputation of the speakers attending, it is anticipated that demand for places on the seminar will be high and organisers have therefore urged people to book early to avoid disappointment.

To reserve a place on the seminar, please contact Carole Hinks, Conference & Short Courses Manager at Harper Adams, on 01 952 815 324 or E-mail: chinks@harper-adams.ac.uk and request a booking form.

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Notes to Editors:

Further information on the Organic Food seminar and about the Tesco Food and Farming Masterclass in general is available from Martin Hingley, Senior Lecturer and Tesco Teaching Fellow at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, on 01 952 815 386 or by E-mail: mhingley@harper-adams.ac.uk

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