Feeding Ourselves 2018 | rural revilitisation through a cooperative approach to farming and food

NOTE: This event was rescheduled due to poor weather. It is now on 26th and 27th May. See here for booking.

ARC2020 is delighted to be involved in this upcoming food, farming and rural event in Ireland. Held in the Irish village of Cloughjordan, also home to an ecovillage on 67 acres, Cloughjordan is a unique and especially apt location for an event focused on a savvy approach to rural issues.

The ecovillage represents a thought out approach to rural development – sustainably built and performing houses, a community farm, allotments, a forest, edible landscaping including heritage orchards compliment more modern elements such as an enterprise centre, co-working spaces, fab lab, district heating system fed with wood chip and other modern elements.

working the horses in Cloughjordan Community Farm photo (c) Oliver Moore

This clustered development is efficient with resources, while also adding to and drawing from the local village of Cloughjordan.

Both the old and new villages provide resources to each other. Indeed these two events are held in both villages – Feeding Ourselves in the old Cloughjordan village, SpeakEATsy in the new one, the eco neighbourhood down the hill.

A view of both cloughjordan (background) and its ecovillage (foreground) . Photo (c) Eoin Campbell.

“Rural Revitalisation through a Cooperative Approach to Farming and Food” is this year’s theme. International guest speakers from the European Parliament (Hannes Lorenzen) and the GROW Observatory (Pavlos Georgiadis) compliment Irish experts from a range of farming, food, environmental and rural development backgrounds.

Topics for the event will be of interest to anyone with a stake in agri-food and rural Ireland. Both broad and specific perspectives will be taken throughout the day. For example, the benefits of co-operative approaches for rural revitilisation will feature, as will real life examples of local north Tipperary businesses with elements of the co-operative ethos. These will include Riot Rye Bakehouse and Crawford’s Farm, both from Cloughjordan.

Initiatives which may suit specific farms, groups of farmers or communities will be showcased. These include high nature value farming (James Moran) social farming (Aideen McGloin) and community supported agriculture (Pat Malone, Tamara McGinty).

Hannes Lorenzen will also update participants on changes at EU level to the Organic Regulations, in the area of seeds, soil and group certification.

Organised by Cultivate and Cloughjordan Community farm, with support from NOTS, UCC’s Centre for Co-operative Studies, ARC2020, GROW Observatory, Social Farming Ireland, Night Orchard, Food Sovereignty Ireland, CSA Ireland and White Gypsy. For more details see www.cultivate.ie or www.cloughjordancommunityfarm.ie
Cloughjordan village from the ecovillage end. Photo (c) Eoin Campbell


FEEDING OURSELVES SCHEDULE – Saturday 3rd March 2018
09.30 – 10.00 – Registration
10.00 – 10.30 – Voices from the Field
Facilitated introduction to the people and initiatives in the hall.
10.30 – 11.00 – Co-operating for Rural Revitalisation
Oliver Moore (ARC 2020, UCC) introduces the themes of this year’s Feeding Ourselves with a panel exploring policy and good practice in sustainable agriculture and agri-food cooperatives. With Hannes Lorenzen (Special advisor on agi-food in the European Parliament) Noreen Byrne (Lecturer in Centre for Cooperative Studies UCD, Pippa Hackett (Organic Farmer and Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson)  Stuart Meikle (Agriculture Consultant)
11.30 – 12.00 – Community & Cooperative Food Initiatives
Davie Philip (Cultivate) will facilitate a panel on new approaches to connecting consumers and producers. With Mimi Crawford (Crawford’s Farm) Julie Lockett (Riot Rye Bakehouse & Bread School) Tamara MacGinty (Cloughjordan Community Farm) Nathalie Markiefka & Sinead Moran (Foodture)
12.00 – 12.20 – High Nature Value Farming
James Moran
12.20 – 12.40 – Social Farming
Aideen McGloin
12.40 – 13.00 – Citizen Science and the GROW Observatory
Pavlos Georgiadis
13.00 – 14.00 – Lunch
14.00 – 15.15 – Break Out Conversations
Four participatory sessions to select from.
+ What’s New in the New Organic Regulation?
Hannes Lorenzen will introduce the core changes to the EU’s Organic regulation, the passage of which he facilitated in the European Institutions in 2017. Seeds, soil, group certification and other key areas will be discussed. Reflections from Oliver Moore, Pippa Hackett & Thomas O’Connor
+ Would Social Farming Work for You?
Aideen McGloin, Helen Doherty, Davie Philip, Wendy Bailey
+ Soil, Climate & Regenerative Agriculture
Pavlos Georgiadis, Kevin Dudley, Ben Whelan, Bruce Darrell, Mimi Crawford
+ Starting and Maintaining a CSA Project
Community Supported Agriculture with Róisín Nic Cóil, Pat Malone, Tamara MacGinty
15.15 – 15.30 – Break
15.30 – 15.45 – Harvest from the Break Out Conversations  
Insights and highlights from the four discussions.
15.45 – 16.45 – Feeding Ourselves Discussion
Ella McSweeney (RTE Ear to the Ground) hosts the final conversation on the topics of this gathering, with Pavlos Georgiadis, Aideen McGloin and Clifford Guest.
16.45 – 16.50 – Presentation of the annual OUTSTANDING IN OUR FIELD award and the launch of a new national Food Sovereignty Award!
16.50 – 17.00 – Final Reflections


€40 – Full day (excludes lunch. Food available to purchase at lunchtime)

€50 – Full day including lunch


Book here: http://nots.ie/courses/feeding-ourselves/
For further information see www.cultivate.ie or contact info@cultivate.ie

Pavlos Georgiadis

Pavlos Georgiadis is based in Greece, He is a Community Manager with GROW Observatory, a citizen science initiative to improve soil using regenerative practices, while helping with climate change adaptation. Pavlos is an organic olive grower, coordinates a hemp co-operative, and has a background in ethnobiology. He produced the award-winning short documentary ‘Farming in Crisis’ and has established numerous Slow Food initiatives.

Ella McSweeney

Ella MCSweeney is a journalist and broadcaster. She presents RTE’s Ear to the Ground, and has produced numerous documentaries including the very popular 2017 week long show Big Week on the Farm. For the Guardian, she was part of a team which published a year-long investigation into the use of migrant workers in the Irish fishing industry. She has reported for BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and also the BBC Food Programme. In 2013 she presented a BBC World Service documentary on vertical farming and in 2015 she went to Kentucky to make a radio documentary on Wendell Berry which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Hannes Lorenzen

Hannes Lorenzen is senior adviser to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament. There he led the recent organic regulation changes. He is co-founder of Genetic Resources Action International (www.grain.org), co-president and board member of the European Rural Development Network Forum Synergies (www.forum-synergies.eu). He is also co-founder and chairperson of PREPARE, the “Partnership for Rural Europe” network for Central and Eastern European Member States (www.preparenetwork.org). He is a co-founder and president of ARC2020 (formerly a platform of 160 organisations to campaign on CAP reform, now an independent agri-food and rural policy NGO) and  the board of Directors of Forum Synergies and IATP (Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy).

Aideen McGloin

Aideen worked as a researcher on the European Framework VI Research Project: ‘Social Farming in Multifunctional Farms’ (SoFAR 2006-2008), where she enabled farming, social care and social service stakeholders to come together to develop a strategy for the development of Social Farming in Ireland.  She acted as secretariat to the Social Farming Community of Practice Group Ireland, a voluntary group that emerged from the SoFAR project, promoting Social Farming in Ireland. She is currently completing a PhD on the development of Social Farming in Ireland.  

Clifford Guest

Clifford Is a lecturer at Limerick Institute of Technology and current programme leader of the B.Sc. in Environmental Management in Agriculture. He lectures to students across three full time degree programmes on sustainable development, sustainable energy, and the impacts of agriculture on the environment. Raised on a farm just outside Cloughjordan he is a past pupil of Gurteen College and is currently a member of the Board of Governors there.

James Moran

Dr. James Moran works on the RBAPS Project (Results Based Agri-environmental Payment Schemes in Ireland and Spain). This is a landscape approach to developing high nature value farming. The project involves working with farmers and stakeholders developing ways to reward farmers for delivering biodiversity on their lands. He is also a Lecturer in Ecology at GMIT with specialist areas in: Applied Ecology; Sustainable Agriculture; High Nature Value Farmland; Rural Development; Nature Conservation


Stuart Meikle

Stuart Meikle is an agricultural management and policy specialist, an economist, a writer and an advisor. He was brought up with agriculture within a family farming environment and studied at the renowned Wye College, University of London. Upon graduating he joined the faculty at Wye and spent several years teaching, researching and consulting.


Noreen Byrne

Noreen is a lecturer at the Department of Food Business and Development and a researcher at the Centre for Co-operative Studies. She is co-director of the new MSc in Cooperatives, agri-food and sustainable Development. Noreen’s main research interests are in restructuring models for co-operatives, member value and co-operative innovation.


Pippa Hackett

Pippa operates an organic farm near Geashill, County Offaly with her husband Mark. She is the spokesperson on Agriculture and Animal Welfare for the Green Party and a candidate in the Laois-Offaly constituency.


Helen Doherty

Helen is the National Social Farming Co-ordinator at Social Farming Ireland, who with the support of the Department of Agriculture, are currently developing Social Farming across Ireland.


Also including Cloughjordan locals and regular Feeding Ourselves contributors…
Davie Philip (Cultivate), Oliver Moore (ARC 2020, UCC, GROW) Thomas O’Connor (Mana Organic), Róisín Nic Cóil (CSA Ireland), Pat Malone (Cloughjordan CSA), Tamara MacGinty (Cloughjordan CSA), Mimi Pierson (Crawford’s Farm), Julie Lockett (Riot Rye Bakehouse & Breadschool), Nathalie Markiefka & Sinead Moran (Foodture), Kevin Dudley (Cloughjordan CSA), Ben Whelan (GROW, Cultivate), Wendy Bailey (Cluckjordan Eggs / Cloughjordan CSA)

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About Oliver Moore 216 Articles

Dr. Oliver Moore is the communications director and editor-in-chief with ARC2020. He has a PhD in the sociology of farming and food, where he specialised in organics and direct sales. He is published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies, International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology and the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. A weekly columnist and contributor with Irish Examiner, he is a regular on Countrywide (Irish farm radio show on the national broadcaster RTE 1) and engages in other communications work around agri-food and rural issues, such as with the soil, permaculture, climate change adaptation and citizen science initiative Grow Observatory . He lectures part time in the Centre for Co-operative Studies UCC.

A propos d'Oliver Moore
Oliver voyage beaucoup moins qu’auparavant, pour ce qui concerne son activité professionnelle. Il peut néanmoins admirer par la fenêtre de son bureau les mésanges charbonnières et les corbeaux perchés au sommet du saule dans le jardin de sa maison au cœur de l’écovillage de Cloughjordan, en Irlande. L’écovillage est un site de 67 acres dans le nord du Tipperary. Il comprend d’espaces boisés, des paysages comestibles, des lieux de vie, d’habitation et de travail, ainsi qu’une ferme appartenant à la communauté. Les jours où il travaille dans le bureau du centre d’entreprise communautaire, il profite d’une vue sur les chevaux, les panneaux solaires, les toilettes sèches et les jardins familiaux. 

Ce bureau au sein de l’écovillage constitue en effet un tiers-lieu de travail accueillant également des collaborateurs des associations Cultivate et Ecolise, ainsi qu’un laboratoire de fabrication (« fab lab »). 

Oliver est membre du conseil d’administration de la ferme communautaire (pour la seconde fois !) et donne également des cours sur le Master en coopératives, agroalimentaire et développement durable à l’University College Cork. Il a une formation en sociologie rurale : son doctorat et les articles qu’il publie dans des journaux scientifiques portent sur ce domaine au sens large.

Il consacre la majorité de son temps de travail à l’ARC 2020. Il collabore avec ARC depuis 2013, date à laquelle l’Irlande a assuré la présidence de l’UE pendant six mois. C’est là qu’il a pu constater l’importance de la politique agroalimentaire et rurale grâce à sa chronique hebdomadaire sur le site d’ARC. Après six mois, il est nommé rédacteur en chef et responsable de la communication, poste qu’il occupe toujours aujourd’hui. Oliver supervise le contenu du site web et des médias sociaux, aide à définir l’orientation de l’organisation et parfois même rédige un article pour le site web. 

À l’époque où on voyageait davantage, il a eu la chance de passer du temps sous les tropiques, où il a aidé des ONG irlandaises de commerce équitable – au Ghana, au Kenya, au Mali, en Inde et au Salvador – à raconter leur histoire.

Il se peut que ces jours-là reviennent. Pour son compte Oliver continuera de préférer naviguer en Europe par bateau, puis en train. Après tout, la France n’est qu’à une nuit de navigation. En attendant, il y a toujours de nombreuses possibilités de bénévolat dans la communauté dans les campagnes du centre de l’Irlande.