Taking place on 18 November 2021, this year’s conference will be split into three sessions exploring the key factors and opportunities affecting UK agriculture in the coming years.

Session 1 | Decision Makers

Our first session welcomes our decision-makers, industry leaders and policymakers to discuss the main topics surrounding the agricultural sector.

Lord Deben

The Rt. Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben, set up and now runs Sancroft, a Corporate Responsibility consultancy working with blue-chip companies around the world on environmental, social and ethical issues. Lord Deben is Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, Valpak Limited, and the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advisers Association. He was the longest-serving Secretary of State for the Environment the UK has ever had (1993-97). His sixteen years of top-level ministerial experience also include Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Minister for London, Employment Minister and Paymaster General in HM Treasury. He has consistently championed an identity between environmental concerns and business sense.

Session 2 | Skills Masterclass

For our second session, we are thrilled to be joined by a leading negotiation professional, helping our delegates to improve and develop their negotiation skills and reduce costs in future business deals.

Session 3 | Costs Out, Cash In

Our final session explores stories of individuals of how they have approached innovative agricultural practices and succeeded at diversifying. This includes opportunities on how to cut your input costs (such as fertiliser and pesticides) and how you can capitalise on initiatives such as carbon credits.

Ben Gummer

Ben farms in Suffolk and is chairman and co-founder of Sward, which helps farmers and landowners understand, manage and market their natural capital assets. He is a partner in GummerLeathes, a master developer; a Senior Advisor at McKinsey & Company; a Board Member of the Office for Place; and a Visiting Fellow of Practice at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. He previously served in government as Minister for the Cabinet Office and in the departments of health, education and international development. Before entering parliament, where he represented Ipswich, Ben ran a sustainability consultancy advising multinational companies around the world.

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell won the 2018 Soil farmer of The Year competition organised by Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit and Innovation for Agriculture. He started getting interested in soil and its biology twenty years ago and has been improving his heavy clay soils by stopping all tillage, making and applying highly biologically active compost and building mycorrhizal fungi populations. To prove the theory that a balanced soil food web can provide all the nutrients a crop needs, he hasn’t applied any phosphate or potash fertilisers in all that time and has started experimenting with cutting out nitrogen applications as well

Speakers for this year’s East of England Farming Conference will be announced on our Twitter page and updated on our website once the names have been released.