Nuffield International Triennial
Conference and Field Tours
3rd June - 15th June


Time Programme


Delegate registration opens


Welcome and introduction to the ‘Chairman for the Day’ - TOM HEAP

Speaker: STEPHEN FELL, UK Nuffield Trustee


Securing farming’s role in the health agenda

Speaker: PROFESSOR MICHAEL WINTER OBE, Professor of Land Economy and Society, University of Exeter

Farmers have long been used to responding to the various challenges posed by societal demands that food should be produced which is safe and environmentally and animal welfare friendly. The escalating challenges of diet related diseases and the quality of nutrition more generally, presents a major new challenge. This lecture sets out some of the issues and explores some of the ways in which the farming sector may play a part in improving health, and also some of the challenges.


Who is responsible for what we eat?

Speaker: PROFESSOR SUSAN JEBB, Professor of Diet and Population Health, University of Oxford

There is a maze of conflicting advice about food - from media headlines and fad diets to government campaigns - so who can people trust when it comes to making decisions about what to eat and can we hold consumers wholly responsible? What responsibility should farmers, the food industry or government take for providing a healthy food supply? Susan will address the question of who is responsible for what we
eat and what action needs to be taken to create a healthier food system?


Healthy food and farming – fit for the future


More integrated solutions between food, farming, health, the environment and social justice are needed to create a game-changing approach to address the big challenge facing public health - obesity. This session highlights steps the farming industry can consider to take an active role as part of the solution, including through improved farm management, soil health, breeding qualities and stronger public engagement.


Q&A session


Coffee break



Each contributor will speak for 20 minutes before the session is opened up to the audience for questions.

The changing opportunities for plant breeding

Speaker: DR TINA BARSBY, CEO National Institute of Agricultural Botany

Plant breeding is undergoing a revolution underpinned by genome science. This ought to open up a whole new world of possibilities for generating crops which can address the nutrition agenda: cereals with resistant starch/high digestible fibre or enhanced micronutrient content; novel apples with pink flesh and great taste; tomatoes with high antioxidant levels. But will the opportunities be held back by the difficulties of bringing new varieties to market?

Integrating the supply chain to drive the market

Speaker: JANE BENNETT, Managing Director & CEO TasFoods Ltd, Australian Nuffield Scholar

Australian agriculture has a long history of commodity production on farms that are very distant from the markets to which they sell, with no connection between farm production and market demand. TasFoods is buying businesses that produce technically great products, but sell passively to those who seek the products out. Our growth is coming from aligning the production supply chain to the values and benefits of target consumers and channels to market.

Delivering health benefits from commodity crops

Speaker: DUNCAN FARRINGTON, Farrington’s Mellow Yellow

Duncan will share some thoughts behind setting up Farrington Oils and how his efforts helped create a new grocery category of cold-pressed rapeseed oil; a category growing at around 25% per year (Kantar Worldpanel October 2016). He will then ponder some opportunities for other commodity crops, providing health benefits for society, whilst delivering profits for the industry.

The death of low-fat

Speaker: MATT SWAIN, UK Nuffield Scholar

For many years Matt was a low-fat believer, buying into any products carrying that message. After all, he was an athlete and knew about such things. And, then his daughter got sick. Matt’s story tells of just how we arrived with low-fat, why he feels it’s been such a disaster for our health, and the opportunities and threats for agriculture.




Consumer focus: health through the eyes of the consumer

Speaker: STEVEN EVANS, AHDB Senior Consumer Insight Analyst

Steven will highlight the importance of understanding the modern consumer, looking at the role of ‘health’ through their eyes. By picking out the key changes in consumer landscape, he will highlight the significant challenges and opportunities for the industry in meeting the health needs of the modern consumer.


Gastrophysics: getting sensory with our food

Speaker: PROFESSOR CHARLES SPENCE, Professor of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University

Having been told not to play with our food, Charles will provide an enlightening session on how the senses interact giving rise to our multi-sensory perception of flavour. He will highlight a number of the key factors influencing what we eat and drink, and how much. He will also discuss the fruits of his latest collaborations with world-famous modernist chefs and highlight the implications for the regular consumer.


THE DEBATE: “Adding value for the farmer through the health agenda”

Panel members:

GUY SMITH - NFU Vice President and Nuffield Scholar
RUSS CARRINGTON - Pasture-Fed Livestock Association, Founder Member
DAVID NORTHCROFT - Nuffield Arden Scholar and Technical & Development Director, Berry Gardens


Chairman’s summary and actions


Tea and close



Drinks reception


Conference dinner

After dinner speaker: MATTHEW NAYLOR