THE SUSTAINABLE Farming and Food feature in Hall 2 is designed to bring to life key elements of the government‘s Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food (SSFF).

The implications of the SSFF could have a significant impact on anyone involved in the farming industry, people who live and work in the countryside and food consumers – which means just about all of us.

This is why the Royal Show feature is aimed at the public as well as the farming community and representatives from the food industry.

This particular feature will include displays of rural crafts and regional food specialities as well as the more technical presentations.

To explain the significance and scope of the strategy, the Royal Show feature brings together key organisations such as the English Rural Development Agencies (RDAs), DEFRA, the Rural Development Service (RDS), regional Government Offices (GOs), Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) and the RASE. 

The English RDAs will show how the agencies are delivering the strategy. This includes both existing and refocused economic development programmes as well as new, sustainable developments.  

The RDS will show how it provides farmers with funding to deliver enterprises that match the overall aims of the strategy.

Government Offices (GOs) identify and bring to life initiatives resulting from the work of the regional steering groups that deliver the strategy, and this section of the feature complements the RDA promotion.

DEFRA co-ordinates the key national elements in the strategy, and its displays relate to the Food Chain Centre, the Red Meat Industry Forum, English Food and Farming Partnerships and public procurement.

Other contributions will come from the Department of Health featuring the Five-a-Day nutritional campaign and the National School Fruit Scheme.

LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) will highlight aspects of its work using 12 case studies, and Farm Stay UK – one of the most successful co-operatives, with more than 1000 members nationally – will be presented as an example of diversification and collaboration, helping to promote local food and a range of countryside activities as well as providing accommodation.

One of the biggest attractions is likely to be the display by FARMA, the recently formed National Farmers‘ Retail and Markets Association.