A Devon farmer took the stage at a national sustainable food conference this week.

Devon farmer and butcher Andy Gray has been invited to speak at this year’s Sustainable Food Trust's Food and Farming Conference which brings together leaders from the farming, business, finance, NGO, research and policy sector.

Mr Gray is the CEO of McKelly, a 65-year-old company founded in 1956 which operates from Elston Farm near Copplestone in the heart of Devon and supplies quality meat direct to the catering industry.

He also provides the route to market for meat boxes from Farm Wilder, a community interest company non-profit organisation which works with farmers who use wildlife friendly farming practices, predominantly on Dartmoor and south Devon.

The entire range is reared by farmers who use regenerative farming practices, working in harmony with the environment to benefit the animals, farmers, consumers, wildlife and the natural world.

Mr Gray said: “Regenerative farming is what the public will want increasingly as the benefits of these practises become ever more apparent: more nature, cleaner water, more delicious food, lower production costs, less flooding, to name a few.

“We need to eat less meat but better, and we need to have the choice of food from farms that nurture.

"The regenerative farming practise we are developing shift the emphasis back to natural processes which creates a great environments for wildlife and animals to thrive. The question is how we bring this shift into the public conscience.”

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Producing food sustainably means the negative impact on the environment is reduced because the current food supply chain is a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), unsustainable water extraction and pollution, deforestation and biodiversity loss.

The conference took place on June 15 and 16 at Fir Farm, Swell in Gloucestershire.

Also speaking on these topics at the conference were Alice Thompson, associate editor for The Times, Henry Dimbleby, non executive board member of DEFRA and National Food Strategy Lead, Minette batters, president of the National Farmers Union, and the Rt Hon Lord Deben, chairmen of the Committee on Climate Change.