Ian Wilkinson on organic seeds and the importance of knowledge sharing

  • 17.01.2024
  • Podcast

Kicking off the new year and marking our fourth episode in the latest SFT podcast series, Patrick Holden meets with Ian Wilkinson at this year’s Oxford Real Farming Conference.

Ian is the Managing Director of Cotswold Seeds which boasts a bespoke seed catalogue, supplying 15,000 farmers across the UK with green manures, cover crops, herbal leys and more. He is also the co-founder of FarmEd, an organisation based at Honeydale Farm, a diverse 107 acre mixed farm in the Cotswolds, operating as a space for education and connection around sustainable farming and food systems.

During the episode, Patrick and Ian discuss the history behind events like the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) and the Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC), recalling earlier iterations of both and how each has developed over time. Ian delves into the origins of organic seed, the evolution of Cotswold Seeds and the importance of demonstration farms as beacons for knowledge-sharing and on-farm education. Patrick and Ian also take a moment to highlight the potential of true cost accounting to reveal the hidden costs behind so-called ‘cheap food’ and why good quality, organic food appears so expensive.

To find out more about Cotswold Seeds, visit cotswoldseeds.com and for more information about FarmEd, visit farm-ed.co.uk.

This episode doubles up as a dual podcast, in which Patrick and Ian both take turns interviewing one another. You can also listen to the episode on FarmEd’s website here.

To listen to more SFT podcasts, featuring some of the biggest names in regenerative food and farming, head to our main podcast page. And to keep up with our news, you can subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter or follow us on InstagramX or Facebook.


“Peer to peer learning is absolutely critical... at FarmEd our conversations are always around knowledge-sharing, talking to each other and bringing people in... for open conversations about how we can make changes for the benefit of all of us.”
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