Edd Colbert coordinates the FarmED Programme in Regenerative Agriculture & Sustainable Food. Blending practical, pedagogical skills with a breadth of agroecological knowledge, he is responsible for the design and facilitation of our diverse range of knowledge exchange and training events. Edd also provides consulting, mentoring and advisory services to anyone interested in transforming food and farming systems.
Edd brings a global perspective to the work we do at FarmED yet his journey into food and farming began rather unconventionally...rummaging through supermarket bins, salvaging and frequently feasting on perfectly edible food that had been thrown away! Little did he know, these midnight raids would lead him around the world, working to inspire and influence farmers, citizens, businesses, governments and NGOs on food system change.
Initially focused on the problems in our food system, Edd's investigations with Feedback uncovered how abuses of power and unfair trading practices in the food system were causing farmers to overproduce and waste food. From small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America to industrial operations in the deserts of Peru and Mexico, Edd has spoken with farmers around the globe to make sure their voice is heard to remedy the problems they face. His experiences enabled him to successfully change business practices and bring about change in EU law to protect farmers from unfair trading practices. He has been a key speaker for the FAO, OECD and the Royal Geographic Society and in 2016 was nominated as an expert advisor on unfair trading to the European Economic and Social Committee. He was a director of The Real Junk Food Project and has previously worked with groups such as Farms Not Factories and Sustain.
Tired of only focusing on the problems of the world's food systems Edd decided to reorient his energy towards creating a food system that nourishes rather than deprives people and the planet. Initially trying his hand as a horticultural apprentice in London, Edd was inspired by the potential of agroecological practices and the global movement promoting them. He went on to complete an international MSc in Agroecology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Wageningen University and the Institut Supérieur d'Agriculture Rhône-Alpes. He analysed the role of demo farms in Kenya's agroecological transition for his thesis and was inspired to find how FarmED's work reflects his findings! Most recently, through his work as an Agroecologist, he has facilitated training for small-scale farmers in Kenya and also worked to develop a farm-level agroecological assessment tool with Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development.
"There is no one solution to the world's problems and this excites me! Like every ecosystem, each farm, supply chain, food business, or even individual diets require fresh perspectives to bring about successful transformation. My goal at FarmED is to activate your imagination to support you in finding the role you're going to play in global regeneration."