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Farming and environment in Europe and Maine session leading up to Camden Conference

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CAMDEN, Maine — Patrick Wrixon, president of the European Initiative on Sustainable Development in Agriculture, will join John Piotti, executive director of  Maine Farmland Trust, to compare European and Maine experiences in environmentally sustainable agriculture at a public meeting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Camden. This will be one of a series of community events leading up to the 27th annual Camden Conference on the Global Politics of Food and Water.

Wrixon, a farmer in Hereford, England, heads up this major European initiative to promote a sustainable European farming system that provides Europeans with healthy foods that are produced with sustainable environmental farming practices. Its members across rural Europe are committed to farming that restores soils, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and avoids loss of biodiversity.

The equivalent commitment to Maine farming will be discussed by John Piotti, executive director of  Maine Farmland Trust, which helps more than 475 Maine farms remain viable and protects more than 38,000 acres of Maine’s best farmland.

Together, the two speakers will share their experiences in promoting sustainable agriculture in Maine and Europe. Wrixon will describe a scheme in the UK that provides consumers assurance that food with the “LEAF” label is produced in an environmentally responsible way based on rigorous environmental criteria.

In addition to his work with the European Initiative, Wrixon’s 500-acre farm demonstrates efficiency and increased productivity through the use of renewable resources. Piotti has devoted much of his career to promote sustainable agriculture in Maine and served on the Maine State Legislature Committee on Agriculture from 2002 to 2010.

This free community event, co-sponsored by Maine Farmland Trust, is made possible through a grant from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation in anticipation of the 27th annual Camden Conference: The Global Politics of Food and Water, February 21-23, 2014.

The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world affairs through year-round community events, public and student engagement, and an annual weekend conference. For more information, visit,, or call 207-236-1034.