May 6th & 7th, 2017 - 2ND RELEASE TICKETS ON SALE!


UNLIMITED FILTERED WEEKEND WATER PASS $5 on the door | $4 to COREM, $1 to 'Charity Water' to provide filtered wells for global communities in need. Courtesy of We-Refill.
ZERO WASTE festival. BYO Cups, plates and cutlery. Limited hires available. FREE wash station at our 'Water Lilly Wash Pod' all weekend.

Our Food | Renew Fest 2017

Program curated by Byron Fair Food

Our Food | Renew Fest 2017

Program curated by Byron Fair Food

Sunday | Main Stage

Keynote Presentation with Robert Pekin

Food Systems can be made to look like really complex problems and there are a myriad of solutions out there! However the one thing most solutions fail to do is break it down into a transitional strategy. Pie in the sky brought down to earth, ready to inspire you here at Renew Fest!

Saturday | POD Program

Youth Presentation with Jess Buhagiar

Carol Richards presents…
Fixing the Food System?

In this session, Carol unpacks the complexities of food, highlighting how the industrial, global food system has a harmful effect on society and the environment. Problems such as hunger, food scandals, food waste and environmental and climatic degradation suggest that the current system is morally obsolete. How can the food system be reformed?

Inspired by the food sovereignty movement, there are now many examples of (re)localised, fair and equitable food systems in Australia.

However, the next challenge is the creation of the correct social and economic settings in which these new systems can thrive, grow and become the new ‘normal’. Read Carol’s Bio

Anja Lyngbaek presents…
Local Food; The Solution Multiplier and a Systematic Strategy for Change ?

Local food is spearheading a broad localization movement that holds the key to a new economy. Anja will talk about need to focus on “basics first” and “local first” in the creation of new economic models, operating in service of people and within nature´s limits. The key importance of food and farming in building fair economies and the pivotal role of small farmers for future food security will be addressed, as will the need for more hands on the land, when moving from a fossil fuel-based economy to reliance on renewable energy.

Anja will showcase successful local food strategies and initiatives fromaround the world, from CSAs and farmers’ markets to local investment strategies. The importance of a two-pronged resist-and-renew approach – resisting the global corporate growth economy and renewing local economies and communities will be a key feature of this presentation.

The importance of a two-pronged resist-and-renew approach – resisting the global corporate growth economy and renewing local economies and communities will be a key feature of this presentation. Read Anja’s Full Bio

Alejandro Musalem-Lopez presents…
Traditional Agroforesty ; Learning from Mexico

Mexico is one of the most biodiverse and culturally diverse countries on earth. For centuries, its indigenous populations have produced food successfully in a wide variety of geological and bio-climatic conditions. They designed truly sustainable agro-ecosystems that included woody perennials and the management of forest, allowing great civilizations to emerge and thrive. From slash & burn milpa and homegardens in the Yucatan Peninsula to the Chinampas floating gardens in the valley of Mexico.

Many of today´s most valued crops were domesticated in Mesoamerica – maize, chili, beans, squash, sweet potato, tomatoes, avocado, cocoa and vanilla etc. – and grown as part of agroforestry systems.

More recently, farmers have developed silvopastoral systems, where animals graze wooded paddocks and browse legume trees like fodder. Cocoa and coffee grown under multipurpose shade trees are widespread in the tropics. These agroforestry systems will produce a steady yield, with low external inputs, while regenerating the soil and providing healthy habitats for living organisms, people included.

However, like everywhere, the advance of monoculture and industrial livestock production, threatens the survival of the amazing variety of resilient food-producing-systems that have thrived for so long, and with it, the small farmers, their knowledge and skills. We have a great task ahead!

and more to come.

Presenter and panellist bio’s….

Rasa Dover

Rasa Dover is the founder of Byron Hinterland Seed Savers and a passionate seed saver and gardener. She has held over 25 events in the Byron Shire showcasing inspiring gardens where she and others freely share seeds, plants and produce. Rasa will provide a seed saving...

Scott Hall

Scott is an experimental farmer. He is part of a team currently co-developing syntropoic agriculture for Australian climatic and economic conditions in collaboration with Patricia Vaz and Namaste Messershmitt.

Robert Pekin

Like tens of thousands of small- and medium-scale dairy farmers, Robert Pekin was a casualty of the de-regulation of the Australian dairy industry that took place during the 1990s. In what was a deeply traumatic period for himself and his family, Robert, like so many...

Adam Grabowski

Adam is the founder of Flo Gardens. He started out as a child growing veggies in his inner city garden with his polish grandmother. As a teenager, he started a gardening business and later moved into Bush Regeneration. Becoming a father inspired him to start seriously...

Bunya Halasz

Bunya Halasz is a life-long gardener and lover of nature. He is inspired by cultures that continue to evolve creative practices of sustaining their material needs in a manner that demonstrates deep reverence for their natural environment and all of its life forms....

Paul Crebar

Paul Crebar is passionate about community collaboration and is the a co-founder of the not-for-profit organisations Byron Fair Food and Plastic Free Byron. He brings his management and Human Resource Management expertise to these organisations in efforts to build...

Jess Buhagiar

Jess Buhagiar is an 18 year old who just finished her HSC at Byron Bay High School. Her favourite subject was biology, and this connects to her presentation of sustainable agriculture and sustainable nutrition, which she will explore with particular focus on the...

Anja Lyngbaek (Denmark)

Anja Lyngbaek is the Associate Programmes Director of Local Futures. She holds a BSc in Rural Resource Management and a MPhil. in Agroforestry. She has worked on food & farming and the strengthening of local economies for 30 years, in Europe, Asia and Latin...

James Blyth

James is an urban farmer and civil engineer who co-ordinates a backyard based urban farming project in Brisbane called Forkhay City Farms. He crowdfunded the money to kickstart the project in 2016 by riding a bicycle solo from Brisbane to Hobart dressed as a carrot,...

Brian Wehlburg

From Africa originally,Brian started his own agricultural enterprise, growing crops for export, breeding cattle and operating a safari business and wildlife conservancy. An introductory Holistic Management course in 1995 inspired him to implement my new understanding...

Joel Orchard

Joel is a local new school farmer, food systems activist, passionate advocate for young farmers and local agricultural industry networker. His interests are in exploring the social sustainability of local food production and tackling the issue of an ageing farmer...