Race and Ethnicity in Agriculture

Race and Ethnicity in Agriculture

Hosted by Navaratnam Partheen, British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society, in conversation with other speakers.

The Northern Real Farming Conference is exploring the challenges, vision and future of food and farming. The strength of agriculture is not only based on its methodology, processes and output but also in the people engaged, who make this sector what it is today. In such a diverse country, that we are lucky and fortunate to live in, we find that our sector does not reflect this richness. Equity and diversity is essential if we want an industry that attracts and keeps the best and brightest talent and which can effectively serve the country in the future. Improving the diversity and inclusivity of agriculture would help bring more people together from all backgrounds and so allow the public to relate to their food and understand the sector more. This discussion will explore these important themes with a focus on Race and Ethnicity. Topics discussed will include understanding the barriers to racial diversity and ideas on how we should move forward if we are to have a welcoming and attractive sector for all. The speakers are all involved in different areas of agriculture and bring a wealth of personal experiences and ideas to the discussion.


Navaratnam Partheeban is a dairy vet and has previously taught at the Royal Agricultural University. He is the co-founder of the British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society (BVEDS) which aims to promote, support and educate on issues of race and ethnicity in the veterinary profession and agricultural sector

Uma Selvon is a 4th year veterinary medicine student from the University of Surrey. Since starting placements at uni, she has become an aspiring farm or mixed practice vet as has loved working with large animals. She is proud to join this panel as diversity and inclusion in agriculture is still a big issue and it sometimes puts her off joining the community, so she would like to see it begin to change.

Flavian Obiero is a pig farmer managing a farrow to finish unit in East Sussex. The subject of Race and Ethnicity in Agriculture is important as he works in the industry and see first hand the lack of people from ethnic minorities in farming. The British agricultural industry needs to do more to attract people from all backgrounds into farming and not just generational farmers.
Esme Filsinger-Worrell works at St Werburghs City Farm In Bristol as a business manager, as well as heading up a six month research project exploring barriers to access for diverse communities at the farm. Esme is also a business coach for creative entrepreneurs. Esme is passionate about removing barriers to access to green spaces and the wider countryside for BIPOC.
Hannah graduated from the Royal Agricultural University with a BSc in International Business Management (Food and Agribusiness) in 2018 and has been working in Quality and Compliance for a leading drinks company since then. She is based in London but travels all over England to work with suppliers; which has given her even more exposure to the agri-food supply chain. As a white ally, she aims to continually work to achieve and inspire racial justice so everyone does not have their access to opportunity restricted due to their race or ethnicity.


Oct 02 2020


1:00 pm - 3:00 pm