New LEAF Marque Chairman Appointed

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Green as the new Chairman of LEAF Marque – the organisation’s leading environmental assurance system, which recognises more sustainably farmed products.

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Tom joined the LEAF Marque Board, the statutory board for LEAF Marque, which works in close co-operation with the LEAF Board of Trustees, on 29th January 2018 and will hold the position for three years. He will also join the LEAF Board.

Having spent his entire career working in the agricultural industry, Tom has increasingly focused on agri-tech opportunities, applying his significant experience in both crops and livestock to accelerate development and deployment of new technology solutions – both in the UK and internationally.

Commenting on the appointment, LEAF Chairman Philip Wynn said: “It is an enormous pleasure to welcome Tom Green as our new Chairman of LEAF Marque. Our industry is about to enter a period of unprecedented change where farmers will need to refocus their efforts on both efficiency and sustainable production systems to meet the needs of both government policy and an ever more knowledgeable and discerning consumer. It is now clear that future agricultural policy will reward those who practice a fully integrated approach to growing food; LEAF Marque certification demonstrates a very high level of attainment in a business’ production system with strong environmental credentials.

“The opportunity for LEAF Marque in this new era for our industry is significant and I know Tom, with his valuable experience within the sector, will drive increased engagement with all the stakeholders in the supply chain to ensure that this leading assurance system is recognised as the ‘go to’ vehicle for retailers, processors and farmers wanting to demonstrate their sustainability commitments of food grown with care.”

Tom Green added: “I am delighted to be taking on the Chairmanship of LEAF Marque at a time when the pace of change and the challenges and opportunities in our industry have perhaps never been greater.

Philip Wynn, Tom Green, Caroline Drummond

“Sustainability is a simple word but a complex objective. Concerns about the economic, environmental and social impact of our farming and food industries, and the provenance of our food are priorities for consumers and farmers, but also for every player in the food chain. Input suppliers, branded food manufacturers, retailers and government all want to be associated with best practice and continuous improvement in this area.

“Over the past 15 years, LEAF has developed LEAF Marque which uniquely offers an independently verified environmental assurance system based on LEAF’s Integrated Farm Management, not only recognising compliance but also charting and supporting the journey of step-by-step improvements in key areas of sustainability, namely soil, water and biodiversity. It is fantastic that 36% of UK fruit and vegetables were produced to the LEAF Marque Standards during 2017, alongside production in 34 countries across the world – but there is still much to be done.

“I am looking forward to working with the team at LEAF and our partners throughout the supply chain to exploit all the opportunities offered by new technology and changing market circumstances to grow the LEAF Marque system and make it ubiquitous for procurement of all farm production which goes into the UK food chain.”

Caroline Drummond MBE, Chief Executive of LEAF, concluded: “LEAF Marque is key to driving forward the sustainability agenda – helping farmers optimise resources and deliver public goods, promoting the values of sustainable farming to consumers and providing a powerful way for the food supply chain to demonstrate its sustainability commitments as well as support our commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals. Tom joins us at an exciting time as we look to maximise the development and uptake of LEAF Marque both in the UK and overseas.

“On behalf of all LEAF members, trustees and staff, I would like to say a huge thank you to our outgoing LEAF Marque Chairman, Robin Hobson who has been ambitious, challenging and a true inspiration for driving forward the growth of LEAF Marque. Tom Green has the skills and experience to build on this legacy to ensure that LEAF Marque becomes the assurance system of choice for developing environmental sustainability in farming.”

Tom’s first public engagement as LEAF Marque Chairman will be a reception at the House of Commons on 15th May 2018 held to celebrate LEAF Marque’s 15th anniversary and announce future ambitions.

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