LEAF Mar­que Sum­mit Points Way For­ward For Sus­tain­able Farming

The Sum­mit, Met­rics, Mea­sur­ables and the Mar­ket­place’, took place at The Odney Club in Berk­shire and explored ways in which the farm­ing indus­try can make pos­i­tive changes in glob­al food and farm­ing systems.

The importance of assurance systems in delivering meaningful improvements for farmers and the environment, the positive impact of the LEAF Marque and the need for the supply chain to better communicate to consumers what sustainable farming is all about. These were the key messages from the LEAF Marque Summit which took place last week (22nd March).

A wide range of speakers from across the food, farming and research sectors explored pressing questions around the role of assurance systems – their efficiency, transparency and impact. Speakers also identified the ways in which assurance schemes in general, and LEAF Marque specifically, must continue to evolve and adapt in order to drive forward more sustainable farming.

Speakers at the LEAF Marque Summit included:

LEAF’s Chief Executive Caroline Drummond, MBE and Sustainability Manager Kathryn Green also presented during the day.

There was a lively Q&A session with delegates keen to show their support for the LEAF Marque. One delegate asked: “Why don’t all supermarkets use LEAF to communicate what sustainable farming is all about? Retailers are letting us down in getting the message across to consumers.”

Tor Harris of Waitrose said that the retailer is always keen to promote the LEAF Marque and sustainable agriculture and that it takes on board that there are so many good news stories to talk about.

Other highlights included the launch of LEAF’s Global Impacts Report 2018. The report reveals the huge amount of progress being made in delivering more sustainable food and farming through LEAF Marque certification in 34 countries across the globe.

Caroline Drummond, Chief Executive of LEAF, said: “We have a real opportunity to be a catalyst for change and secure the UK’s position as a global leader when it comes to sustainable farming. Food is the new ‘rock and roll’ and we need to maximise public interest in it. We’re delighted that so many industry leaders, LEAF members and farmers were able to join us at the LEAF Marque Summit to discuss and debate the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. At a time of great uncertainty, but also opportunity, for the industry, the event has brought together a congregation of experts intent on finding solutions to drive positive change, with sustainable farming at the heart of everything they do.”

The LEAF Marque Summit was supported by Waitrose.

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