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Latest News

Debating Natural Capital

Is capital the natural successor to CAP? LEAF Annual Conference debates the value of Natural Capital.

Natural Capital was the phrase on everyone’s lips at LEAF’s (Linking Environment And Farming). The conference, held at Savills, London, on Wednesday 9th November addressed the emerging opportunities and challenges for food and farming in this area.

To read more click here

 


LEAF Food, Farming & Environment Policy Post Brexit 

Britain is facing a new, challenging, yet exciting era as we leave the European Union.

The food and farming sector will be impacted greatly by this change and smart and reasoned approaches are critical to develop a confident, profitable and sustainable world leading UK food and farming sector.

To read more click here

 


LEAF Marque benchmarked as Gold against the SAI Platform Farmer Self-Assessment

We are delighted that the LEAF Marque has now been benchmarked as Gold against the SAI Platform Farmer Self-Assessment when underpinned by UK legislation and the following baseline Schemes: GlobalG.A.P. Combinable Crops GlobalG.A.P. Fruit and Vegetables Red Tractor Combinable Crops and Sugar Beet.

The Gold benchmark confirms the leadership position of the LEAF Marque and we look forward to further positive benchmarking results in due course.

This is now live on the SAI Platform website and can be found: http://fsatool.com/ under the section ‘Working with FSA’, then ‘ FSA for Other Users’ and select the hyperlink titled “Benchmarking Results and Planning Overview” 

 


Open your gates for Open Farm Sunday 2017 

Open your gates for next year’s Open Farm Sunday on 11th June and proudly show the public all that you achieve and the breadth of goods and services you deliver.

That’s the message to farmers from LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), as registrations for Open Farm Sunday 2017 open on 1st November.

To read the full press release click here 

 


LEAF makes royal appointment 

LEAF has announced the appointment of Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex as its new Honorary President. 

HRH The Countess of Wessex will take over the role of Honorary President from Baroness Hazel Byford DBE, who has been LEAF's President for the past ten years.  The Countess will help LEAF on its mission to cement its place as the leading global organisation delivering more sustainable food and farming, as outlined in its recently launched five-year strategy. 

Commenting on the announcement, Stephen Fell, LEAF Chairman said: “We are delighted that such an energetic and committed member of the Royal Family will be supporting our work as our new Honorary President. 

To read the full press release click here 

 


LEAF gets industry talking engagement

LEAF's inaugural Public Engagement conference, explored how we, as an industry, can work together to make a step change in public engagement with food and farming.  

The day featured thought provoking presentations from key industry figures who challenged delegates to think about what public engagement is, why it matters and what needs to be done to deliver real solutions. To read the full press release click here 

 

 


The State of Nature report 2016: Response from LEAF

The State of Nature report 2016 was launched on the 14th September.   It brings together data and expertise from over 50 organsiations, providing an update on how wildlife is faring across the UK, and its seas, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. 

LEAF's reponse to the report highlights the wide range of positve environmental work being carried out by farmers, through for example, the uptake of agri-enviornmental schemes, the LEAF Marque certification scheme and the adoption of Integrated Farm Management. Read LEAF's full response here 


LEAF announces Public Engagement Conference

LEAF is inviting the food and farming industry to come together for its first ever Public Engagement Conference.

The conference, which will take place on Monday 12th September at The Auditorium, Sainsbury’s, in London, will explore the theme: How can we make a step change in public engagement with food and farming?

To read the full press release click here 

 


LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday continues to drive forward public engagement with farming and food production

With public engagement in farming a key focus of LEAF’s (Linking Environment And Farming) new five year strategy, the organisation is delighted to confirm that for the second year running, more than a quarter of a million people visited a farm for this year’s Open Farm Sunday. 

The final visitor analysis released today, shows that more than half of the 261,000 visitors had never been to an Open Farm Sunday event before and one in five had never visited a working farm before. The results of the visitor survey and feedback from participating farmers indicates that LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday continues to lead the way in engaging the public with farming and the breadth of goods and services it delivers. The theme this year was Discover The World of Farming and it certainly achieved this with 88% of visitors saying they learned something new about farming.

To read the full press release click here 

 


Birds, bees and butterflies get boost from new countryside coalition

The Wildlife Trusts and LEAF create unique model for nature-friendly farming across 44,500 acres, as part of new Jordans Farm Partnership

This summer, 42 progressive arable farms are embarking on a new model for sustainable farming and will maintain nature-friendly corridors on farmland which, if placed end to end, would reach from Land’s End to John O’Groats - as part of a new partnership to enhance the natural environment and support farming communities. The new and unique collaboration - involving LEAF, The Wildlife Trusts and Jordans - will promote sustainable farming practice -  and address rural development issues through The Prince’s Countryside Fund.  Known as the Jordans Farm Partnership, it will create a new model for UK farm sustainability and set high standards for nature-friendly farming.

To read the full press release click here 

 


Bangor University becomes LEAF's ninth Innovation Centre

Bangor University becomes the latest site to join LEAF's network of Innovation Centres.  It will showcase sustainable farming methods, particularly in the area of lowland and upland livestock systems.

Bangor University and the work being carried out at Henfaes Research Centre, will bring a wealth of expertise and crucial information on the role and development of Integrated Farm Management in upland and lowland livestock systems.  Henfaes is also the sight of a wide range of research projects looking at improving efficiencies of agricultural production in both arable and horticultural production around sustainable intensification, agroforestry, soil science, nutrient management and greenhouse gas emissions.

To read the full press release click here 

 


LEAF announces its strategic direction for 2016-2021 

LEAF has launched its new five year strategic direction which builds on its accomplishments and strengthens its core objectives. 

The new five year strategy, which was launched at Cereals 2016 looks to significantly increase capacity to position LEAF as the go-to organisation for the delivery of more sustainable food and farming.  
As LEAF celebrates its 25th anniversary and the news that consumer recognition of LEAF Marque has risen significantly from 9% in 2014 to
15% in 2016, the announcement indicates exciting expansion plans for LEAF. 

To read the full press release click here and for the summary Five Year Strategy document click here 

 


Consumer recognition of the LEAF Marque rises significantly

New corrected report from England Marketing shows growth in LEAF Marque recognition amongst consumers.

“Consumer recognition of the LEAF Marque has risen significantly from 9% in 2014 to 15% in 2016, as shown in the corrected report from England Marketing. It has not declined, as originally reported on 1st June," said Caroline Drummond, Chief Executive of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming). “LEAF and the LEAF Marque are in growth, with a third of UK grown fruit and vegetables now coming from LEAF Marque certified farms, a rise from 25% a year ago. Furthermore, awareness for LEAF amongst farmers, the food industry and consumers has increased year on year, in part due to the success of Open Farm Sunday which we have run for 11 years and which receives widespread support from the food and farming industry. As consumers’ interest in the provenance of their food increases I am confident that the demand for nutritious, sustainably produced food will continue to grow and with that the awareness of and demand for LEAF Marque produce.”

For more information on the LEAF Marque click here.


Integrated Farm Management signals future for sustainable food and farming

Achieving more sustainable food and farming will only be possible through sound science that is firmly rooted in practical application. This was the message delivered at LEAF's first Integrated Farm Management conference. 

Speakers from LEAF Innovation Centres provided a taster of the innovative areas of research and development within each section of IFM and LEAF Demonstration Farmers, working with IFM at the sharp end, explained how they were making these innovations work in practice. 

To read the full press release click here


LEAF calls on industry to play its part in sustainable farming 

Our food future relies on sustainable farming, and the whole supply chain must play its part to ensure success. That was the message delivered at the inaugural LEAF Marque Summit. 

More than 70 attendees from across the food and farming industry came together at the event to discuss how to rise to the challenge of building more traceable and equitable supply chains that enable everyone to demonstrate their sustainabilty commitments. 

To read the full press release click here

 


LEAF appoints former Head of Sustainability at Waitrose as Director of Business Collaboration

LEAF has announced the appointment of Quentin Clark, former Head of Sustainability at Waitrose, as it new Director of Business Collaboration 

Quentin's role will be to plan and lead a business collaboration strategy to work with third party organisations to place sustainable food and farming high on their agenda. Also as part of LEAF's growth strategy, it has announced the promotion of key players within its technical team. 

To read the full press release click here

 


New trustee appointments announced at LEAF

LEAF is delighted to announce the appointment of a number of new Trustees to its board 

Ian Ashbridge, Partner at Bidwells; Chris Collins, Professor of Environmental Chemistry at the University of Reading and Nigel Garbutt, past Chairman of GLOBALG.A.P. join LEAF at an exciting time as we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year and plan ahead to our next 25 years.   

To read the full press release click here

 


The North Wyke site of Rothamsted Research launched as a LEAF Innovation Centre: a centre of excellence for sustainable farming

The North Wyke site of Rothamsted Research launched as a LEAF Innovation Centre: a centre of excellence for sustainable farming The North Wyke site of Rothamsted Research in Okehampton, Devon becomes the latest site to join LEAF’s network of Innovation Centres. 

It will showcase sustainable farming methods, particularly in the area of grassland systems, and support the development and promotion of sustainable farming through Integrated Farm Management. The North Wyke site of Rothamsted Research becomes LEAF’s eighth Innovation Centre. 

To read the full press release click here

 

 


Research, planning, productivity and sustainability key to a healthy future for food and farming

BBSRC researchers are invited to design and produce engaging farm related bioscience activities for use by farmers and visiting scientists at LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday on 5 June 2016.Last week, the farming industry came together at LEAF’s Annual Conference to discuss what is required to address the challenges of climate change, population growth and growing health issues, and the vital role LEAF has to play.

Speakers and delegates, including representatives from agriculture, industry and academia, were united in the belief that science, research and innovation will be key to driving forward change.

To read the full press release click here

 

 


Competition to design science farm activities

BBSRC researchers are invited to design and produce engaging farm related bioscience activities for use by farmers and visiting scientists at LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday on 5 June 2016.BBSRC researchers are invited to design and produce engaging farm related bioscience activities for use by farmers and visiting scientists at LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday on 5 June 2016.

Open Farm Sunday, managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), is the farming industry’s annual open day where the public can find out how their food is produced and the work farmers do to manage the countryside. Since 2006, over 1000 farmers across the UK have opened their gates thanks to LEAF, welcoming over 1.5M people onto their farms.

BBSRC is making £17,000 available to develop up to 10 agricultural science activities that inspire and educate people about the science behind farming and food production; highlighting the importance of farming in the context of food security.

The resources will be available for farmers and visiting researchers at Open Farm Sunday on the 5 June 2016, and may also be used as curriculum targeted school resources. Activities must be on topic, understandable and easy for farmers to implement on their land.

The closing date for applications is 6 December 2015.

For more information, and details on how to apply visit: click here.

For more information on LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday visit: www.farmsunday.org

 


LEAF Marque farmers shine at National Trust Fine Farm Produce Awards

LEAF recognised by ISEAL, the global reference point for sustainability standardsLEAF is celebrating after two of its members were named winners at the 2015 National Trust Fine Farm Produce Awards.

LEAF Marque certified Trehill Farm, in Pembrokeshire, which is farmed by Peter and Gina Smithies, received a National Trust Fine Farm Produce award for their potatoes and were also named as winners of the Special Producer of the Decade Award. Our other winner was Warren Farm in Worcestershire, farmed by James and Victoria Hawkins, who took the top spot in the reginoal category for their Pure Herefordshire Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil.

Read the full press release here.

 


LEAF Marque - delivering more sustainable fruit and vegetables with SIFAV

LEAF has announced that its global assurance system, LEAF Marque, has been accepted as one of the Sustainability Initiative Fruits and Vegetables (SIFAV)'s approved environmental standards. 

SIFAV, is an initiative set up by IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative which aimes to make imports of fruits and vegetables from Africa, Asia and South America 100% sustainable by 2020. 

Read the full press release here.


Record breaking Open Farm Sunday 2015 sees 40% visitor increase

LEAF recognised by ISEAL, the global reference point for sustainability standardsThe final visitor numbers for Open Farm Sunday 2015 have been announced by organisers LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and show a tremendous 40% increase on 2014. A total of 291,000 people visited a farm for the campaign’s 10th anniversary – 40,000 more than the original estimate.

Results from the visitor exit survey also showed a 40% increase in the number of people visiting a farm for the first time and a 49% growth in the number of visitors from urban areas compared with 2014 data. An impressive 80% of all visitors reported that they had learned something new during their Open Farm Sunday visit, with a significant number of visitors reporting a better understanding of the role of farmers in producing food and caring for the countryside. Following their Open Farm Sunday visit, 40% of all visitors rated their knowledge of the role of farmers as ‘excellent’.

Read the full press release here.

 


Two leading horticulture businesses recognised by LEAF for High Environmental Standards

LEAF recognised by ISEAL, the global reference point for sustainability standardsTwo leading horticulture companies, Tangmere Airfield Nurseries Ltd and Eric Wall Ltd, both based in Chichester, have been launched as LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) Demonstration Farms in recognition of their commitment to sustainable farming.

They are LEAF’s first glasshouse businesses to become LEAF Demonstration Farms and join a group of 40 other farms in the UK showcasing the very best of sustainable farming practices. LEAF Demonstration Farms act as ‘living classrooms’ demonstrating the sustainable farming principles of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) to other farmers, supply chain, conservation groups and members of the public. IFM is a whole farm business approach that delivers more sustainable farming. It uses the best of modern technology and traditional methods to enrich the environment and engage local communities.

Tangmere Airfield Nurseries Ltd is one of Europe’s largest sweet pepper producers with more than 100 acres of state of the art glasshouse facilities in the UK and Spain. The business produces over 60 million sweet peppers every year and supplies major UK retailers as well as the wholesale market and has been LEAF Marque certified since 2003. The LEAF Marque is a leading assurance scheme recognising sustainably farmed products.

Read the full press release here.

 


LEAF recognised by ISEAL, the global reference point for sustainability standards

LEAF recognised by ISEAL, the global reference point for sustainability standardsLEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has achieved full membership of ISEAL, the global membership association for sustainability standards.

Full membership is the highest membership status within ISEAL and demonstrates a high level of compliance with ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice, which are seen as global references for developing credible standards. The Codes of Good Practice cover standard setting, impact evaluation and assurance (certification and accreditation). Full members must adhere to the Code and are proven to be credible, effective and committed to continually improving their impacts.

LEAF’s global assurance system, the LEAF Marque, which recognises farmed products produced to more sustainable standards, is underpinned by the principles of the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice. The LEAF Marque is based on LEAF’s principles of Integrated Farm Management (IFM), a whole farm business approach that delivers more sustainable farming. It uses the best of modern technology and traditional methods to enrich the environment and engage local communities.

Read the full press release here.

 


LEAF reports significant growth in global activity

LEAF Impacts Report releasedLEAF has released its latest global impacts report which reveals continued growth in the area of crops grown on LEAF Marque certified businesses across the globe.

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has released its latest global impacts report which reveals continued growth in the area of crops grown on LEAF Marque certified businesses across the globe. In 2014, it broke through the 250,000 hectare barrier for the first time, standing at 266,324 hectares, representing a year on year increase of 7.8 per cent. The most significant growth was in Northern Europe, which saw a 29.8 per cent increase in the area of crops grown under the LEAF Marque standard system.

Read more here.

 


LEAF calls on farmers to help educate tomorrow’s consumers

LEAF calls in farmers to help educate tomorrow's consumersCall for farmers to invite schools onto farms for Open Farm School Days 2015.

Following the success of Open Farm School Days last year, LEAF is encouraging farmers to invite schools onto their farms to help children get a better understanding of where their food comes from.

Open Farm School Days is run by LEAF in partnership with Farming and Countryside Education (FACE), alongside Open Farm Sunday (7th June) – with school visits happening throughout June.

Read more here.

 


 

Open Farm Sunday 2015 Scottish launch

Open Farm Sunday 2015 Scottish launchLEAF calls on Scotland’s farming and food industry to back Open Farm Sunday.

LEAF joined leading representatives from across the Scottish farming and food industry to encourage more farmers to engage with consumers by getting involved with Open Farm Sunday. At a reception held at Holyrood, Edinburgh, recognition was given to the positive contribution Scottish farmers have made as part of LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday over the last nine years, in changing public perception and understanding of the farming industry. The evening featured talks from Alex Fergusson MSP, Caroline Drummond MBE, LEAF Chief Executive, Dr David Roberts, SRUC and LEAF Scotland Chairman, as well as Open Farm Sunday host farmer Michael Clarke of Williamwood Farm, Dumfries.

Read more here.

 


 

Join the LEAF Team

Join the teamWe are looking for a Director of Business Development to join the LEAF team.

We are looking for a dynamic, proficient and experienced individual to join a close knit team to build its services and outreach and generate income to support the Charity’s objectives. In this pivotal role the successful applicant will plan, lead and execute a sales strategy to strengthen our relationships with its members, key industry bodies, trusts and foundations; developing compelling business cases and submitting high quality funding proposals.

For further details of this exciting role please click here.

 


 

Farming and Food Minister, George Eustice MP launches the new LEAF Sustainable Farming Review

BFBCLEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) launched the Sustainable Farming Review, a new management tool for members, yesterday on Monday 1st December. The event was attended by George Eustice MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for farming, food and marine environment, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The LEAF Sustainable Farming Review enables LEAF members to farm more sustainably, providing an annual health check of their businesses and helping them to implement and measure the impacts of Integrated Farm Management (IFM)*.

Read more here

 


 

LEAF Launches 10th Open Farm Sunday

BFBCLord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for natural environment and science, joined representatives from across the farming and food industry as they came together yesterday (17th November), to launch LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday 2015 and to celebrate the campaign’s huge success to date.

The event, which was held at the House of Commons, recognised the positive contribution Open Farm Sunday has made over the last nine years in changing public perception and understanding of the farming industry and acknowledged the help of the hundreds of farmers and their helpers who have made it happen.

Read more here

 


 

Speakers at sustainable food and farming conference call for greater diversity for more resilient farming

BFBCGreater diversity in crops, livestock, biodiversity, our markets and diets was the key message and subject of debate at the annual LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) President’s Event on Tuesday 11th November.

A range of speakers including Dr Gordon Jamieson - Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Director, John Innes Centre, Dr Grant Walling, Director of Science and Technology, JSR Ltd, Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight at Kantar Worldpanel, Caroline Drummond from LEAF as well as LEAF Demonstration Farmers Andrew Francis from Elveden Estate and Patrick Barker from EJ Barker & Sons each spoke about issue of resilience and diversity within the sectors of crops, livestock, biodiversity and in our diets.

Read more here

 

 


Defining Resilience and Diversity in Agriculture

BFBCEnsuring a resilient and diverse agriculture that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable is amongst the greatest global challenges.

This year’s President’s Event will bring together some of the evidence of the impact of agricultural diversity on productivity, pest and disease control, ecosystem services, nutrition and health. It will also explore the potential to minimise the effects of climate change on farming, specifically relating to crops, livestock, biodiversity, our markets and diets.

Read more here

 

 


 

LEAF pledges its commitment to global food security initiative

BFBCLEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) will formally pledge its commitment to a global food security initiative ‘The Declaration of Abu Dhabi for Global Food Security through Good Agricultural Practices’ at a formal launch event in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 28 to 29 October 2014. Other signatories include Unilever, BASF, Nestlé, SAI Platform, Syngenta, Bayer CropScience and a number of other leading global food industry organisations, certification bodies and NGOs.

The Declaration of Abu Dhabi is a global collaboration between public and private partners in the food industry in order to identify, align and implement practical, sustainable solutions to growing global food security and safety challenges.

Read more here

 

 


 

Let Nature Feed Your Senses Conference 2014

BFBCJoin us at our fifth annual conference to be held at The Priory Rooms Conference & Meeting Place, Birmingham B4 6AF on 19th November.

Building community engagement, funding opportunities and a farming business fit for purpose to support sensory rich, meaningful, fun and educational visits is the theme of our fifth annual Let Nature Feed Your Senses conference. Speakers include Jim Burt, Programme Manager, Outdoor Learning at Natural England and Sarah Giles, Development Manager at Farm Ability. A particular focus of the day will be looking at practical case study examples of how farmers have found creative solutions to the funding challenge. We will be exploring a number of different models that are helping farmers to deliver great visits that make sense for their businesses.

Read more here

 

 


 

Countryside Classroom, building a brand new sector-wide educational resource

BFBCLEAF are proud partners of the Countryside Classroom - a sector-wide collaboration promoting learning about food, farming and the countryside both in the natural environment and in the classroom. We are working together with other partner organisations to develop a new online educational resource for anyone involved in the education of pupils across the curriculum.

Read more here

 

 

 


 

Open Farm Sunday one month on: officially another record breaking year

BFBCLEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), the organisers of Open Farm Sunday confirm that 2014 was officially a record breaker - with increased visitor numbers, and greater reach across Britain than ever before. Since 8th June, LEAF has been reviewing feedback from both farmers and visitors and, one month on, is delighted to announce that just over 207,000 visitors visited a farm on Open Farm Sunday – a 3% increase on last year’s numbers.

375 farms opened up across every corner of the UK – from Britain’s most southerly mainland farm on The Lizard in Cornwall to the most northerly on the Orkney Islands. Some farmers reported that more visitors were travelling further out of urban areas to visit a farm, and were pleased to see a real willingness to learn about farming and food production.

The full press release can be downloaded here

 


 

Frogmary Green Farm Joins Network of LEAF Demonstration Farms

BFBCFrogmary Green Farm has become the latest farm to join LEAF’s nationwide network of LEAF Demonstration Farms. It joins over 40 other farms across the country set up to showcase the very best of sustainable farming practices.

Based on the edge of South Petherton in Somerset, Frogmary Green Farm is a 500 acre poultry and arable farm, run by Nick and Claire Bragg. The farm also grows potatoes for supermarkets, maize and grass for fodder. Frogmary Green Farm joined LEAF in 2008 and became LEAF Marque certified in 2013.

The full press release can be downloaded here

 


 

Open Farm Sunday one month on: officially another record breaking year

BFBCLEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), the organisers of Open Farm Sunday confirm that 2014 was officially a record breaker - with increased visitor numbers, and greater reach across Britain than ever before. Since 8th June, LEAF has been reviewing feedback from both farmers and visitors and, one month on, is delighted to announce that just over 207,000 visitors visited a farm on Open Farm Sunday – a 3% increase on last year’s numbers.

375 farms opened up across every corner of the UK – from Britain’s most southerly mainland farm on The Lizard in Cornwall to the most northerly on the Orkney Islands. Some farmers reported that more visitors were travelling further out of urban areas to visit a farm, and were pleased to see a real willingness to learn about farming and food production.

The full press release can be downloaded here