A Year in Review

Download A Year in Review

Preview text

A Year In Review

Who We Are
LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) – the leading organisation delivering more sustainable
food and farming
Our Vision
A world that is farming, eating and living sustainably
Our Mission
To inspire and enable sustainable farming that is prosperous, enriches the environment and
engages local communities
Our Work
We work to develop and promote Integrated Farm Management in three core pillars:
• Facilitating knowledge generation and exchange • Developing market opportunities through LEAF Marque • Engaging the public in sustainable food and farming 2

From the Honorary President
Since I became Honorary President, I have been hugely impressed with the range and extent of the work of LEAF in championing more sustainable food and farming.
I was delighted to visit a number of their exemplary Demonstration Farms to see how LEAF’s Integrated Farm Management operates on the ground and to learn more about the impact it is making to the economic performance, environmental quality and social health of farms. Farmers are at the heart of all that LEAF delivers and it was a privilege to speak with some of its Demonstration Farmers directly about how they are implementing IFM, their work around knowledge exchange and how LEAF Marque certification is helping them communicate their sustainable farming credentials.
I was also pleased to visit a LEAF Open Farm Sunday event and to see first hand the difference it is making to increasing people’s understanding of where their food comes from and how it is produced.
As the world becomes increasingly digitalised, young people in particular are moving further away from experiencing and understanding farming and the natural world. I was very interested to learn about the practical and imaginative ideas LEAF is developing in this area at their Education and Public Engagement conference. LEAF’s drive and vision in leading a collaborative approach within the farming industry to improve young people’s understanding and appreciation of farming is very exciting. Furthermore, LEAF’s merger with FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) will strengthen its impact, both nationally and regionally, as the interface between agriculture and schools.
I very much look forward to continuing to support LEAF in its work to inspire and empower farmers on their journey to more sustainable farming.

Tailored nutrient management from Yara
Reduce unit cost of production through increased yield and quality whilst improving the crops natural defence against disease.
Yara - your first choice for quality fertilizers & application advice
@Yara_UK f Yara UK Ltd
[email protected] www www.yara.co.uk

From the Chairman
2017 has been a very productive year for LEAF, with the merger with FACE, the very good news that Sophie, Countess of Wessex accepted to become our new Honorary President, and the continual work to promote sustainable agriculture and raise awareness among the consuming public. My thanks go to Caroline Drummond and all her very active team for raising the profile and values of LEAF still further. The whole country, or should I say, our politicians and the media, have been consumed by Brexit, and LEAF has been working hard to put over our strong messages to government. Undoubtedly, there are exciting and challenging times ahead as we prepare for reduction in support levels, a greater emphasis on environmental improvement, hopefully simplification and earned recognition. Focusing on what the market requires and producing it to the highest possible standard is a given for those LEAF Marque producers seeking market access and higher rewards. Producing to this standard should be the goal of many more if they are to survive and thrive. The prospect of expanding export markets is an exciting one, but to succeed we have to be better than other exporting countries; with LEAF Marque and our robust recognition through our ISEAL full membership, LEAF members have a great head start. The retail market is changing fast and the ritual of wheeling a trolley up and down the
supermarke3t 4aisles may become a relic of the past as the giant e-commerce companies
seek to chan3ge2our buying habits. We should be looking for opportunity in this - a link online
could be as effective, if not more, than trying to get a label on a pack or message on a retail shelf. So, let us, with our experience and knowledge of Integrated Farm Management, embrace life post Brexit with enthusiasm and the determination to succeed. Finally, I have greatly enjoyed my time as LEAF Chairman. We have seen many changes and I am proud to be handing over the baton to Philip Wynn with LEAF in good heart and fit for the future challenges that lie ahead.
Stephen Fell, MRICS FRAgS

From the Chief Executive

Throughout 2017, LEAF continued to drive forward a visionary approach to delivering more sustainable farming through Integrated Farm Management and in June, we merged with education charity, FACE (Farming and Countryside Education). In bringing the skills of both organisations together, we have significantly enhanced our capability to engage, influence and inspire young people about farming, food production and the environment. Our aim is to ensure that every child has had an opportunity to understand more about how food is produced and potentially consider a career in this critical sector.
We saw another successful LEAF Open Farm Sunday and our thanks to all the farmers, helpers and visitors who took part in this wonderful event. Over the last 12 years, some 2.1 million people have visited a farm to learn about the story behind their food. As we prepare to exit the EU, building better public trust and understanding of farming has never been more critical; LEAF Open Farm Sunday provides the perfect platform for farmers to shine a light on what they deliver.
We have seen the continued growth of LEAF Marque and carried out independent research which demonstrated its economic, environmental and social benefits. We also continued to build on our knowledge exchange activities through the LEAF Network and are extremely grateful to all of them for their commitment and vision.
Finally, a huge thank you to Stephen Fell, who steps down as our Chairman at the end of this year, after eight years at the helm. He has been a tremendous inspiration to so many of us and has driven forward a hugely ambitious strategic plan. We are delighted to welcome Philip Wynn who has worked with us since the organisation began; I know he will be very active in supporting LEAF as we move forward.
The activities outlined in this report, are the result of the hard work and commitment of the wonderful LEAF team and all the farmers we work with. My thanks to each and every one of them. I am immensely proud of what we are achieving and look forward to working with you all over the coming year.
Caroline Drummond, MBE



The year at a glance
LEAF Marque Summit 2017
Spring 2017
The beginning of 2017 saw the start of our Horizon 2020 projects, working to build the demonstration, technical capability and reach of Integrated Farm Management. In early January, we were delighted to welcome colleagues from the University of Valencia, with LEAF staff making return visits later in the year. This year’s LEAF Marque Summit, kindly hosted by Marks and Spencers at which we launched our fifth Global Impacts Report, brought together the food industry, farmers, policy makers and scientists to explore whether the food chain is doing enough to market its own sustainability achievements. Nearly a hundred delegates attended the event and we were delighted to be joined by Jonathon Porritt, environmentalist and Director, Forum for the Future, who paid tribute to LEAF’s role over the last 25 years in moving forward the sustainable farming debate. Raising public awareness of LEAF Marque was a key driver in our new ‘Look for LEAF Marque’ social media campaign which started early in 2017. Throughout the year, we showcased seasonal LEAF Marque products through a range of eyecatching videos and used the power of social media to get people really engaged with LEAF Marque and what it stands for. 8

Summer 2016
Our second IFM conference took place in May. Researchers from LEAF’s Innovation Centres highlighted some of the latest advances in technology and LEAF Demonstration Farmers set out how this technology translates at a practical farming level. It was a very informative day, providing important insight into how technological advances are helping to shape the future potential of IFM.
In May, E W Davies Farms Ltd became the latest farm to be launched as a LEAF Demonstration Farm, joining over 35 farms set up to showcase the very best of sustainable farming practices. In particular, we were delighted to welcome our Honorary President, HRH The Countess of Wessex, to Overbury Enterprises where she learnt more about the work of our LEAF Network and how they implement IFM.
Once again, the whole farming industry united for this year’s LEAF Open Farm Sunday, with farms opening through the UK and record numbers of visitors learning more about farming and food production. A total of 358 farms opened and welcomed 272,700 visitors with an increasing social media reach - it really was a spectacular day.
We attended the Cereals event in June and were proud to launch the results of an independent research study, carried out by the Countryside and Community Research Institute, highlighting the added value benefits of being LEAF Marque certified.

Speakers from LEAF IFM conference 2017
HRH visiting Overbury Enterprises
E W Davies Farms launched as a LEAF Demonstration Farm
George Eustice MP meets LEAF at Cereals 2017


The year at a glance

HRH joins LEAF Education and Public Engagement Conference

Engaging teenagers in food and farming at the LEAF Education and Public Engagement Conference

Autumn 2017

Following LEAF’s merger with FACE at the end of June, we were delighted to welcome Carl Edwards as our new Director, Education and Public Engagement. As we move forward with FACE, we will look to build on their expertise in bringing agriculture into schools and broaden our reach and impact.

‘Feeding Fertile Minds’ was the title of our second Education and Public Engagement conference, which explored practical and effective solutions to better engage teenagers with farming, food and the natural environment. LEAF’s Honorary President, HRH The Countess of Wessex joined over a hundred delegates and discussed with speakers what needs to be done to inspire young people and mobilise the food and farming industry.

LEAF merges with FACE (Farming and Countryside Education)

LEAF Marque was hitting the TV screens and social media throughout the autumn, thanks to a high-profile TV advertising campaign run by Waitrose which was also supported by print adverts and videos. Thousands of people got the chance to learn about what the LEAF Marque means and what it delivers.


LEAF Network spring event 2017

Winter 2017
Growing LEAF Marque in the livestock sector is a key priority and we were delighted that the Jersey Government has implemented LEAF Marque certification as part of the Island’s new Rural Economy Strategy. The LEAF technical team visited Jersey to train farmers, discuss LEAF Marque requirements and offer advice in soil management, pollution control, animal husbandry, energy efficiency and nature conservation.

The first meeting of the newly formed Education and Public Engagement Strategy Development Committee took place, bringing together inspirational minds in the education, communication and farming sectors, including two former FACE Trustees – Ian Pigott and Kathy Winrow.
Our LEAF Network of Demonstration Farms and Innovation Centres, are key to our knowledge exchange activities. In December, they came together for the Winter LEAF Network event, which was held in Shropshire and included tours, discussion and lots of opportunities for sharing new ideas around IFM.

The year ended on a particularly high note, with LEAF Chief Executive, Caroline Drummond winning the Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture award at the British Farming Awards, in recognition of her achievements and influence on the industry throughout her career and LEAF’s growing voice.

Caroline Drummond receives Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture award

Our year in numbers

Countries across the world have LEAF Marque
certified businesses

hectares of crop on LEAF Marque certified businesses across the world

1,013 LEAF Marque
certified businesses across the globe

34% of UK fruit and
vegetables being grown on LEAF Marque certified businesses

Demonstration Farms and
Innovation Centres showing sustainable
farming in action


272,700 visitors to LEAF
Open Farm Sunday 2017

358 farms opened their
gates for this year’s LEAF Open Farm Sunday supported by
7,500 friends and
family– a huge thank you to all of them

LEAF Marque Delivering...
Independent research study carried out by the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) on the benefits of LEAF Marque certification.

63% reported LEAF
Marque certification had helped improve soil condition

of farmers, reported LEAF Marque certification had helped
secure access to new market opportunities

66% of farmers
reported increased biodiversity

extra income as a result of LEAF Marque certification
condition 13

Knowledge Exchange

Facilitating knowledge generation and exchange through our network of Demonstration Farms and Innovation Centres, farm business management tools, technical events and resources.

Sharing best practice in sustainable farming LEAF IFM Conference 2017 LEAF Network spring event at JSR Farms Ltd

Enabling and inspiring farmers to farm more sustainably through Integrated Farm Management underpins all LEAF’s technical activities. We provide farmers with access to cutting-edge insight and best practice to help them implement change and develop more resilient businesses.
This year’s IFM Conference, sponsored by Bayer and held at Fera, brought together farmers, scientists, technologists and educationalists to look at developing trends in IFM technology and its potential to address future challenges. Throughout the year, we have also worked in partnership with organisations including NFU, AHDB, ARTIS and as part of the Sustainable Intensification Platform (SIP), to deliver technical events around Integrated Farm Management.
Critical to the delivery of more sustainable farming is LEAF’s Network of Demonstration Farms and Innovation Centres. We have worked with a number of them during the year on joint projects and events focusing on key areas of Integrated Farm Management. This year’s LEAF Network events included visits to Stockbridge Technology Centre, JSR Farms Ltd, ABP Ellesmere and Grosvenor Farms. Both events were well attended with lots of ideas sharing and discussion.


Building the demonstration, technical capability and reach of IFM has been further strengthened this year with LEAF’s involvement in four Horizon 2020 research projects. A range of topics are being explored ranging from on-farm crop diversification strategies and the improved resilience of crops to combined water and nutrient stress. Another project is looking at on-farm demonstration activities throughout Europe and strategies to help maximise their effectiveness and reach, including virtual demonstration farms. As part of our ongoing focus to strengthen LEAF’s offer in the livestock sector, at the start of the year we met with farmers, researchers and technical specialists to consider priority areas. As part of this ongoing work, we have developed new areas within the LEAF Sustainable Farming Review and the LEAF Marque Standard to better support the implementation of IFM on livestock farms.
Key highlights in 2017
• LEAF continues to be an active partner in a number of industry-wide collaborations including Innovative Farmers, Agricology, the Campaign for the Farmed Environment and the Jordans Farm Partnership
• Our second IFM conference titled ‘Technology and Progression in IFM’ explored developing trends in IFM
• E W Davies Farms Ltd was launched as a LEAF Demonstration Farm to showcase sustainable farming practices delivered through IFM
• Programme of LEAF member discussion groups held in the East Midlands to promote knowledge sharing and discussion
• As the SIP (Sustainable Intensification Research Platform) drew to a close at the end of 2017, project partners reflected on outcomes and next steps at a number of workshops and a three-day conference
• Sharing best practice through representation at national and local conferences.

Market Opportunities
Farmers across the world are continuing to make important sustainability commitments and are choosing to realise them through LEAF Marque certification.
We have seen strong and steady progress in the number of farm businesses becoming LEAF Marque certified. Our global reach now extends to some 36 countries, representing 367,395 hectares of crop. In the UK, growth has been particularly apparent in the horticulture sector with an impressive 34% of all fruit and vegetables being grown on LEAF Marque certified businesses. Whilst we continue to make significant impact in the arable and horticulture sectors, we have focused this year on strengthening our reach in the meat and dairy sectors which have been reflected in changes to the LEAF Marque Standard and LEAF Sustainable Farming Review. Providing independent evaluation of the impact of LEAF Marque certification is a core part of our ISEAL (International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling) requirements. In June, we revealed the results of an independent study, carried out by The Countryside and Community Research Institute, which showed that LEAF Marque certification delivers tangible and significant economic, environmental and social benefits. Work to review and develop the LEAF Marque Standard has continued throughout the year. We launched an updated LEAF Marque Standard and also refreshed our LEAF Marque training programme, as well as holding a stakeholder workshop bringing together key individuals to develop the shape and direction of LEAF Marque over the next 10 years. 16

Together with this year’s LEAF Marque Summit, both events provided opportunities for discussion on maintaining LEAF Marque’s position as the foremost indicator of sustainable farming. Industry partnerships continue to develop, most notably with Waitrose, M&S, Jordans, Florette, Wyke Farms and the Jersey Government, who are requiring their dairy and arable farmers to become LEAF Marque certified as part of the Island’s new rural support scheme.
Key highlights in 2017 • Continual development of the LEAF Marque assurance system, underpinned
by guidance from ISEAL, to ensure it is efficient, inclusive, collaborative and effective • Our fifth global impacts report shows a significant growth in the amount of land across the globe growing to LEAF Marque standards • Continual development of the LEAF Marque Standard to ensure it remains transparent and robust, with a particular focus on the livestock sector • The launch of an independent research study shows LEAF Marque certification delivers tangible economic, environmental and social benefits.

TThhaannkk yyoouu......

Preparing to load PDF file. please wait...

0 of 0
A Year in Review