New study demonstrates value of certification

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LINKING Environment And Farming (LEAF) has published findings from a report showing the value of LEAF Marque certification in developing and promoting more sustainable farming and food systems across the globe. 

The new independent study, carried out by Mike Read Associates, was timed to coincide with the launch of LEAF’s new [email protected] campaign, which celebrates the organisation's landmark 30th anniversary. [email protected] is an extensive, year-long programme of activities, events and initiatives highlighting LEAF’s achievements, paying tribute to the people and organisations it has worked with and setting out its future vision for developing and promoting more climate positive global farming and food systems.

The study sets out ways in which LEAF Marque contributes to the broader enabling environment of LEAF’s work, including:
o    Offering a robust, holistic core to farmers’ improvements, with third party assurance
o    Helping support farmers’ position and respect with retailers
o    Improving farm biodiversity, beauty and public image
o    Providing a community of like-minded farmers to learn from each other
o    Supporting risk and reputation management
o    Quantification and independent verification of continuous improvement 
o    Increasing societal awareness of sustainable food production 

There were also a number of key learnings, including growing recognition of the LEAF Marque logo and what it means, building on its carbon reduction offer, extending its range of support tools and expanding LEAF Marque’s reach. 

LEAF Marque Chairman, Tom Green, said: “This is a vital time for sustainable farming. Farmers are on the front line of climate change solutions – reducing carbon emissions, building healthier and more productive soils, delivering better air and water quality and enhancing biodiversity.

"The findings of this study show that LEAF Marque certification is a powerful driver for change and provides an excellent route towards meeting the objectives of the 25-year Environment Strategy. LEAF Marque also contributes to a number of Sustainable Development Goals and, in the light of post-Brexit negotiations, it clearly demonstrates the ‘public good’ provided by certified farmers and growers. We are hugely encouraged by the conclusions of this study and the recognition it gives to the ever-increasing reach and impact of LEAF Marque, both in the UK and worldwide.   There is no doubt that LEAF Marque certification is bringing about real and lasting change in more sustainable and climate smart food production.”  

Assurance Manager at LEAF, Jennifer Clark, added: “Overwhelmingly, its message is one of transformation and positive change.  By working with farmers to reward and incentivise change, and with retailers and consumers to ensure a market for environmentally sustainable food, we are uniquely positioned to link landscape health with people’s lives and plates.”

In March, LEAF that nearly half (45%) of the UK’s fruit and vegetables are grown by LEAF Marque certified businesses. 

To find out more about the LEAF independent evaluation, click here

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