LEAF marque brings more producers on board

Kathryn Green, LEAF sustainability manager.

Kathryn Green, LEAF sustainability manager. - Credit: Archant

A food marque promoting sustainable practices in agriculture is celebrating a further consolidation of its position across a range of sectors.

Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF), which launched its fifth Global Impacts Report at this week’s LEAF Marque Summit, said it was continuing to consolidate its strong position in the cereals and horticulture sectors and that progress was being made in the livestock sector, in which far fewer farmers participate.

The total number of LEAF Marque businesses in all sectors now totals 1,013 covering 367,395 hectares. Cereals and horticulture remain the two largest sectors with cereals representing 53% of the total LEAF Marque crop area, or 194,441, which is up 8%, while horticulture represents 41% of the total, or 152,033 ha – up 5%.

Around 24% more livestock and poultry businesses are now rearing animals as LEAF Marque, with 596,620 animals reared to the standard.

In the fresh produce sector, LEAF Marque has further consolidated its strong position, with 1 in 3 hectares of UK fruit and vegetables grown to LEAF Marque Standard.

Sustainability manager Kathryn Green said they were “immensely proud” of the impact LEAF Marque growers across the world are making to delivering more sustainable food and farming.

“The results highlighted in our latest Global Impacts Report show continued improvements in how our producers are managing their soil and water, conserving energy, protecting their crops, enhancing wildlife habitats and reaching out to their local communities,” she said.

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“This progress is hugely encouraging but there is much scope for expansion, particularly within the livestock and dairy sectors.”

The report also shows how farms are following the sustainable farming practices of LEAF’s Integrated Farm Management (IFM).

All LEAF Marque certified businesses have a Farm Environmental Policy, with one in three recording Soil Organic Matter, and all have Landscape and Nature Conservation and Enhancement Plan.

Half of businesses (49%) are carrying out waste management best practice, while 44% have some form of renewable energy generation on farm.