LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has set a new target for 85% of all UK fruit and vegetables to be grown more sustainably. The target will see the amount of UK fresh produce grown by LEAF Marque certified businesses almost doubling within the next five years.
LEAF, which was founded in 1991, is committed to working with farmers, retailers, and brands across the food supply chain to drive the delivery of more regenerative, nature-based farming and achieve this ambitious goal of 85%. Meeting this target will significantly contribute to positive action to combat climate change.
Working towards the target will further enhance the impact of the LEAF Marque, a global environmental assurance system, awarded to farms that deliver significant environmental achievements against LEAF’s standards of sustainable farming practices.
“LEAF Marque growers are already tackling climate change through reducing carbon emissions, building healthier and more resilient soils, delivering better air and water quality, and enhancing biodiversity. This is why we are committed to working across the food supply chain over the next five years to see 85% of UK-grown fruit and vegetables being grown by LEAF Marque certified businesses,” said Caroline Drummond MBE, LEAF Chief Executive.
Currently, 39% of the 524 LEAF Marque farmers in Britain use a carbon footprint tool, 42% are recording soil organic matter, and 67% use one or more types of renewable energy generation on-farm. A further 83% manage reservoirs for water quality, safety, and wildlife, and 84% regularly monitor animal welfare indicators.
Caroline Drummond concluded: “Scaling up the reach and impact of all our work will require us to develop deeper, extended business partnerships and new business models. Our pledge to drive a more climate-positive fresh produce sector in the UK, evidenced through LEAF Marque, feeds into our wider 10-year strategy to raise the ‘sustainability bar’ across all farming sectors.”