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Countess of Wessex named New Honorary President of LEAF

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has named HRH The Countess of Wessex as its new Honorary President. The organisation held its 25th Anniversary Dinner at The Crystal in London Wednesday evening. The Countess is taking over the position from the Baroness Hazel Byford DBE DL. Sophie will work with the organisation to meet its five-year plan to become the: “Leading global organisation delivering more sustainable food and farming.”

LEAF works within many sectors of society from farmers to the food industry and scientists to consumers. This is done in order to ‘inspire and enable’ ‘sustainable’ farming that engages local communities, is prosperous, and enriches the environment. It also utilises Integrated Farm Management (IFM) practises. IFM is a whole business model approach that utilises modern technology along with traditional methods to deliver these outcomes.

There is a LEAF Marque in place in order to recognise sustainably farmed products grown using IFM principles. These include: “soil and water management, pollution control, crop health, animal welfare, community engagement, energy efficiency and landscape and nature conservation.” Business with the LEAF Marque is assessed independently and based on these IFM principles. The LEAF Demonstration Farms, through organised visits, are able to demonstrate the benefits of using IFM principles to many in society. In particular, these are to farmers, the industry and political awareness of sustainable farming.

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

He continued, “With our ambitious five-year strategy looking to stretch our impact and work, we are pleased to be having the support of The Countess to bring in new ideas, especially in our outreach work with communities and people, in building a better understanding of food
farming and healthy lifestyles.”

Baroness Hazel Byford, LEAF’s former President, added: “I have greatly enjoyed my time working so closely with LEAF and seeing it grow from strength to strength, both here in the UK and in the wider international world. I look forward to continuing as an ambassador for LEAF’s valuable work. I wish my successor every success in her role as Honorary President during this changing and exciting time for our farming industry.”

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