Author Archives: Jeremyboxall

It’s not just certification.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve become associate members of ISEAL!  You may not have heard of ISEAL before, so here to explain what ISEAL is and why we are very proud to become an associate member is Jeremy Boxall, our Commercial Manager.

Since 2003, LEAF has been setting standards known as the LEAF Marque, which represent sustainable farming.  If the farm meets the standard then they are certified, this is certification.  But the LEAF Marque is about much more than just certification.

LEAFMarque

The LEAF Marque logo

ISEAL membership to us, is like certification to a farmer.  If you’re a farmer and your farm is LEAF Marque certified it has to be up to the standard.  ISEAL drives us to make our standards systems up to the mark, in the same way our standards drive farm businesses to be more sustainable.  In essence, it is about continuous improvement, so as new associate members, we’re working towards ISEAL’s Codes.

Ultimately, we’re about delivering a positive change.  Specifically, this is working towards our vision of ‘a world that is farming, eating and living sustainably’.  ISEAL has a set of Credibility Principles and integrating these into our way of working means that we’ll be more successful in delivering a positive impact at farm level:

  1. Sustainability – Standards scheme owners clearly define and communicate their sustainability objectives and approach to achieving them. They make decisions that best advance these objectives.
  2. Improvement – Standards scheme owners seek to understand their impacts and measure and demonstrate progress towards their intended outcomes. They regularly integrate learning and encourage innovation to increase benefits to people and the environment.
  3. Relevance – Standards are fit for purpose. They address the most significant sustainability impacts of a product, process, business or service; only include requirements that contribute to their objectives; reflect best scientific understanding and relevant international norms; and are adapted where necessary to local conditions.
  4. Rigour – All components of a standards system are structured to deliver quality outcomes. In particular, standards are set at a performance level that results in measurable progress towards the scheme’s sustainability objectives, while assessments of compliance provide an accurate picture of whether an entity meets the standard’s requirements.
  5. Engagement – Standard-setters engage a balanced and representative group of stakeholders in standards development. Standards systems provide meaningful and accessible opportunities to participate in governance, assurance and monitoring and evaluation. They empower stakeholders with fair mechanisms to resolve complaints.
  6. Impartiality – Standards systems identify and mitigate conflicts of interest throughout their operations, particularly in the assurance process and in governance.  Transparency, accessibility and balanced representation contribute to impartiality.
  7. Transparency – Standards systems make relevant information freely available about the development and content of the standard, how the system is governed, who is evaluated and under what process, impact information and the various ways in which stakeholders can engage.
  8. Accessibility – To reduce barriers to implementation, standards systems minimise costs and overly burdensome requirements. They facilitate access to information about meeting the standard, training, and financial resources to build capacity throughout supply chains and for actors within the standards system.
  9. Truthfulness – Claims and communications made by actors within standards systems and by certified entities about the benefits or impacts that derive from the system or from the purchase or use of a certified product or service are verifiable, not misleading, and enable an informed choice.
  10. Efficiency – Standards systems refer to or collaborate with other credible schemes to improve consistency and efficiency in standards content and operating practices. They improve their viability through the application of sound revenue models and organisational management strategies.

This all ensures that we’re going in the right direction and that the work we do has the maximum impact. It’s not just certification.

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An African Open Farm Sunday

This post is by Anthony Goggin, LEAF Marque Technical Manager.


I have recently returned from sunny Sub Saharan Africa where I helped with LEAF’s first ever African LEAF Open Farm Sunday in Kenya! Continue reading

LEAF’s Comments on the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) welcomed the publication yesterday (June 7) of the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP).  “The first on the natural environment for over 20 years, it places the value of nature at the centre of the choices our nation must take”, stated the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, “to enhance our environment, economic growth and personal wellbeing.”

Speaking after the launch, Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive congratulated the government on drawing together the many and varied comments from over 1500 submissions to the consultation into one document, addressing one common aim – mainstreaming the value of nature across our society. Continue reading

LEAF’s statement on the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) research funded by Defra

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) welcomes the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) funded by Defra. It shows that farmers who manage 75% of the land in the UK are vital in the delivery of more than just food and that the natural environment contributes to the economic and social prosperity of the countryside. Continue reading

Sodexo Flies the LEAF Flag!

imageHundreds of schools, prisons, hospitals and army barracks up and down the UK may soon be serving up LEAF Marque food! Sodexo, one of the largest catering companies in the UK and Ireland have signed up to LEAF as part of their sustainability strategy and will be encouraging all their suppliers to become LEAF Marque accredited. Continue reading

Welcome to LEAF’s Blog!

Welcome to LEAF's Blog

Welcome to LEAF’s Blog!

At LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) we’re all about sustainable agriculture, and we interact with all parts of the food chain, from farmers right through to consumers.

As we do so much we’ve split up our blog into a number of categories, with insights from LEAF staff, members and occasionally we might let Stephen Fell, our Chairman, have a go! We’ve listed our categories here to give you an idea of what to expect over the coming months (comments will be more than welcome!).

To keep updated with the latest news, views and events subscribe to our monthly Ebrief, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and subscribe to the blog.

To find out more about LEAF and the work we do take a look at our website.

We welcome articles for our blog from any of our members, let us know what you’re up to by email, or send us a tweet.