Tag Archives: LEAF’s Water Management Tool

President’s Event 2011 Round Up

LEAF’s President’s Event 2011 presented a fantastic line up of speakers from across the food and farming industry (even the brewing industry, actually!) and was attended by 130 delegates at HSBC Tower, Canary Wharf London.

Kicking off the day were the words of Allan Wilkinson, HSBC Head of Agriculture who spoke on CAP reform, “I have always been an admirer of LEAF – I think your time is now, particularly with CAP reform”.

LEAF Chairman, Stephen Fell (above), followed again on CAP reform but also spoke with real passion on taking LEAF forward. Keynote speaker Professor Sir David Baulcombe, then explained about the growing opportunities
for plant genetics to meet the needs of a growing population. His talk created quite a stir among the audience and questions were mainly focused on the topic of genetics during discussions. Sir David was clear in stating that “new genetics have a place in sustainable agriculture”.

Andrew Burgess, Director of Agriculture, Produce World, then gave an inspiring presentation on what LEAF means to his business. But it was the discussions between himself, Professor Sir David Baulcombe and Stephen Fell on the topic of genetics which created the most stir, with calls for boldness but rigorous testing going forward.

Following a short coffee break, Dr Chris Brown, Head of Ethical and Sustainable sourcing at Asda, took to the stage and gave a fascinating insight into consumer attitudes to sustainable food.

Paul Dove of Molson Coors, outlined the company’s commitments behind their slogan “without great water, we can’t make great beer”, which has led to a strong involvement in the development of LEAF’s Water Management Tool. The tool was then introduced in more detail by Dr Lousie Manning, and then formally launched by Farming Minister, Jim Paice MP.

Speaking on the tool, Mr Paice said, “We’ve now got, with the launch of this instrument, a practical and realistic tool available to farmers, which promotes more sustainable farming practices which is also at the heart of the government’s approach”.

The Rt Hon Michael Jack then gave closing remarks before lunch, which was introduced by Tamsin Gane of Sodexo.

We would like to say a huge thank you to our fantastic host and President, Baroness Hazel Byford, and thank all to everyone who spoke and attended the event. For those of you who did not, we will be releasing some videos (one below more to come on our YouTube channel) from the event over the coming weeks, and you can catch up with some of the photos from the day in the gallery below.

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The Importance of Water Management

This post is by Louise Manning on LEAF’s Water Management Tool, which will be launched at our upcoming President’s Event next week

Water, together with soil, are the underpinning assets of any land based business. Access to water is becoming increasingly important for farmers especially when their farm businesses incorporate irrigated rather than rain-fed farm enterprises. The trend towards reducing diffuse water pollution and also adopting environmental schemes, such as the Higher Level Scheme, has also been a driver towards spring planting where soil moisture content is critical.

Louise Manning ... "Access to water is becoming increasingly important for farmers"

With this in mind, LEAF has developed its Water Management Tool to assist farmers to consider their current practices in managing water as a resource and whether there are opportunities to reduce their environmental footprint, drive business opportunities and save money at the same time. Many of these measures are simple, such as installing water meters or checking for leaks. Others are more complex so the tool is of use to businesses both at the start of considering their water use and those who already have more sophisticated controls in place.

LEAF’s Water Management Tool allows farmers, not only to measure their business water footprint in terms of water used per tonne of finished product, but also the colour spectrum of their water footprint in terms of rainwater stored in the soil as moisture (green water), surface and ground water (blue water) and reused or recycled water (grey water). The quality of the water the business is using in terms of chemical and microbiological standards will also affect the types of crops that can be grown on the farm and ultimately the productive and financial capacity of the business.

About the Author

Dr Louise Manning has a PhD in global food production and is a 2007 Nuffield Scholar. Her scholarship study was on global water policy and its impact on food production. Louise has worked in the food supply chain for twenty five years. Louise can be contacted at louise.manning@rac.ac.uk

Valuing Resources: why do we think it’s so important?

The team here at LEAF have been working hard over the last few months to organise our annual President’s Event. It’s all come together and we’ve got a fantastic line up of speakers. In fact, it’s come together so well that there are a limited number of spaces left already!

The theme of the event is ‘Valuing Resources’ and all the speakers will be talking around this theme. The ‘Valuing Resources’ theme has appeared a couple of times already this year with the launch of our ‘Simply Sustainable Soils’ guide and our new Water Management Tool , set to be launched at the event. It’s also been a recurring theme in Caroline Drummond’s blog posts and our “LEAF Talks…” events.

So, why do we think it’s so important? Ensuring world food security in light of changing demands and the impact of climate change may be some of the biggest challenges facing society this century, and we think the efficient use of the world’s resources are a big part of this. Through our popular ‘Simply Sustainable Soils‘ guide we’ve been helping many farmers manage their soil more efficiently and with the launch of our Water Management Tool happening in just a few weeks, we’re really helping farmers gear up to manage their resources more effectively.

Tackling these issues at our President’s Event on 2nd November will be; keynote speaker, Professor Sir David Baulcombe of the University of Cambridge, who will speak on the growing opportunity for plant genetics to address the challenges of sustainability. With other speakers including Allan Wilkinson, Head of Agriculture at HSBC Bank, Andrew Burgess, Director at Produce World, Chris Brown, Head of Ethical and Sustainable sourcing at Asda, Paul Dove, Technical Director at Molson Coors Brewing Company and the Rt Hon Michael Jack, Food and Agriculture Advisor to HSBC Bank.

If you would like to book one of the limited spaces for our President’s Event on the 2nd November 2011, Canary Wharf, London, please see our website here [Note: all places are now filled for LEAF’s President’s Event 2011 and we now have a waiting list, please get in touch with Evelyn See at LEAF for more information].