Since its launch in 2003, LEAF (Linking Environment and Farm) Marque has provided a credible, independent, third-party mechanism recognising and rewarding good sustainable farming practice in the marketplace.
Safeguarding Precious Natural Resources
Building Trust Through Traceability
Driving Sustainable Farming
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What Is LEAF Marque?
LEAF Marque is a leading global assurance system recognising more sustainably farmed products.
LEAF delivers sustainable food and farming by developing and promoting Integrated Farm Management (IFM) – a whole farm business approach that delivers more sustainable farming. Modern technology and traditional methods are used with the goal of delivering a prosperous farming that enriches the environment and engages local communities.
A farm business managed to IFM principles will demonstrate site-specific and continuous improvement across the whole farm including: Organisation and Planning, Soil Management and Fertility, Crop Health and Protection, Pollution Control and By-Product Management, Animal Husbandry, Energy Efficiency, Water Management, Landscape and Nature Conservation and Community Engagement.
LEAF Education works to engage, inspire and motivate through experiential learning, in order to equip future generations with balanced and informed insight into food production, farming and the environment. Engaging people in farming and food production is vital to the future of the agricultural industry as well as for their own health and wellbeing. Strengthening connections with farming can help promote healthier lifestyles, drive demand for sustainably produced food, nurture an interest in the natural world and help build a sense of personal responsibility in protecting it.
LEAF Education works across the education, farming and food sectors to inspire, engage and mobilise farmers and teachers about the value of farming in a learning context. They provide training and resources for teachers and help farmers navigate the world of education and support them in working with schools.
LEAF Demonstration Farms are working, commercial farms practising Integrated Farm Management (IFM). LEAF Demonstration Farmers communicate, discuss and demonstrate IFM best practice amongst other farmers and also play a critical role in promoting sustainable farming to wider groups such as politicians, industry and students.
The climate and ecosystem emergency is one of the biggest challenges of our time.
With the UK government committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by
at least 80% by 2050 and global targets set by the UN at net zero CO2 emissions
by 2050, global agriculture is under an intense spotlight – not only in terms of its
environmental impact but as part of the solution. LEAF Marque certification offers a powerful tool to accelerate incremental improvements at an individual farmer level, which collectively, are driving profound reforms in food production. LEAF Marque farmers and growers are making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by:
- Minimising energy use, reducing waste, recycling products and taking proactive steps to boost biodiversity
- Collecting rainwater for irrigation and recycling water by filtering and purifying with UV light
- Measuring the organic matter status of their soils
- Diversifying into renewable energy, producing electricity, heat and transport fuels
- Implementing measures to optimise the health and welfare of their livestock
- Investing time in building closer and richer links with their local communities
LEAF Marque certification, built around the whole farm system of Integrated Farm
Management, is a powerful catalyst for change. By working with farmers to reward and incentivise change, and with retailers and consumers to ensure a market for environmentally sustainable food, we are uniquely positioned to link landscape health with people’s lives and plates.
As consumers increasingly want to know where their food comes from and its environmental credentials, achieving more sustainable farming is a collective responsibility involving the entire food supply chain – farmers, suppliers, processors, retailers and consumers. It is a shared goal and a shared responsibility. LEAF has long established partnerships with retailers, independent food brands and grower groups such as Waitrose who have supported LEAF Marque since its inception in 2006 and all their UK produced fruit and vegetables are LEAF Marque certified.
Following an extensive two-year public consultation, involving a broad range of
stakeholders, LEAF Marque Standard V16.0 has now been published with audits effective 1 April 2023. Important revisions are made to raise the bar on key sustainable farming issues like greenhouse gases, carbon sequestration and carbon footprinting.
We continue to see a growing number of retailers recognising the power of LEAF Marque in supporting their sustainability goals. Following Waitrose’s long-term commitment and Tesco’s adoption of LEAF Marque at the end of 2021, Lidl announced that it will also be advancing the sustainability standards of its entire UK fresh produce supplier base through LEAF Marque certification.