Pollinator Margin East Badge August 2015 3

LEAF Marque certification

Brixworth Farming Gains LEAF Marque Certification

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) is the leading organisation promoting sustainable agriculture, food and farming. Established in 1992, LEAF’s mission is to inspire and enable sustainable farming that is prosperous, enriches the environment and engages local communities. LEAF has developed a standard system based on environmentally responsible farming principles which support farmers to produce good food, with care and to high environmental standards. The LEAF Marque is a highly respected international standard and is being increasingly demanded by major food producers who are seeking to be seen to be more environmentally responsible.

Following a rigorous assessment, Brixworth Farming received the LEAF Marque to certify that we meet all of the requirements of the standard. The assessment process covers wide ranging aspects of the farming business to ensure that environmental benchmarks are met. These include a landscape and conservation plan, environmental policy, energy policy, water policy, health and safety policy, as well as engagement with the public and engagement with staff to ensure that everyone is on board  with the scheme. Many of the benchmarks require year-on-year improvement and the LEAF Marque certification is maintained by an independently verified annual inspection. Brixworth Farming Managing Director, Charles Matts, says: “LEAF Marque certification gives us public recognition for the work that we have been doing for a long time to protect the environment. It is a credit to the whole team who manage the farms day in, day out. It has also added value to our crops, for example, oilseed rape, which is grown on contract with ADM to make Hellmann’s mayonnaise is fetching a premium of £15/t.”

Examples of how we care for the environment include:

  • Carefully managing hedgerows to provide habitats and food for wildlife
  • Using pesticides and fertilisers only when necessary
  • Leaving a strip of land between hedgerows and crops to act as a habitat for wildlife
  • Recycling on-farm waste and conserving energy
  • Improving water efficiency and quality

We have planted wild flower seeds at the margins of some of our fields to create a good habitat for pollinating insects. They have also proved very popular with the local community.