Tuesday, 3 July 2007

A Right Royal Show

These splendid examples of a LEAF employee's are Justine (left) and Val. They, along with the rest of the team work tirelessly for the charity promoting all that is great about British Agriculture and how we can communicate that fact to the general public. Val and Justine were at the Royal Show at Stoneleigh on a 'LEAF Pod' in the Waitrose stand.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I was told they would be on a 'LEAF pod'. I had visions of nightclub podiums and costumes reminiscent of an Adam and Eve fancy dress competition. The show was damp to say the least with torrential downpours. Numbers were well down on where they were last year (I expect). Many two wheel drive cars were being pulled out of the car parks onto the hard roads. It was a shame but I gather the bulk of the show has been cancelled on Wednesday for safety reasons.

At 5pm I was over at the Marks and Spencer's Pavilion adjacent to the main ring for a LEAF Royal Show Reception. LEAF had asked me to say a few words about the LEAF Marque, seen on more and more M&S and Waitrose products. The Marque is the gold standard in farm assurance. It tick's all the 'other' standard marks but includes vast requirement's about biodiversity, environment, energy use and reduction, social impacts on the community and pollution control, amongst others. Check it out on http://www.leafuk.org/leaf/consumers/ You can also look up Leaf Tracks which is a number on your produce that you can type into the LEAF site and it will tell you where that produce has been grown and give you contact details of the farmer! Now that we're LEAF Marque'd we'll be pushing our flour, whole grains, lamb and game later on in the season. I was very nervous speaking after Baroness Byford (President of LEAF), Caroline Drummond (CEO LEAF), Hugh Mowat (M&R Representative) and before Tony Worth (Chairman of LEAF and farmer in Lincolnshire)! I really did that extra glass of red after the talk! It was very successful and encouraging that a supermarket has morals and that it can deliver, through support of British farmers, real benefits to the countryside that we manage and love.

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