At its core, Leaf Marque strives to establish stringent environmental and sustainability standards for farms and horticultural businesses. By encouraging farmers to adopt practices that protect the environment and promote biodiversity, the program acts as a catalyst for positive change. Furthermore, it emphasises the responsible use of resources such as water and energy, while actively advocating for reduced chemical usage. Through these measures, LEAF Marque aims to mitigate the environmental impact of farming activities and promote a more sustainable future.
To achieve LEAF Marque accreditation, farmers undergo a full assessment process. Trained assessors visit farms and evaluate their performance based on various criteria that encompass all aspects of sustainable farming. Soil management, crop protection, water and wildlife conservation, energy efficiency, and waste management are just a few of the key areas considered during the assessment. By evaluating the farm’s practices against these criteria, LEAF Marque ensures that only those farms adhering to the highest sustainability standards receive the accreditation.
Once a farm meets the rigorous standards set by LEAF Marque, it’s awarded the LEAF Marque certification. This certification grants farmers the privilege of labelling their products with the prestigious LEAF Marque logo. This logo serves as a powerful symbol, communicating to consumers that the produce was grown in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. With this information, consumers can make informed choices and actively support farmers who prioritise sustainability. The LEAF Marque logo acts as a visible testament to a farm’s commitment to the environment and helps build trust between farmers and consumers.
There are a growing number of retailers recognising the power of LEAF Marque in supporting their sustainability goals. Waitrose are long-term supporters, and Aldi is aiming for all its UK fresh produce growers to be LEAF certified by the end of 2023 .
Lidl announced that it would be advancing the sustainability standards of its entire UK fresh produce supplier base through LEAF Marque certification back in 2022 and Tesco adopted the LEAF Marque even longer ago, in 2021 . To date, all of Tesco’s UK suppliers are already certified with their wider global fresh produce growers and suppliers (up to 8,000) aiming to be LEAF marque certified by 2025 . All UK-based Asda fresh produce growers will achieve LEAF Marque certification by May 2024 with worldwide suppliers certified by the end of 2025 .
The LEAF Marque accreditation does not end with the certification itself. On the contrary, it serves as the beginning of an ongoing journey toward greater sustainability. LEAF Marque provides farmers with guidance and support to continually enhance their sustainability practices. Regular reassessments ensure that farms maintain high standards and identify areas for further development. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement, LEAF Marque motivates farmers to embrace sustainable farming practices and evolve with the changing environmental landscape.
In a world where sustainable agriculture is of paramount importance, LEAF Marque accreditation stands as a shining example of how farmers can make and be recognised for, having a positive impact on the environment. By promoting responsible farming practices, LEAF Marque not only helps protect natural resources and preserve biodiversity but also educates consumers about the importance of sustainable food production. Through the LEAF Marque certification, farmers gain recognition for their commitment to environmental stewardship while consumers gain the power to make conscious choices that support a greener future.
With LEAF Marque, it’s a win-win situation for farmers, consumers and the planet alike.