CAFRE celebrates 10 year LEAF Marque Accreditation
LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) is a farm assurance system showing that food has been grown sustainably with care for the environment.
LEAF Marque certification covers the whole farm business and applies to all products produced from the business. The principles of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) underpin the requirements of the LEAF Marque certification.
IFM is a whole farm business approach that delivers more sustainable farming. Modern technology and traditional methods are used with the goal of delivering 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 also drives forward the uptake of more sustainable farming practices through knowledge generation and exchange based around its network of Demonstration Farms and Innovation Centres, the provision of management tools and guidance, and through its various public outreach initiatives.
The CAFRE LEAF Marque team pictured with Vince Dempsey, NSF Agriculture at the June 2017 LEAF Marque audit.
LEAF audits are completed annually.
Stage 1 is an online self-audit assessment consisting of a series of questions on each of the nine IFM business areas.
Stage 2 is a two day audit across all CAFRE campuses carried out by one of the externally approved LEAF Marque Certification bodies.
In June 2017 CAFRE successfully completed their tenth LEAF Marque audit. Graeme Campbell, CAFRE LEAF Marque co-ordinator stated that LEAF is about a ‘Continuous Improvement’ ethos. The standard drives change and stimulates innovation and is great motivator.