Here’s more information about the exciting guest speakers who will be contributing to our Tedx Countdown event to discuss how measuring sustainability can help tackle climate change.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is Patron of the Sustainable Food Trust. His lifelong commitment to the cause of sustainable agriculture and the environment formed the principles that he has put into practice on the farms at Highgrove, Sandringham and Dumfries House. The Global Farm Metric is an initiative with which His Royal Highness has been involved right from the outset. He is convinced that a harmonised metric for measuring land use sustainability is the best way to monitor the impacts of his Sustainable Markets Initiative roundtable projects, launched in Davos in 2020, and more recently the Terra Carta project launched early in 2021.

Minette Batters

Minette Batters became President of the National Farmers Union (NFU) in 2018, the first woman to hold the position in the NFU’s 115-year history. Minette has been leading from the front as President, with influential policies like Achieving Net Zero aiming to bring emissions for UK farming to nought from 2040. She has argued hard for the preservation of Britain’s high standards in food production and animal welfare in the face of post-Brexit trade deals and for improving environmental practices in a changing climate.

Minette is a farmer’s daughter, and though her father warned her away from the profession, she took over the farm when he retired. Along with the management of a 100 cow suckler herd, sheep and arable production, she also runs a wedding venue and catering business on the farm – a clever bit of farm diversification. In 2020, Minette made the Women’s Hour Power List 2020.

The SFT has worked with the NFU on the shared issue of how to improve the sustainability of farming. In 2019, the SFT and NFU co-hosted the conference Farming and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions at Fir Farm in the Cotswolds. Patrick Holden, the SFT’s director, has strong admiration for Minette for taking up the complicated discussions around sustainability in farming.

From this, Minette became involved in the SFT’s hallmark Global Farm Metric (GFM) project. Her commitment to the GFM is grown from her drive to achieve net zero emissions in agriculture by 2040 – to realise this, a harmonised metric is needed to ensure consistency and parity. Minette’s farm manager, Richard Brook, has been an active member of the SFT’s farmers and land managers working group for the last few years and has been feeding into the process of refining the metric, as well as testing the framework on her farm.

Henry Dimbleby

Henry Dimbleby has a long-term relationship with food. He trained with Michelin-starred chef Bruno Loubet, before turning his attention to writing on food for the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian. He met John Vincent whilst working in a management consultancy job, forging a friendship that bore the healthy ‘fast food’ company Leon.

In 2012, Henry and John were asked by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary at the time, to develop a new ‘School Food Plan’, asking ‘What role should cooking and food play in schools?’ It was an ambitious document aiming to create a ‘good food culture’ with growing food and cooking considered essential life skills – cooking classes became compulsory in the curriculum as a result.

Continuing on from the ‘School Food Plan’, Henry was asked to review and renew the National Food Strategy. Part One of the Strategy was published on 29 July, 2020 and Part Two is forthcoming this year. He is a valued contributor in the development of the SFT’s Global Farm Metric, with his wide purview on the landscape of food and agriculture. It is important to measure the impact of food production not just on the environment but also on nutritional value, social issues and human and planetary health. Henry brings this multifaceted perspective to the table, recognising that you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

You can hear Henry in conversation with SFT CEO Patrick Holden at the 2019 Oxford Real Farming Conference here.

 David Potts CBE

David Potts CBE is Chief Executive of British supermarket chain Morrisons. David has long been in the grocery business, working first in a greengrocer while still in school and moving on at 16 to a general assistant position at Tesco – by 24 he had become the youngest superstore manager. He continued to work at Tesco for another 39 years, moving up through the ranks, he was the UK Retail and Logistics director and subsequently CEO of Tesco’s Ireland and Asia divisions.

In 2015, he moved on to Morrisons and as Chief Executive, has been a transformative force in the company, especially in the face of the pandemic. He has made British food and British food security a priority, emphasising the value of ‘all British’ products and stating that he wanted his biscuits made in ‘Pontefract rather than Honolulu’. As lockdowns were imposed, Morrisons also played a strong role in its communities, donating £15 million to UK food banks and offering its car parks as vaccination centres.

Morrisons became involved in the Global Farm Metric project in 2020 to help understand how sustainability information from their supply base could be collected in a more joined-up and efficient way. Since then, they have announced an ambitious net zero strategy, pledging to be the first supermarket to be completely supplied by ‘net zero’ carbon British farms by 2030.

Find out how the event went here.

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