The Sustainable Food Trust has been greatly saddened to learn of the death of Lord Peter Melchett. SFT chief executive, Patrick Holden appointed Peter as policy director of the Soil Association during his time as its director. He developed a close relationship with him and they worked together on many campaigns including opposition to the introduction of GM crops and the expansion of organic food production.

Patrick said, “Peter’s brilliance and professionalism played a huge part in saving the UK from GM crops and the conversion of his farm to organic methods gave him the ability to promote a more sustainable method of food production in a totally convincing way.”

SFT policy director, Richard Young also worked closely with Peter over many years. Richard said, “Peter was only three years older than me, but the experience he’d gained as a junior government Minister and during his time as director of Greenpeace gave him huge authority. He was also an extremely hard worker, providing line by line advice on every draft I sent him. I learned everything I know about campaigning from Peter.”

SFT head of policy, Honor Eldridge most recently worked with Peter at the Soil Association, Honor said, “Peter was a force of nature and a true leader of the environmental movement in the UK. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with him and learnt so much from him.”

His dedication and passion were inspiring and he will be sadly missed by all of us.

More detailed obituaries of Peter Melchett have been published by many newspapers and websites, including this one in The Guardian.

Emma Rose has set up a website, Celebrating Peter for tributes to Peter Melchett from friends and colleagues of his. Anyone who would like to contribute can contact Emma via the website.

Photograph: Soil Association

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