The Linking Environment and Farming group (LEAF) has announced the appointment of David Webster as its new chief executive.

Webster will take up the position in September of this year, when he will take over from interim chief executive and chair of the board of trustees Philip Wynn.

David Webster

Webster will join LEAF from the UK grocery division of Associated British Foods (ABF) where he is currently in the role of director of sustainability and external affairs.

Speaking on his appointment, Webster said he was delighted to be joining the team at LEAF at a moment when there is “such a clear and urgent need to accelerate positive environmental change at scale”.

“LEAF is at the forefront of the global transition towards more regenerative farming systems, providing assurance to producers and inspiration to people of all ages, particularly younger generations, about the fundamental importance of sustainable agriculture.”

Phillip Wynn had been overseeing the organisation following the death of founder Caroline Drummond in May of 2022.

“I feel a great sense of humility at being asked to build on the enormous legacy of Caroline Drummond MBE, who I knew well as a tireless campaigner both for the farming community, and for environmental considerations sitting at the very heart of best-practice farm management,” Webster said.

Wynn said Webster already knows much about LEAF and is “very well connected within the agricultural sector”.

“In addition, he brings a wealth of experience in farm sustainability programmes, implementing data management systems, marketing, and public relations as well as effective stakeholder and parliamentary engagement.”

“David tells me that some of the happiest days of his career have been spent on farm, talking to farmers, seeing, and discussing the impact of sustainability protocols on both their businesses and the land. 

“We are, indeed, very lucky to have recruited David and greatly look forward to LEAF’s next exciting chapter.”