On the eve of the global climate change summit COP26, next week, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has announced it has set a new target for 85% of all UK fruit and vegetables to be grown more sustainably.

The target will see the amount of UK fresh produce grown by LEAF Marque certified businesses almost doubling within the next five years.

All Waitrose’s UK-grown fresh produce has been LEAF Marque certified for the past 14 years and LEAF recently announced it is now also working with Tesco to implement the LEAF Marque across its entire global fresh produce supply chain.

This is a move that the retailer said would strengthen the environmental standards required by its 14,000 fresh produce growers.

Added to this, earlier this month PepsiCo, one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, announced plans to support the achievement of LEAF Marque certification of its 300+ UK-based Quaker Oats farmers over the next two years, to encourage more regenerative farming practices.

Global food demand set to double

Caroline Drummond MBE, LEAF chief executive explained: “With global food demand set to double by 2050, and only nine harvests before the 2030 deadline for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the need to protect, sustainably manage and restore the earth’s resources whilst producing food is essential.

“LEAF Marque growers are already leading the way in tackling climate change through reducing carbon emissions, building healthier and more resilient soils, delivering better air and water quality and enhancing biodiversity.

This is why we are committed to working across the food supply chain over the next five years to see 85% of UK-grown fruit and vegetables being grown by LEAF Marque certified businesses.

"We are immensely proud to be working together with the wider food industry towards better, smarter and more resilient climate positive farming solutions, delivered through LEAF Marque.”