Patrick Holden

Chief Executive at Sustainable Food Trust

Patrick Holden is one of the pioneers of the modern sustainable food movement who, during his period as Director of the Soil Association, between 1995 and 2010, played a leadership role in developing the UK organic market. Closely involved with standards development, producer cooperation, Patrick’s extensive engagement with the public through successive media campaigns, played a key role in winning public trust in the products from sustainable agriculture. Before joining the Soil Association he was founder and chairman of British Organic Farmers, which developed the production base of the organic food movement before merging with the Soil Association in1995. He trained in Biodynamic farming at Emerson College, Sussex, and in 1973 he established what is now the longest established mixed organic dairy holding in Wales. His family produces an award winning raw milk cheddar-style cheese from the milk of 75 Ayrshire dairy cows. In 2010 he stepped down from the Soil Association to address a newly emerging challenge - the need to develop strategies for sustainable food systems which have wider application, for the whole of agriculture. The mission of the resulting organisation, The Sustainable Food Trust, is to promote international cooperation between all those involved in sustainable food production. His other current positions include: Patron of the Bio-dynamic Agricultural Association, the Living Earth and the Soil Association Land Trust; Senior Environmental Advisor to JCB and International Ambassador of the Soil Association. He received a CBE for services to organic farming in 2005.