Patrick Holden

Former Director Of The Soil Association

As former Director of The Soil Association, Patrick has extensive experience mobilising public opinion and lobbying government ministers. He believes we may be reaching the tipping point, where demand for environmentally friendly goods is sufficient to inspire fundamental change in business practice. Meanwhile Patrick warns we must take account of all the consequences in the rush to reduce carbon footprint. “It might be most efficient, but is it socially responsible to have ten carrot growers supplying the entire country?”

Patrick Holden is former Director of The Soil Association, the UK’s leading environmental charity promoting sustainable, organic farming and championing health. An acclaimed writer, broadcaster and speaker, Patrick has, for over thirty five years, run what is now the longest-established organic farm in Wales. He is also the founder of the Sustainable Food Trust. The son of a London doctor, Patrick describes himself as a ‘sixties dropout’ who joined a back-to-the-land commune. He got involved in organic farming when it was still considered very much a fringe movement.

These days, organic food is available in every supermarket. With so many products making the claim, it is essential for consumer confidence that they can be certified as genuinely organic at every stage. That is where The Soil Association comes in, with inspectors who rigorously check production processes before issuing certification.

Under Patrick’s leadership, The Soil Association’s income increased forty times over. Sales of organic food rose from £50 million to £2 billion and the area of organic land rose from 0.1% to 4% of the UK’s total agricultural land. He continues to be a vocal campaigner and authority on farming, food and the environment.

Patrick’s influence even extends to The Archers, for which he is Agricultural Advisor – and was responsible for Pat and Tony’s conversion to organic farming. Now, global issues, not least climate change, affect us all and Patrick’s concerns extend way beyond domestic farming.

To book Patrick Holden as the sustainability speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing agent@championsukplc.com or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Patrick is known to cover the following topics:

  • The Soil Association
  • Business Management
  • Reducing Carbon Footprints
  • Sustainability & Environment