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Farming great remembered

Date Published: 27/02/2013

Every so often a person comes along who seems to have that amazing ability to take on any challenge within their field of expertise. It’s a special kind of person who finds the time to chair multiple committees, accept numerous demands on their time and balance it all with political skills that bring everyone together rather than drive them apart.

This is how Professor Sir Colin Spedding is remembered by those at OF&G who knew him. Prof Spedding passed away in December last year, but his obituary has recently appeared in the Daily Telegraph. It’s a fitting summary of a man who achieved a tremendous amount in the arena of food and farming, not least in setting up the United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards (which came to be widely known by the pronunciation of its acronym UKROFS, as in ‘uck-roffs’), which oversaw the delivery of inspection and certification services in this country.

In this capacity he was well known to those who were pioneering organic farming in the UK, including to members of our own board. Although OF&G existed for many years before UKROFS emerged, we were ┬áthe first independent organisation accredited by UKROFS to carry out the certification role, hence our original ‘Organic Certification UK2’ (now GB-ORG-02) denominator. UKROFS kept UK1 to itself.

Given the contribution he made and the regard in which he is held by those who were able to work him, it is only right that we should record his passing here and urge you to read the obituary and understand the contribution of Professor Sir Colin Spedding to modern agriculture.