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Soil Association Certification appoints new CEO

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Soil Association Certification has appointed Dominic Robinson to replace Martin Sawyer as its new chief executive officer.

Robinson joins Soil Association Certification from Severn Trent Water where he was head of visitor experience for five years. Before this he was with Forestry England where he was responsible for certification of the 250,000ha public forest estate. Previous roles include managing Bedgebury Pinetum and Forest, home to the National Conifer Collection and a variety of senior roles with The Forestry Commission. 

Robinson has had close working relationship with Soil Association Certification since 2018. As an independent member of its Scrutiny Committee, he was responsible for scrutinising decision making to ensure impartiality and the integrity of the standards being delivered.

Commenting on his new role, he said: “This is such an exciting time to be joining Soil Association Certification Ltd. The demand for sustainable products and the need for hallmarks that can be trusted has never been so strong and is only going to increase. I am proud to be part of such an esteemed organisation, working with a passionate team to realise the opportunities that lie ahead.

“Key to my approach is to create connections, nurture relationships and build partnerships to achieve more together – for the benefit of people and the environment. I will be looking to bring this into the CEO position, seeking to work with producers, clients, retailers, certification bodies and consumers to increase the market share of organic and sustainable forest products as well as the continued growth of carbon markets and ecosystem services.”

Martin Sawyer retires from Soil Association Certification after seven years at the helm in which he has overseen many key developments and milestones. His stint at the Soil Association has been the culmination of a hugely successful career in the food industry, and he has brought that lifetime’s experience to the leadership and growth of the business.

“I will miss Martin immensely. He has led SA Certification admirably for the last seven years and I welcomed his wise advice and constructive approach, his calmness and perspective, particularly in recent years through all the trials and tribulations of Brexit and Covid”

Helen Browning

Soil Association Group CEO Helen Browning said: “I will miss Martin immensely. He has led SA Certification admirably for the last seven years and I welcomed his wise advice and constructive approach, his calmness and perspective, particularly in recent years through all the trials and tribulations of Brexit and Covid. I know that the whole organisation and our symbol holders will want to thank him for everything he has done for us, as I do. We wish him the very best for the future.”

“It is a big welcome to Dominic – who is already a good friend of the Soil Association and the team in the Certification business. I look forward to working with him and I know he will bring vast energy, novel perspectives and enthusiasm for the twists and turns ahead.”

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