patrick holden

Patrick Holden is the founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust working towards more sustainable food systems. He was founding chairman of British Organic Farmers in 1982, worked for nearly 20 years at the Soil Association and is now Patron of the UK Biodynamic Association. He has a mixed community farm in Wales where he practices what he preaches.


“For the soil is the gut – the source of nourishment – for the plants we farmers grow. And it now seems there is a vital link between the microbiome of our intestines and the microbiome of the soil. Seventy years of intensive farming have decreased the microbiome of the soil to such low levels that now we urgently need to restore it. And this will mean changing the way we farm.”


“Only by changing our farming practices can we rebuild soil microbiological life and the soil carbon in which this resides.”

“We need to move away from chemistry to biology in the way that we farm.”