Melchett, Peter

Peter Melchett has been Policy Director of the Soil Association, the UK’s main organic food and farming organization, since 2001. He runs an 890-acre organic farm in Norfolk, with beef cattle and arable seed crops. He is a member of the BBC’s Rural Affairs Committee and was a member of the Government’s Rural Climate Change Forum and Organic Action Plan Group. A former member of the House of Lords, he was a Labour Government Minister from 1974 to 1979 at the Departments of Environment, Industry, and Northern Ireland (covering education and health). He has been President or Chair of several conservation NGOs, including the Ramblers and Wildlife Link, and was Director of Greenpeace UK (1985–2000), chairing Greenpeace Japan (1995–2001). Greenpeace launched their global campaign against GM crops in 1997, and Peter was one of twenty-eight volunteers arrested for removing GM maize in 1999; all the volunteers were found not guilty in the subsequent court case.

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