Mark Measures BSc. (Hons.), IOTA (Accredited), ARAgS


Mark was awarded the Associateship of the Royal Agricultural Societies by the
Duchess of Wessex for his contribution to UK agriculture in February 2016.

Travel Fellowship (2017)

In 2017, I was fortunate to be awarded a Travel Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (www.wcmt.org.uk). Click here for more information, or follow my Blog.

Curriculum Vitae

Experience

Mark is the UK’s leading organic agriculture consultant specialising in farm business management, organic conversion planning and organic systems development. He has practical, management, training and advisory experience in mixed and stockless farming on family farms and estates, together with extensive experience of managing advisory and training services. He is proprietor of Mark Measures Associates, an organic consultancy business providing a range of services to farmers, landowners, corporations, trusts and Government.

Mark has over twenty five years experience of advisory work, having established and headed the Organic Advisory Service (ORC) between 1985 and 2000. He has extensive knowledge of all aspects of the organic industry and its markets and many years experience of organic research and training. He was jointly responsible for the establishment of the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative www.omsco.co.uk, now the UK’s leading organic milk buyer and is joint editor of the Organic Farm Management Handbook, now in its 11th. Edition.

He has been involved in many overseas projects, including provision of advice and training throughout Western and Central Europe and Argentina and supporting the OAS team working elsewhere, including Mozambique. He is a Director of the Foundation of Rachel and Pamela Schiele (www.lasdoshermanas.org), which undertakes farming, wildlife conservation, training and advice on a 3,500 ha estancia in Argentina. In 2001 he undertook a 6-month study tour of world organic farming, which led him to develop farm business sustainability auditing.


 
Professional experience

Team Leadership and Management:
Headed the Organic Advisory Service (OAS) team of 30 advisers providing on-farm advice to farmers and landowners on organic conversion and management. Responsible for recruitment, training, information supply, quality control and delivery of advisory and training services, including the delivery of the Defra-funded Organic Conversion Information Service for 5 years during which visits were delivered to over 3,000 farms.
           
Collaboration:        
Initiated and managed joint projects between OAS and ORC departments and collaborated with external partners including the Soil Association, Henry Doubleday Research Association and the Welsh Institute of Rural Studies.

Advisory Tools:
Initiated sustainability assessment for organic farming in the UK, contributed to the development of the Natural England-funded Public Good Tool and now provides farm assessment and training to advisers on sustainability and business auditing throughout Europe. Contributed to the development of Triple Bottom Line accounting for Bulmer’s.

Developed the concept and procedures of conversion planning in the UK and contributed to the development of the conversion planning programme, OrgPlan.

Organic Farm Management:
Provision of regular technical and management advice to farmers and landowners throughout the UK.

Integration of Farming and Wildlife:    
Initiated the concept of wildlife and conservation planning on organic farms in the UK, provided input to many conservation bodies on their organic farming policy and advised the Soil Association on its conservation planning and led a team which developed the Soil Association water management standards.

Research:    
Provision of advice on research priorities, procedures, practices and dissemination to ORC, HDRA and the three ADAS organic research centres. He is responsible for a Defra-funded project which is disseminating the results of the UK organic research programme through www.organicadvice.org.uk, offering research reviews, technical leaflets and workshops, including the pan European research archive, www.orgprints.org
                                     
Corporate Consultancy:   
Advice to food processors and retailers including Sainsbury's plc and Scottish and Newcastle Breweries plc on production development. Ongoing provision of technical information and strategic development of advisory and research services to the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative (OMSCO), and organic farm business advice to The Duchy of Cornwall.

Farm Business Management:     
Farm business financial assessment, advice and planning.
Financial analysis of the costs of organic production on behalf of Defra for use in their organic grant calculations.
Joint editor of the Organic Farm Management Handbook, now in its 11th edition – the only source of financial organic information of its kind.


                                   
Public speaking and training:
Trained in Participative Techniques and Farmer Group Facilitation. Regular presentations at Soil Association and Organic Research Centre farming conferences and International Federation of Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) conferences.  Presentation at seminars and conferences on organic farming, research and environmental issues. Responsibility for all aspects of the development and provision of training to farmers and advisers.

Standards:   
Member of Soil Association Standards Committee, 1984–2004.
Reviewer of Organic Farmers and Growers standards, 2000.
Member of Organic Livestock Standards Working Group, 2000, an industry body informing MAFF on EU Regulation.
Provision of advice on organic farming standards to Defra organic standards department 2005–2013.
                       
Commercial Farming:
Partner in a 55 ha. organic farm in the Clun Forest. Cow Hall is a unique farm, now farmed by the fourth generation it has never received fertilisers or pesticides, and has been registered as organic since 1996. Most of the farm is a county Wildlife Site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It produces rare breed Traditional Hereford breeding stock and beef and Clun Forest lamb.