Sustainable farming campaigner Lord Peter Melchett dies aged 71

Lord Peter Melchett (middle) held the position of Policy Director at the Soil Association since 2002 up until his death
Lord Peter Melchett (middle) held the position of Policy Director at the Soil Association since 2002 up until his death

Tributes have flooded in following the death of Norfolk farmer and sustainable farming campaigner, Lord Peter Melchett, who has died aged 71.

Lord Melchett, a Labour peer who was the son of the British Steel Corporation Chairman Sir Julian Mond, has held numerous positions in his campaign for greener farming policies.



He was appointed to the Board of Greenpeace UK in 1985, and then took up position of Executive Director of Greenpeace UK in 1989.

Lord Melchett was arrested in 1999 when he took part in an environmental protest against a GM crop trial in Norfolk, at which GM maize was cut down and removed by 28 volunteers.



The case came to court in 2000 when Lord Melchett and his 27 co-defendants were unanimously acquitted of theft and criminal damage.

He held the position of Policy Director at the Soil Association since 2002.

Melchett was responsible for launching of the Soil Association’s successful school food programme, Food for Life, and Food for Life Served Here.

He appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Disks in 2000, saying: “You can only do it if people support you, and they won’t if what you’re doing isn’t right or if what you’re predicting doesn’t turn out to be true.”



Since 1973, Lord Melchett was managing director of 890-acre (360 hectares) Courtyard Farm at Ringstead near Hunstanton, which was owned by his father.

He died in the early hours of Friday morning (31 August), aged 71.