Peter Melchett

Policy Director

Soil Association

Peter Melchett has been Policy Director of the Soil Association, the UK's main organic food and farming organisation, working on campaigns, standards and policy, 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, and the Department of Education's School Lunches Review Panel.


As a former member of the House of Lords, he was a Labour Government Minister 1974-79, 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), and chaired Greenpeace Japan (1995-2001). Greenpeace launched their global campaign against GM crops in 1997, and Peter was one of 28 volunteers arrested for removing GM maize in 1999; all the volunteers were found not guilty in the subsequent court case.