Two farming and food education charities have proposed a merger to increase the impact of their work.
Linking Environment and Farming (Leaf) and Farming and Countryside Education (Face) today announced their plans to merge. The charities anticipate the merger to be complete by summer 2017.
The charities said that the proposed merger will serve to “combine the strength and expertise of the two organisations, to help drive forward an efficient and effective strategy that will directly improve education in and appreciation of, agriculture and food production”.
Leaf has an income last year of £1.1m, while Face had an income of £683,000. A spokeswoman for the organisations said that it is envisaged that, if the merger completes, the Leaf brand will remain as it is, and the Face brand will remain in the short to medium term.
She added that in the longer term, and as part of the merger agreement and subsequent strategic development, a full review of the brand positioning will be undertaken, during which key stakeholders will be consulted.
Caroline Drummond, chief executive of Leaf, will lead the merged organisation. She will work with Dan Corlett, chief executive of Face, to ensure the merger meets the Charity Commission’s legal requirements.
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Corlett will leave his post at the end of August to take his career “in a new direction, which the boards and trustees of Face and Leaf wish him well with”. They have also “expressed their thanks and appreciation for all that Dan has achieved for Face in the last three years and the positive difference he has made to the quality of education, school aged children now receive in farming, food production and the countryside”.
Drummond said: “We are really excited at this opportunity which comes at a time when it has never been more important to demonstrate and state the case for British agriculture. The potential merger offers a real opportunity for our two organisations to work together even more effectively and efficiently to deliver multiple benefits to our partners and stakeholders.
“The proposed merger will enable Leaf to further deepen our public engagement activity and allow the Face team to scale up their work, nationally and regionally as the interface between agriculture and schools. Such a combination will undoubtedly strengthen the impact of both organisations and improve the public’s understanding of farming, food and the environment.”
Corlett said: “This is a very exciting moment for Face. I am very proud of all that the Face team has achieved and the place we hold as a leader in taking agriculture into schools. The exploration of this new phase, would allow us to maximise Face’s expertise in creating systemic change in education and the potential for this newly expanded organisation to offer stakeholders and partners improved efficiencies, enhanced engagement and create even greater opportunities for educating and engaging the public.”
No redundancies are expected to be made as a result of the merger, although as part of the due diligence process the governance structure will be reviewed and staff, partners and stakeholders advised in due course.