Soil Association Certification welcomes new CEO

In a statement Soil Association Certification has confirmed Dominic Robinson as its new chief executive officer.

Robinson has been appointed to replace Martin Sawyer, who has held the position since 2015.

“Dominic arrives with a wealth of experience in environmental and forestry organizations and has had a close working relationship with us since 2018,” says the certifier.

Robinson’s recent background as an independent member of Soil Association Certification’s Scrutiny Committee gave him ‘a familiarity with the organization and its people, together with a good understanding of its purpose, challenges and opportunities’. Responsible for ‘scrutinizing decision making’ within the Committee, Robinson’s role was to ensure impartiality and integrity – skills which will serve him well in his position as CEO – and he brings with him from Severn Trent Water and Forestry England a wealth of land management forestry certification expertise.

I am proud to be part of such an esteemed organization

“This is such an exciting time to be joining Soil Association Certification,” he comments. “The demand for sustainable products and the need for hallmarks that can be trusted has never been so strong and is only going to increase. I am proud to be part of such an esteemed organization, working with a passionate team to realize the opportunities that lie ahead.

“Key to my approach is to create connections, nurture relationships and build partnerships to achieve more together – for the benefit of people and the environment. I will be looking to bring this into the CEO position, seeking to work with producers, clients, retailers, certification bodies and consumers to increase the market share of organic and sustainable forest products as well as the continued growth of carbon markets and ecosystem services.”

Sawyer, who retires as current CEO after seven years at the helm, will be ‘immensely missed’ by Helen Browning, Soil Association Group CEO. “He has led SA Certification admirably for the last seven years and I welcomed his wise advice and constructive approach, his calmness and perspective, particularly in recent years through all the trials and tribulations of Brexit and COVID. I know that the whole organization and our symbol holders will want to thank him for everything he has done for us, as I do. We wish him and his family the very best for the future.”

I know that the whole organisation and our symbol holders will want to thank him for everything he has done for us, as I do

Over his time in the role, Sawyer has ‘overseen many key developments and milestones, not least the significant expansion of the organic and forestry businesses including the phenomenal performance and resilience of the Organic Market which broke the £3 billion mark in 2021’. The SA describes his stint as CEO as ‘the culmination of a hugely successful career in the food industry’ from which he brought a ‘lifetime’s experience to the leadership and growth of the business’.

Of Robinson, Browning adds: “It is a big welcome to Dominic – who is already a good friend of the Soil Association and the team in the Certification business. I look forward to working with him and I know he will bring vast energy, novel perspectives and enthusiasm for the twists and turns ahead.”