Iain Tolhurst awarded MBE

MBE for Iain Tolhurst in new King's Birthday Honours List 2023

Iain Tolhurst of Tolhurst Organic has been awarded an MBE for services to agriculture in the King Charles III Birthday Honours List 2023 – his first since his coronation in May. 

Soil Association Head of Horticulture and Agroforestry Ben Raskin said: “Huge congratulations to Tolly and a welcome recognition for his unstinting efforts to advance organic horticulture.

“We are delighted to celebrate the pioneer of organic growing and recognise his life’s work in developing and promoting organic in the UK and beyond.

"His was first farm to attain the stock-free organic standard and his philosophy of a ‘systems approach’ to working with soil, nature and bio-diversity continues to inspire farmers and growers worldwide He has pioneered many key techniques including the use of green manures, intercropping and undersowing, functional bio-diversity, alternatives to peat growing media and the use of woodchip. He began his growing career as the first ever UK organic strawberry producer in 1976.

"For us at the Soil Association it is a privilege to work with him and he has made a huge contribution including the development of our standards, in numerous Innovative Farmers field labs and our apprenticeships training scheme. His enthusiasm and his knowledge, always rooted in a down-to earth common sense approach, continues to inspire growers and farmers to take up organic.

“Tolly is most deserving of this honour – not least for the passion with which he shares his knowledge and wisdom with younger growers and old hands alike.”