King Charles confirmed as patron of food and farming charities

The Soil Association and Rare Breeds Survival Trust have announced that His Majesty King Charles will retain his patronage of the charities as part of his long-standing support for organic and nature-friendly farming.

Soil Association
Confirmation that His Majesty will remain patron of the Soil Association, which has been campaigning for sustainable food and farming since 1946, comes as the nation celebrates the first anniversary of the King’s coronation this week.

King Charles has supported the charity since first becoming patron as Prince of Wales in 1999 and he has also supported hundreds of farmer-led research trials with the charity’s Innovative Farmers network.

Innovative Farmers helps farmers to test sustainable solutions on real farms and has been funded by the former Prince of Wales Charitable Fund since it was launched 12 years ago. This support is continuing via the King Charles III Charitable Fund.

Soil Association Chief Executive Helen Browning said, “We are delighted that His Majesty King Charles will remain our patron. At the Soil Association we have been very fortunate to have worked closely with King Charles during his many years of extraordinary charitable work as the Prince of Wales.

“I feel privileged to know him as a fellow organic farmer with a lifelong dedication to healthy, sustainable food, and as a champion for nature, the countryside and its people.

“His Prince of Wales Charitable Fund has supported more than 120 farmer-led research trials with our Innovative Farmers network – but his support goes far beyond financial generosity.

“He follows the work of pioneering farmers with avid fascination and takes inspiration from them. We look forward to sharing more with the King as the Soil Association pursues a nature-friendly future with his support.”

Speaking at a 10-year anniversary event for Innovative Farmers held in 2022, the former Prince of Wales said he was “very proud” to have been able to support Innovative Farmers.

Rare Breeds Survival Trust
King Charles became patron of RBST in 1986, at a time when many of our native livestock and equine breeds were at the bleakest point in their history.

RBST says that his invaluable and far-sighted support has helped enable significant expansion of RBST’s work, as well as many crucial conservation projects and farm park programmes. His Majesty’s own animals have been key to a number of RBST breeding programmes to help secure vulnerable, irreplaceable genetic bloodlines, and he has given a home to new herds that RBST has formed to save some of our very rarest breeds.

RBST Chief Executive, Christopher Price, said: “We are delighted and honoured that His Majesty The King remains Patron of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. RBST’s Trustees, staff team and members across the UK greatly value the immeasurable support he has given the Trust for almost four decades. The skill, knowledge and passion with which His Majesty champions our native livestock and equine breeds is instrumental as we work to conserve and promote these wonderful irreplaceable breeds.”

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