As Senior Farms Manager of Daylesford Organic, Richard Smith knows a thing or two about sustainable farming and honest, transparent food production. “All farming is hard work and all farming takes a lot of thought,” he explains, “at Daylesford we merely do things slightly differently to be more sustainable.”
Richard joined Daylesford Organic eleven years ago, not only bringing with him a wealth of farming knowledge and experience, but also a drive to create something different. “I met Carole Bamford in 2005 and instantly picked up on her energy and drive to create something that we could be proud of,” he says of the founder of Daylesford Organic, “and I think we’ve absolutely achieved that.”
With overall responsibility for the agricultural side of the farm, and a day-to-day role that involves anything from overseeing breeding programmes to giving a tour of the farm to interested parties from around the globe, Richard’s pioneering spirit and dedication to his work is clear.
“I quite proudly state that the farming is the golden nugget of what Daylesford is, and that’s what we promote,” he explains. “Man has worked with the cow for ten thousand years and so to be able to control breeding programmes that work within a truly sustainable system is fascinating, satisfying and very, very rewarding.”
An important figure in the promotion of sustainable, practical farming, Richard also speaks enthusiastically about his work with Daylesford Organic and Agricology, their latest research project and an online resource to provide information for anyone who shares their dedication to sustainable, practical farming.
“My great passion is to bring credibility to this style of agriculture,” he says, “ten years ago people would have dismissed what we’re doing, but now there’s a huge amount of interest. Agricology is a way to then get that information out to everybody who wants to see it. It’s not about preaching, it’s about explaining that something was a very practical solution to a problem, to give people a bit more confidence when it comes to looking at farming in a more sustainable way.”
Reflecting the ethos behind the Hunter Field collection, Richard’s pioneering outlook, and quest to raise awareness and respectability of farming across the world, makes him perfectly placed to be chosen as an Everyday Pioneer. “To me, being a pioneer means that I am prepared to push the boundaries of what I believe in,” Richard explains, “I get extremely passionate about what I do and, in my experience, if you get animated about what you believe in, people will listen.”
Photographer: James McNaught Styling: Sophie Warburton Hair and make up: Claire Portman