So many wonderful words have been said here about Peter – I echo them all. One of the most extraordinary things about him was how he spread about his warmth, confidence, respect, humanity, wit and razor sharp intellect so evenly and generously to all he worked with and to all who worked for him.
I think I can take some credit for playing a small part in his conversion to organic, through a quite extensive correspondence we had in the 90’s when he was director of Greenpeace but still farming conventionally and I was running the Soil Association’s certification scheme and standards. He was quite a catch when he did convert his farm, but little did we know then how that was only the start of it!
Some years later, after he joined the Soil Association as Policy Director and I was Standards Director, I had the privilege to be in his team. What an amazing example he was to learn from and to be close to. His management inspired and empowered everyone, as so many have so eloquently written here.
He told me a few years ago that the reason he started working for the Soil Association was to continue campaigning but without all the management responsibility, so that he could simply enjoy himself. Well, of course he kept being persuaded to take on a bit more management, and then trying to shed it again! Needless to say, he was a superlative manager, as well as a superlative campaigner and strategist, and inspiring speaker, and all the rest! We were so very lucky he chose us!
Peter gave my wife, Jane, and I an open invitation to his farm when we came to visit our son at UEA. We spent a happy afternoon in his and Cass’s company and appreciated the source (and the result) of his inspiration: a beautifully managed farm thronging with wildlife, healthy crops, happy pigs and cattle, and the rest. It was a shining example of organic principles in action, and of his love of the farm and his fine management.
Peter, you were truly a ‘great’ man, in all senses of the word. That’s why we all loved you. We, and indeed the whole World, owe you so very much. Thank you, and thank you to Cass for sharing him so generously with us all. Our hearts go out to you and your family.