Dominic Robinson

Source: Soil Association Certification Ltd.

Dominic Robinson joins from Severn Trent Water and is replacing Martin Sawyer

Soil Association Certification has appointed Dominic Robinson as its new chief executive officer.

He replaces Martin Sawyer, who has retired from the certification body after seven years of leadership. Sawyer oversaw key developments including the expansion of its forestry and organic businesses and an increase in organic sales past the £3bn mark in 2021.

Robinson joins the organisation from Severn Trent Water where he was head of visitor experience for five years, responsible for managing the public, land and assets across 30 reservoirs. 

Before this he was with Forestry England, responsible for certification of the 250,000ha public forest estate ensuring compliance with the UK Woodland Assurance Standard for FSC and PEFC certification. Other previous roles include managing Bedgebury Pinetum & Forest and senior roles with The Forestry Commission.

Robinson has worked with the Soil Association Certification since 2018 as a member of its Scrutiny Committee. In this role, he was responsible for scrutinising decision making to ensure impartiality and integrity of the standards being delivered.

Soil Association Certification said this experience had “given him a great familiarity with the organisation and its people, together with a good understanding of its purpose, challenges and opportunities”.

“This is such an exciting time to be joining Soil Association Certification,” said Robinson. “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 organisation, working with a passionate team to realise the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Key to his approach will be “to create connections, nurture relationships and build partnerships to achieve more together – for the benefit of people and the environment”, he added. “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.”

The departing Sawyer would be missed, said Soil Association Group CEO Helen Browning.

“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 organisation and our symbol holders will want to thank him for everything he has done for us, as I do. We wish him the very best for the future.”