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Two leading farming and food education organisations have announced a proposed merger, to increase the impact and capability of the two charities.

Linking Environment and Farming, LEAF, and Farming and Countryside Education, FACE, work to improve education and understanding of farming, food and the environment.

The proposed merger will serve to combine the strength and expertise of the two organisations, to help drive an efficient and effective strategy that will improve education in agriculture and food production.

Both organisations have charitable status and have worked on projects together such as Countryside Classroom and LEAF's Open Farm School Days, and share many common goals.

LEAF and FACE are working closely together to ensure that the proposed merger meets all necessary legal requirements and complies with all the required procedures and recommendations set out by the charity commission.

It is currently anticipated that subject to contract, due diligence and the proposed merger meeting all the necessary legal requirements, that the agreement will be signed during the summer of 2017.

Caroline Drummond, LEAF chief executive, said: “We are really excited at this opportunity which comes at a time when it has never been more important to demonstrate and state the case for British agriculture.

"The potential merger offers a real opportunity for our two organisations to work together even more effectively and efficiently to deliver multiple benefits to our partners and stakeholders.

"The proposed merger will enable LEAF to further deepen our public engagement activity and allow the FACE team to scale up their work, nationally and regionally as the interface between agriculture and schools.

"Such a combination will undoubtedly strengthen the impact of both organisations and improve the public’s understanding of farming, food and the environment.”

Dan Corlett, FACE chief executive, said: “This is a very exciting moment for FACE.

"I am very proud of all that the FACE team has achieved and the place we hold as a leader in taking agriculture into schools.

"The exploration of this new phase, would allow us to maximise FACE’s expertise in creating systemic change in education and the potential for this newly expanded organisation to offer stakeholders and partners improved efficiencies, enhanced engagement and create even greater opportunities for educating and engaging the public.”