Obituary: Ann-Marie (Brouder) Leeming

Ann-Marie Brouder at Tea 2030.

Ann-Marie Brouder at Tea 2030.

LEDBURY, Herefordshire

Dr. Ann-Marie Brouder, a leader in the global sustainability movement, died this month.

Ann-Marie was the principal sustainability advisor at Forum for the Future, a London nonprofit that identifies and supports initiatives in biofuels, agriculture, and food. Her research and the Tea 2030 initiative brought her into contact with many tea professionals at conferences and trade shows around the world.

She was passionate about tea and its ability to benefit the lives of smallholders. She promoted tea as a “hero crop” and crafted thoughtful scenarios to help others envision what the tea industry might look like in 2030. The initiative is about people, not plants. Policymakers need to “devise appropriate solutions that are scalable and can shift the system on to a more sustainable path,” she advised.

“We must pay the ‘true’ price for food. All too often, the dynamics of the value chain mean that producers lose out, impacting on their wellbeing and prosperity and limiting the supply of food,” she explained. Millions of people are disconnected with where and how their food is produced. This can make people reluctant to pay the “true” price for food or to reduce food waste, she said.

Ann-Marie was a research fellow at the University of Reading from where she graduated in 2003 with a doctorate in agricultural economics. Her work was precise and deeply thoughtful. The catastrophic scenarios she depicted forced executives to consider the harm that indecision plays over time. Never an alarmist, her talks on climate change always ended in her fervent belief that concerted action by stakeholders would avert disaster.

Ann-Marie died in hospice after a short illness, bravely fought. She leaves a son, Aidan, and daughter, Alanna, and her beloved husband, Andy. Funeral services were Jan. 27 at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity. She now rests in Ledbury Town Cemetery.

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Dan Bolton

About Dan Bolton

Dan Bolton edits STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International. He was formerly editor and publisher of World Tea News and former editor and publisher of Tea Magazine and former editor-in-chief of Specialty Coffee Retailer. He is a beverage retail consultant and frequent speaker at industry seminars and conferences. His work has appeared in many beverage publications. He was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years prior to his career in magazines. Dan is the founding editor of Natural Food magazine and has led six publishing ventures since 1995. He lives in Winnipeg, Canada.