Ruth Layton (Trustee)

Ruth Layton

Founder and Director of Sankalpa and former Chair and current Trustee of the Food Ethics Council

Ruth qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1978 from The Royal Veterinary College London and has a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma in Animal Welfare Science Ethics & Law.

After gaining 17 years’ experience in veterinary practice and teaching in colleges, Ruth co-founded Benchmark in 2000 to drive greater sustainability in the food chain. She defines sustainability as taking care for all people, all animals and the environment that sustains us. She has subsequently built extensive experience within the food industry, as well as leading research programmes in sustainable food animal production across multiple species and geographies.

In 2015 Ruth completed an MSc in Transpersonal Psychology following a recognition that she would be better able to effect positive change in the world if she had more understanding of the human condition and how it operates.

During her career, Ruth has served on a number of organisations including the Farm Animal Welfare Council, the Farm Animal Welfare Forum and the Food Ethics Council.

In 2017, Ruth was awarded the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) Chiron Award in recognition of her contributions and achievements driving progress in farm animal welfare within the supply chains of some of the world’s largest food brands.

Following the float of Benchmark Ruth established Sankalpa in 2014 – an organisation that invests in people with the vision and ability to bring about systemic change across a host of issues. These range from driving farm animal welfare at home and abroad, highlighting human stories and global issues through film, through to supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs in Africa and giving purpose to adults with learning disabilities and autism. For more information visit