Ruth Layton

Ruth Layton

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 collages, Ruth co-founded Benchmark Holdings 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 October 2019 Ruth stepped down from her role as group sustainability director to focus on global change in areas of particular personal interest.

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.

In 2015 Ruth established sankalpa – an organisation that invests in people with the vision and ability to bring about systemic change across a host of issues. sankalpa prioritises the evolution of the human being and also works in other areas including food sustainability, telling relevant human stories, supporting entrepreneurs in Africa and adults with learning disabilities and autism. For more information visit