National Farmers Union of England and Wales

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Full name National Farmers Union
Founded 1908
Members 63,000
Key people Sir Peter Kendall, president
Office location Agriculture House, Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, England, CV8 2TZ
Country England and Wales

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is a member organisation/industry association for farmers in England and Wales. It is the largest farmers organisation in England and Wales, and has over 300 branch offices.


The National Farmers Union was begun by a group of nine Lincolnshire farmers and, as the "Lincolnshire Farmers Union", held its first meeting in 1904. By 1908 they were called the National Farmers Union and were meeting in London. During the Second World War, the NFU worked hand in glove with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to ensure food security. Rationing continued after the war and it is a measure of the NFU's influence at that time that the Agriculture Act 1947 committed the government to undertake a national review of the industry every year in consultation with the NFU.[1][2]

The close relationship between the NFU and the MAFF continued until New Labour reformed the MAFF into the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2001, and indeed the MAFF was sometimes called the "Political wing of NFU".[3] Defra is seen as more independent, although the NFU does remain a powerful and effective lobbying body that wields considerable influence in proportion to the industry's economic value.[1][2] This arrangement could be described as an iron triangle.

The NFU is registered as an association of employers under the 1974 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act. In 2000 it founded Assured Food Standards.


The NFU states that it "champions British farming and provides professional representation and services to its Farmer and Grower members."

NFU offices in central London

It negotiates with the government and national organisations on behalf of English and Welsh farmers.


The NFU has an office in Brussels to represent the interests of British farmers to the European Union.

The NFU is closely associated with the insurance mutual company NFU Mutual, also based in Warwickshire.

NFU Cymru is at the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Beyond the National Farmers Union, Open I, published 16 March 2002, retrieved 4 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b The National Farmers Union, Corporatewatch, published July 2003. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  3. ^ GM Watch
NFU offices in Lincoln

External links[edit]