National Farmers' Union of England and Wales
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|Full name||National Farmers' Union|
|Members||55,000 Farmer and Grower members, 34,000 Countryside members|
|Key people||Officeholders: Meurig Raymond MBE, President; Minette Batters, Deputy President; Guy Smith, Vice President (Terms of office run from Feb 2016 - Feb 2018); Martin Haworth, Acting Director General.|
|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.
On 10 December 1908, a meeting was held in an ante-room at the Smithfield Show to discuss whether a national organisation should be formed to represent the interests of farmers. The outcome was the National Farmers' Union (NFU).
The first President, Colin Campbell, worked tirelessly to get new branches off the ground, encourage membership and establish the NFU’s credibility with Government, at a time when farming was going through the longest and deepest depression in its history, as imports of cheap grain and frozen meat flooded in from abroad.
At the 1918 general election, the union ran six candidates, none of whom were elected. In 1922, it sponsored three unsuccessful candidates under its own name, and four successful Conservative Party candidates. It again sponsored Conservative candidates in 1923 and 1935, but has not done so since.
The organisation celebrated its Centenary in 2008.
1918 general election
|Barnard Castle||Monkhouse, OctaviusOctavius Monkhouse||1,274||10.0|
|East Norfolk||Taylor, William BenjaminWilliam Benjamin Taylor||1,926||12.3||3|
|Hertford||Barnard, Edmond BroughtonEdmond Broughton Barnard||7,158||38.8||2|
|Leominster||Langford, Ernest WilfredErnest Wilfred Langford||2,870||17.4||3|
|Ormskirk||Hirst, StephenStephen Hirst||4,989||28.3||3|
|Richmond (Yorkshire)||Parlour, WilliamWilliam Parlour||4,907||33.2||2|
Barnard was also sponsored by the National Party.
1922 general election
|Carmarthen||Johns, DanielDaniel Johns||4,775||15.9||3|
|Howdenshire||Winn, H. J.H. J. Winn||7,021||39.5||2|
|Leominster||Shepperson, ErnestErnest Shepperson||10,798||53.1||1|
|Ormskirk||Blundell, FrancisFrancis Blundell||11,921||58.7||1|
|Rutland and Stamford||Clark, E.E. Clark||4,471||20.3||3|
|Stone||Lamb, JosephJoseph Lamb||1|
|Wells||Bruford, RobertRobert Bruford||10,210||47.7||1|
Blundell, Bruford, Lamb and Shepperson stood for the Conservative Party.
1923 general election
|Leominster||Shepperson, ErnestErnest Shepperson||11,582||57.3||1|
|Ormskirk||Blundell, FrancisFrancis Blundell||10,598||53.0||1|
|Stone||Lamb, JosephJoseph Lamb||10,001||50.8||1|
|Wells||Bruford, RobertRobert Bruford||9,909||44.2||2|
All candidates stood for the Conservative Party.
1924 general election
|Leominster||Shepperson, ErnestErnest Shepperson||13,237||52.5||1|
|Stone||Lamb, JosephJoseph Lamb||1|
Both candidates stood for the Conservative Party.
1935 general election
Two candidates were sponsored and elected for the Conservative Party.
There are several tiers of NFU membership:
- Farmer and Grower: The NFU is the only organisation that champions all farmers and growers in England and Wales. We’re here to give you a voice and protect your way of life now and in the future. Our strength is in our numbers. With over 50,000 farmer and grower members, we are heard when it counts – locally, nationally and internationally.
- Countryside: NFU Countryside is a membership that celebrates the British countryside from great food, stunning wildlife and places to visit, to what to do with your garden or veg patch, and how to get the most from your equine and canine companions.
- NFU Pro: If you are a professional working in agriculture whether in a legal, technical, financial, veterinary or any other capacity, becoming a member of NFU Pro helps you enhance the service you offer your customers.
- Student: NFU Student is a free membership category for anyone studying a full or part-time agricultural, horticultural, land-based or related course at university or college.
- YFC: The NFU and the Young Farmers Club share the vision of a bright future for farming, and realise the need to support and develop the next generation of farmers.
Known as 'The Voice of British Farming', the NFU states that it "champions British farming and provides professional representation and services to its Farmer and Grower members."
It negotiates with the government and national organisations on behalf of English and Welsh farmers. The NFU's Back British Farming campaign highlights hundreds of reasons why farming deserves public support.
The NFU is governed by its Constitution and Rules. Under the Constitution and Rules the NFU shall maintain a number of bodies, which are responsible for the Governance of the NFU. These include NFU Council, Governance Board, Policy Board, National Commodity Boards, Regional Commodity Boards, an Audit and Remuneration Committee and Legal Board and Regional Boards.
NFU Cymru is based at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.
The NFU has been described by Ethical Consumer as "The English Agribusiness Lobby Group" reflecting concerns that the organisation focuses too strongly on promoting the interests of larger, strongly profit-maximising "agribusinesses" rather than those of smaller farmers. Guy Watson of Riverford Organics, wrote "I don’t feel represented by the NFU. In fact I find myself increasingly alienated by their self-righteous lobbying for the short term interests of a small number of largescale farmers. This especially applies to their resistance to any representation of the interests of the tax payers who prop up their industry; to even the tamest environmental regulation; to public access to land; and to any redirection of farming subsidies to encourage younger, smaller scale entrants to the industry."
- North West - Skelmersdale, Lancashire
- North East - Dringhouses, York
- West Midlands - Telford, Shropshire
- East Midlands - Uppingham, Rutland
- South West - Exeter, Devon
- South East - Petersfield, Hampshire
- East Anglia - Newmarket, Suffolk
- National Farmers' Union of Scotland
- Ulster Farmers Union
- British Agriculture Bureau - its base in Brussels
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- NFU Mutual
- Craig, F. W. S. (1975). Minor Parties in British By-elections, 1885-1974. London: Macmillan Press. p. 56.
- "History of the NFU". NFUonline. NFU. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- "About Us". NFU. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "NFU Democratic Structure". NFUonline. NFU. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- Chris Cook, The Routledge Guide to British Political Archives: Sources Since 1945 (Routledge: 2006), p. 345.