Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

UK: Tributes paid following death of former NFU president Sir Ben Gill

PUBLISHED: 16:38 08 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:38 08 May 2014

N.F.U President , Sir Ben Gill in his ceremonial gowns during his award ceremony at Otley College.
EADT 20 09 03

N.F.U President , Sir Ben Gill in his ceremonial gowns during his award ceremony at Otley College. EADT 20 09 03

Former president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Sir Ben Gill has died after a long illness.

President of the National Farmers Union Ben Gill,  holds up a piece of beef which was to be sent to the French Embassy in protest of the fact that France have yet to lift the ban on British beef, during the NFU Annual meeting and AGM in central London, Wednesday 6 February, 2002. Mr Gill said that farmers must make their own destiny following the devastation of the foot-and-mouth epidemic, and that energetic action for change on an unprecedented scale was vital if the industry was to recover. See PA story FARM Conference. PA Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth

EADT 8.6.02
EADT 19.6.02
EADT 2.11.02
EADT 11.1.03
EADT 23.1.03
EADT 18 02 03 BUSINESS SUPP
EADT 24 04 03
EADT 5 07 03
EADT 13 02 04President of the National Farmers Union Ben Gill, holds up a piece of beef which was to be sent to the French Embassy in protest of the fact that France have yet to lift the ban on British beef, during the NFU Annual meeting and AGM in central London, Wednesday 6 February, 2002. Mr Gill said that farmers must make their own destiny following the devastation of the foot-and-mouth epidemic, and that energetic action for change on an unprecedented scale was vital if the industry was to recover. See PA story FARM Conference. PA Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth EADT 8.6.02 EADT 19.6.02 EADT 2.11.02 EADT 11.1.03 EADT 23.1.03 EADT 18 02 03 BUSINESS SUPP EADT 24 04 03 EADT 5 07 03 EADT 13 02 04

The NFU said it was “deeply saddened” by the news today, describing him as “a determined, vocal and passionate advocate for Britain’s farming sector”.

Sir Ben served as deputy president between 1992 and 1998 and then president between 1998 and 2004.

Showing huge strength of character during this time, he became a nationally-known figure as a formidable fighter for the sector and a champion of British food. He played a key role in leading British farming through the BSE and foot and mouth crises of the late 1990s and early 2000s, and in calling for major reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy in 2003, said the NFU.

St Osyth farmer and NFU vice president Guy Smith said: “Ben Gill led the NFU through one of its most challenging and darkest episodes - the 2000-2001 Foot and Mouth epidemic. As the disease ran rife through the British livestock industry it was an important that the industry had a strong leadership. Ben Gill provided that leadership. As an individual I always enjoyed his company. He was colourful and robust, always enjoying conversation with those who gave as good as they got.”

Ben Gill national president of the NFU, centre, with Pamela Forbes regional director and Stephen Rash NFU county chairman.
Photograph: KEITH MINDHAMBen Gill national president of the NFU, centre, with Pamela Forbes regional director and Stephen Rash NFU county chairman. Photograph: KEITH MINDHAM

Appointed a CBE in 1996 and knighted in 2004, Sir Ben was a lifelong servant of the industry throughout his long and successful career, more latterly in his role as chairman at Visit Herefordshire.

At the NFU, prior to becoming deputy president he also served as chairman of the union’s livestock committee. NFU President Meurig Raymond served on NFU Council when Sir Ben was President.

He said: “Ben Gill always had a big personality and tremendous determination.

“He led the farming industry through some very difficult times, but he always fought hard on behalf of the NFU’s farmer and grower members. Our industry will continue to benefit for a long time as a result of his achievements.

“Our sympathies are with his wife Lady Carolyn and his four sons.”

Former president and current chair of the AHDB Peter Kendall said: “This is a sad loss - Ben was a high profile and enthusiastic farming leader. Our sympathies go to his family.”

Tendring is the antidepressant capital of East Anglia according to a new study – and the Suffolk districts of Waveney and Babergh are not far behind.

A go-getting parish council, three popular pubs and plenty of community spirit are some of the ingredients singled out for earning Shotley the chance of being named the country’s ‘village of the year’.

Bookies are tipping the Missing People Choir which has among its membership Suffolk’s Nicki Durbin – to be named winners of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent.

Bosses at the Suffolk Food Hall hope to set a new world record for the most people eating a sausage roll in the same place at the same time.

Trains between London and Ipswich faced cancellation and delay this evening as attempts were made to remove a trespasser from the rail line.

The first runners from our region have recovered enough after finishing the London Marathon to take selfies and let their family and friends back home how they feel.

Young people who were representing Scouting during the Saint George’s Day parades have been a “credit” to their communities.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24