Colchester farmer rises up through the ranks at NFU

The National Farmers' Union top team February 2022

From left, NFU deputy presidentTom Bradshaw with Minette Batters and new vice president David Exwood - Credit: Simon Handley

A north Essex farmer has become deputy president of the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

Tom Bradshaw, of Fletcher's Farm, Fordham, near Colchester, was vice-president but was voted in as deputy at the NFU's annual general meeting on Wednesday (February 23, 2022). Minette Batters was re-elected as president and David Exwood became vice president. Tom's elevation follows the departure of Stuart Roberts, who decided to stand down this year.

"I've been proud to represent our industry as vice president over the past two years and I very much looking forward to building on this work as deputy president alongside Minette and David," said the arable farmer.

“Our sector is going through some of the biggest changes in 70 years and we must focus on turning this change into opportunity. We are currently farming in a challenging and uncertain business environment and it’s important we receive fair returns in the supply chain so we can continue to produce fantastic food for the nation and boost our social, economic and boost our social, economic and environmental contribution."

The NFU represents more than 46,000 farmers and growers across England and Wales.

Mrs Batters, a beef farmer from Wiltshire, will serve as president for a further two years - her third term as president.

“I’m truly honoured to lead the NFU at such a crucial time for British food and farming. My focus in the coming years, as we enter a new era for British agriculture, will be to ensure a bright and resilient British farming sector that continues to provide the nation with high-quality, climate-friendly, affordable food for generations to come," she said.  

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“I have a vision of a sustainable and resilient food industry with a new economic model which ensures a fair return from supply chains and drives profit back into the land, enabling us to maximise the potential for sustainable food production and environmental delivery on farms.

“There remain significant challenges facing our sector that need to be addressed. I will continue to work with government to ensure they back British farming in trade deals, urgently address the industry-wide labour crisis, help tackle rural crime, and develop domestic policy that enables farmers to produce sustainable food alongside caring for the environment and working towards net zero."

She was looking forward to working with Tom and David at a critical time, she said.