National Farmers Union of England and Wales

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The NFU is a member organisation/industry association for farmers in England and Wales. It is the largest farmers' organisation in the country, with 300+ branch offices. On behalf of farmers, it negotiates with the govt and national organisations.
Calling itself '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."[1]
The NFU is registered as an association of employers under the 1974 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act.

Red Tractor

The NFU founded Assured Food Standards in 2000, which administers the Red Tractor Scheme. The NFU licenses the Red Tractor quality mark, a product certification programme that comprises a number of farm assurance schemes for food products, animal feed and fertilizer.

See main article: Assured Food Standards

Who does the NFU represent?

See the Ethical Consumer report (2016).

NFU Cymru

... The title NFU Cymru was adopted in 1999 at the time of the advent of devolved government in Wales and the National Assembly.


  • Nov.14.2018: Farmers give thumbs down to Sainsbury’s merger with Asda. The NFU has warned the Competition & Markets Authority that its members will feel the impact of any squeeze on suppliers that will result from the merger of Sainsburys and Walmart's Asda. An unnamed supplier cautioned: “The proposed merger only serves to deteriorate conditions in an already concentrated market, to the significant detriment of consumers and suppliers . . . this will have significant negative implications and raise material competition issues at all levels of the supply and distribution chain.” Aldi said that a combined Sainsbury's-Asda, along with Tesco, would control nearly 60% of the market. Deirdre Hipwell, The Times.
  • Feb.26.2018: UK farmers won't lower standards post-Brexit, says new NFU head. Minette Batters, the National Farmers' Union’s new president, says good quality, safe food is "a public right" and staying part of a customs union is vital. "A customs union [with the EU] is absolutely vital," she said, pointing out what farmers have to lose from EU trade, which accounts for 40% of lamb, 80% of dairy and 75% of the UK's wheat and barley exports. She said: "The floor in the Brexit negotiations is for our standards to be in line with the rest of Europe". Her position effectively sets out a ceiling and a floor on the Brexit negotiations from a farming point of view, in stark contrast to the views of ministers, including trade secretary Liam Fox, and of free-market thinktanks that advocate allowing imports of products of lower standards. The idea of a customs union with the EU is rejected by some. Matt Kilcoyne, head of communications at the Adam Smith Institute thinktank, said it was "sad to see the NFU arguing for protectionism". Fiona Harvey, The Guardian.
  • Feb.24.2018: Minette Batters: "Britain isn't one big national park... food must drive Brexit agenda". The first female president of the National Farmers Union since it was founded in 1908 knows that her new job is more about macroeconomics than mucking out. The NFU president, who voted to stay in the EU, is worried about future trade negotiations. "For me it's about a great opportunity to make sure that at the cusp of this agricultural revolution we make sure that British farm food is the best in the world competing on the global market". Farmers, many of whom went against NFU advice and voted for Brexit, stand to lose up to £3 billion in EU subsidies, although grants will be maintained at their present level until 2021. A free trade deal is, she insists, essential both for farmers and consumers. "Europe is the key market for farmers; 40% of our lamb exports go into the EU, 80% of our dairy exports and 75% of our wheat and barley. It's 500 million consumers on our doorstep". But her industry also needs to look elsewhere. The govt cannot just leave agriculture to sink or swim, scrapping subsidies altogether as New Zealand did. She does not support the trend for “rewilding” the countryside or reforestation. "Seventy per cent of the UK is rural, the vast proportion is farmed or managed in some way, and countryside access is reliant on it not being an overgrown wilderness," she says. She is also nervous about proposals from some campaigners to bring back wild animals in an attempt to recreate an earlier landscape. Alice Thomson, Rachel Sylvester, The Times.