UK farmer’s union strengthen Brexit strategy

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has moved to refocus and strengthen its strategy on Brexit in both its government and external affairs teams in London.

The move from the UK farmer’s union will ensure that it continues to have the impact needed on behalf of its 46,000 farmer and grower members as all-important Brexit negotiations get underway.

To ensue that these targets are met, the NFU has appointed a director to lead its newly-created Brexit Unit as the organisation moves to strengthen and extend its political reach following the Brexit Referendum.

Nick von Westenholz will join the NFU as Director of EU Exit and International Trade to ensure the union has a co-ordinated and constant presence in its Brexit conversations with government in the crucial months ahead.

The organisation made no secret of their determination to seize the opportunities offered by the forthcoming Brexit deals, according to NFU Director General Terry Jones.

These deals will also ensure that British farming has a profitable and productive future, and is able to seize and capitalise on new opportunities, Jones also said.

Farming and food production is politically and strategically important for the UK.

“Farming provides the raw ingredients for the UK’s food and drink sector worth £108 billion, supporting 3.9m jobs for people nation-wide as well as delivering high quality, traceable food for a growing population,” he said.

In the coming weeks and months ahead it is essential that food and farming is front and centre of any talks about the UK’s relationship with Europe and the rest of the world, the NFU Director General said.

“I am delighted Nick von Westenholz is re-joining the NFU to lead the new and strategically important Brexit team to ensure the voice of farming is at the heart of policy and decision-making in these crucial talks,” Jones said.

Westenholz rejoins the NFU from his current post as Chief Executive of the Crop Protection Association. He is a trained barrister and previously worked with the NFU as its Head of Government Affairs.

“While Brexit presents clear challenges to UK farming in the coming years, if we get it right it offers the prospect of an exciting future, both to the benefit of domestic food production and our precious natural environment.

“The NFU has shown a strong intent to be on the front foot in getting the best out of Brexit for British farmers and I’m immensely excited about stepping up to that task on behalf of the NFU’s members,” Westenholz said.

In addition, the NFU is recruiting a new Head of External Affairs and Two New External Affairs Managers to strengthen its London presence.