NFU president Meurig Raymond will build on calls for retailers to “buy British” after succeeding Peter Kendall as farm leader.

Mr Raymond was elected NFU president on Wednesday (26 February). He pledged to build on the legacy of Mr Kendall, who has stepped down after eight years as one of the most popular presidents in the union’s history.

“Strong foundations have been laid over the last few years,” Mr Raymond told Farmers Weekly. A priority was getting across to consumers and policymakers the importance of farming and food production, he added.

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Mr Raymond was favourite to take the role after serving as loyal deputy to Mr Kendall during the whole of his eight year term. His family farms in Pembrokeshire, running a 620-cow dairy herd and beef and lamb fattening enterprise, while also growing combinable crops and potatoes.

In a move which sees the first female elected to the NFU top table in the union’s 106-year history, Wiltshire farmer Minette Batters was elected NFU deputy president. Essex farmer Guy Smith was elected NFU vice-president.

Ms Batters was elected in the first round of voting, defeating Warwickshire farmer Adam Quinney who was ousted as an NFU officeholder after two years. “I will do my absolute best to deliver for our farmer members,” she said.

Mr Smith, who has widespread media experience and a self-professed passion for explaining the industry to non-farming audiences, said he hoped his new role would give more opportunity to carry the farming message further.