The Tenant Farmers Association has appointed Greg Bliss as its new national chairman following the retirement of Reg Haydon who has held office for the last 13 years.

Mr Bliss is an arable and sheep farmer from Cambridgeshire.

Mr Bliss said, “There is no doubt that I step into the chairmanship of a strong, vibrant association. Over the 13 years of Reg Haydon’s chairmanship, the TFA has gone from strength to strength. It is now well placed to advise its growing membership and to be an influence for good in Whitehall, Westminster and Europe. I want to build on those strengths to ensure that the TFA meets the demands of its discerning members.

Rent reviews

“The agenda of issues that I will face as TFA National Chairman is already full. This year, obviously rent reviews are going to be a key concern. In recent years there has been a dearth of rent reviews with rents remaining fairly static.

“This followed a period of high activity in the late 1990’s and the early years of this century which saw farm rents fall up to two or three times from their peak levels of 1996. It is no surprise then, with the upturn in some farm gate prices, that landlords’ agents have been advising their clients that it would be timely to issue rent review notices. However, we have been seeking to remind them that they need also to be looking at the cost side of the equation,”

Priorities

Mr Bliss said other priorities included changes in the area and rules relating to Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, the continuing scourge of bovine TB, cost and responsibility sharing for animal diseases and the CAP health check.

Climate change adaptation and mitigation, food security, agri-environment policy, taxation, planning, retirement, affordable housing and the future of County Council Smallholdings were other issues to be addressed.

*Read a full interview with Greg Bliss in Friday’s Farmers Weekly (out 14 March).