Former NFU president Peter Kendall has been appointed chairman of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

Mr Kendall takes up the role for a three-year term with immediate effect. He replaces John Godfrey, who stepped down after his term in office at the end of March.

Funded by farmers and others in the supply chain, the AHDB works to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of agriculture and horticulture through advice, information and promotional activity.

Although the chairman is appointed by DEFRA, it is a statutory levy board managed as an organisation independent of both government and commercial industry.

Mr Kendall, who was NFU president for eight years before stepping down in February, said he had for a long time expressed great optimism in the future of British agriculture.

“I believe AHDB must be central to providing farmers and growers with the tools required to deliver growth over the coming years,” he said.

“John Godfrey and his team have worked hard to drive synergies and reduce administrative costs to levypayers.

“It is essential that this work continues and a clear vision is communicated to levypayers to earn their support and backing for the important work that will be required to ‘grow British agriculture’ over the coming years.”

Mr Kendall’s appointment was made by DEFRA secretary Owen Paterson and approved by the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

DEFRA farm minister George Eustice said: “I welcome Peter Kendall’s appointment as chair of AHDB and look forward to working with him.

“He has considerable experience of the farming and food industry so is well placed to take AHDB forward. I would like to thank John Godfrey for all his hard work.”

AHDB chief executive Tom Taylor said Mr Kendall’s stature, knowledge and passion for the industry would only help strengthen the AHDB’s role and take the organisation forward.

Mr Kendall will be paid £50,000 per annum on a two-days-a-week basis. Reasonable travel expenses are also paid.

It is the former farm leader’s second major appointment in less than a fortnight. Mr Kendall was appointed president of the World Farmer’s Organisation in March.