Tim Bennett to sit as board member of Levy Board UK

Former NFU president Tim Bennett is making a return to public life – as a board member of the new Levy Board UK.

The government announced in 2006 that the five existing levy bodies would be replaced by one statutory levy board and six sector companies on 1 April 2008.

Mr Bennett, who was ousted as union president by Peter Kendall a year ago, will get a seat at the Levy Board UK table as the head of the milk sector company.

The names of all ten board members have been announced by DEFRA secretary David Miliband ahead of his speech to the NFU annual conference in Birmingham on Monday (26 February).

The names of the six sector company chairman are:

Beef and lamb (England only):

Norfolk farmer John Cross, who runs a mixed arable and livestock family farm and is the current chairman of the English Beef and Lamb Executive.

Cereals and Oilseeds:

Kent cereals and oilseeds farmer Jonathan Tipples, who is also a board member of the Home-Grown Cereals Authority and vice-chairman of Assured Food Standards.


Independent business consultant John Hall, who specialises in fresh produce, food and horticulture.


Former NFU-president Tim Bennett, who farms with his wife in Camarthen in south west Wales.

Pigs (England only):

Pig farmer Stewart Houston, who is also chairman of the National Pig Association and British Pig Executive (BPEX).


Professor of biotechnology and food science Janet Bainbridge, who has sat on the British Potato Council Board since 2004.

The names of the four independent members are:

John Bridge – Chair designate of levy Board UK
Christopher Bones – Principal of Henley Management College
Lorraine Clinton – Council member for Cranfield University and board member for the manufacturing institute
Clare Dodgson – chief executive of the Legal Services Commission.

Mr Miliband said: “This is a significant day for levy payers as they now know who will be responsible for helping to deliver a new levy board structure by April 2008.”