NFU 2010: Peter Kendall pledges to turn optimism into reality

Peter Kendall has pledged to turn optimism into realism as he seeks to ensure farming stays high on the political agenda after winning a third term as NFU president.

One of the most intriguing elections in NFU history saw Mr Kendall re-elected NFU leader on Wednesday (24 February).

The election also saw Welsh farmer Meurig Raymond returned for a third term as NFU deputy president. West Sussex dairy farmer and dairy board chairman Gwyn Jones was elected union vice president.

Mr Kendall described the new team as highly experienced. “We are in a different place to where we were a few years ago. We are starting to see people seeing farming and what we can do with our land in a much more integrated and sensible way.”

The 49-year-old Bedfordshire farmer pledged to build on progress which has seen the government finally recognise the importance of agriculture and issues such as food security. “It is about turning optimism into realism,” said Mr Kendall.

Mr Raymond said: “With a general election coming up, who knows who is going to be in government. Bovine TB is going to be the big issue, there’s no doubt about it, as well as fairness in the supply chain and the supermarket ombudsman.”

Dairy board chairman Gwyn Jones said he was almost speechless but highly privileged to be elected vice-president.

“I look forward to being part of the team and to progressing the union along the best course of action over the next two years.”

The main issue for all office holders without doubt were CAP reform and bovine TB, said Mr Jones.

“Those are the two overwhelming issues. There are many others, but those are the two that immediately spring to mind that need our full attention.”

Catch up with all that happened at the NFU Conference on the special report page.

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