An introduction from NFU Director General Terry Jones
The past year has been characterised by political uncertainty with deal, no deal or even no Brexit being possible outcomes at different moments. To prepare for these outcomes while at the same time working on the wealth of issues that touch members’ businesses today and presenting a positive image for the industry, requires the NFU to be well resourced and well organised.
That planning is undertaken through our 2,000 Days strategy. Now nearly at its half-way point, the strategy has sought not only to improve our performance but build resilience. Since 2017 we have focused on areas we believe are critical to the success of the NFU and have sought to:
- Grow our representative power
- Grow our non-subscription income
- Grow our services to members
- Grow our share of voice
- Grow our knowledge and skills
I am pleased to report that this year we have again made progress against all of these objectives. Today the NFU is stronger, louder and more responsive to members’ needs than it was 12 months ago, providing more value for its members.
Of course we have only been able to grow by first defending and protecting our key strengths.
To be successful we must have the best people, the right culture, an appropriate and adaptable structure and financial resilience. I am especially pleased that we have been able to invest in our staff leaders, something which we will begin to roll out for our member leaders in the year ahead.
Those strengths, particularly our network at local level supported by NFU Mutual, allow us to deal with unplanned events such as December’s General Election or pushing back on the plethora of myths and misconceptions that seemed to plague the industry this year.
Moreover we are also able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise and demonstrate leadership in policy areas such as net zero.
I am very honoured to lead the NFU’s staff team and proud of the work that we do on behalf of our members. However, the great strength of the organisation lies in the special relationship that our professional colleagues have with the membership. Combining the knowledge of specialists with an authentic farming voice ensures that the NFU remains a respected and credible voice within and beyond the UK.
And having left the EU and carving out a relationship with that trading block and others, that special partnership has never been more important.