Farming weather summit: How the NFU led the way

Minette Batters speak to GMB about the Agricultural Drought Summit_56483

When the British summer heatwave began to have a crippling effect on farms across the country the NFU sprang into action to find urgent solutions to help its members.

But orchestrating the high-profile agricultural drought summit was a complex and complicated mission which needed the skills, experience and contacts of multiple teams across the NFU.

In the first instance, the NFU needed a clear picture of the main challenges faced by farmers, the severity and the scope, and the different regional and sectoral nuances. Through the NFU's farmer-led board and forum structure along with its network of regional employees working at a grassroots level, the full and accurate impact of the weather was quickly identified.

Behind the scenes the NFU began talking to Forage Aid, supporting their charitable drive to provide emergency fodder to those in need, and setting up the NFU Fodder Bank.

Environment and water specialists began discussions with the Environment Agency to urge them to bring in flexible arrangements to allow farmers access to the water they needed.

And in the long term, the NFU continued its calls on the UK Government to put in place robust measures that will help deal with volatile circumstances, both now and after Brexit.

To make sure these calls to action were prioritised the NFU brought all the major players together in one agricultural drought summit at its offices in London, with the organisation's campaigning and external affairs teams securing attendance from the top level people who could make things happen.

Minette Batters and Michael Gove at Agriculture Drought Summit on Sky News_56484

Galvanising support and increasing the understanding of the issue among the general public was also key. The NFU media team sent out an operational note to its network of contacts at all the major national and regional broadcast, print and trade media in the UK.

The response was phenomenal with the summit attracting headlines and coverage from the BBC, ITV, Sky, Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph, to name just a few.

Minette Batters Michael Gove interviews outside drought summit meeting 1 aug 2018_56546

The coverage started with NFU President Minette Batters and the officeholder team on the BBC Today Program and television breakfast shows, continuing through lunchtime and evening bulletins, including the One Show, and finally making the late news as the story developed.

Guy Smith on BBC Breakfast talking about the Agricultural Drought Summit_56486

The full list is below:

BBC Breakfast with NFU member Stuart Yarwood on farm and a pre-recorded interview with Guy Smith

Good Morning Britain interview with NFU member Phil Latham on farm live

Good Morning Britain broadcast an interview with Minette Batters

BBC Breakfast interview with Minette Batters live from Millbank studio

BBC Radio Lincolnshire interview with Deputy President Guy Smith live from Millbank studio

Sky News Sunrise interview with Minette Batters 

BBC Radio Cornwall interview with Guy Smith 

BBC Radio Gloucestershire interview with Guy Smith

BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester interview with Guy Smith

BBC Radio Humberside interview with Guy Smith

BBC Radio Wiltshire interview with Guy Smith

BBC Radio Suffolk interview with Vice President Stuart Roberts

Radio 4 Today Programme interview with Minette Batters

Talk Radio interview with Guy Smith

BBC Radio 5 Live interview with Guy Smith

BBC News Channel live interview with Minette Batters

ITV Lunchtime News at 1 live on NFU dairy farmer Jimmy Pritt's farm

Radio 4's You & Yours interview with NFU member Ed Shaw

LBC Radio live interview with NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes

BBC 6 o clock News interviews with Minette Batters, Robert Lockhart and Richard Bower

BBC The One Show weather feature  including interviews with Minette Batters and Guy Smith

Channel 4 News interview with Minette Batters

ITV News at 10 interviews with Minette Batters and Jimmy Pritt

Last edited on: 01:08:2018

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