Dairy board appointee applications: help shape the future of our sector

Rainbow over Nick Bush's farm

The NFU dairy board is seeking to appoint four new members, and is encouraging any interested dairy farmer member to read on.

Update: Applications have now closed and all are being considered. News of successful applicants will be announced by April 2021.

The appointee process was previously paused in light of the Covid-19 outbreak, but is now able to resume.

British dairy producers continue to face challenges and uncertainty, from Covid-19, Brexit and trade policy through to contract regulation and fairness in the supply chain and environmental issues. Set in the context of the development and delivery of a new agriculture support policy that works for dairy producers, significant focused efforts lie ahead for the industry to become sustainable in the face of these challenges.

How to apply

Interested members should contact James Osman, NFU Chief Dairy Adviser, c/o [email protected] with an up-to-date CV setting out experience, skills, interests and a personal statement on what you would bring to the board. You should clearly mark any correspondence, including your application with the word ‘Dairy Appointee’ in the subject line.

Key areas for the future

We cannot ignore the matter of climate change and in 2019, the NFU launched its Achieving Net Zero report which outlined our plans for how British farming can reach net zero by 2040, ten years ahead of the government’s target. While the solutions are not straightforward, we firmly believe that sustainable dairy production here can contribute to meeting this ambition, while providing positive benefits to the environment.

The public continues to demand high standards of traceability, food safety, and animal welfare alongside high levels of environmental delivery, yet the value placed on food remains relatively low.

We continue to call for transparency and fairness in the supply chain, ensuring all within the chain remain profitable. Building upon our already world-leading standards will be critical if we are to maintain our domestic market and champion British dairy produce abroad, seeking new opportunities.

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Help to navigate the right path

The NFU is looking for four forward-thinking English or Welsh dairy farmer members to join the national dairy board as appointees, to help champion and represent the causes of the sector, alongside our eight regionally elected members and chairman.

We’re looking for candidates that will bring experience of dairy production and knowledge of the wider supply chain to the board. Board agendas are wide-ranging and potential applicants should have skills and interest in areas such as trade, animal health, climate change mitigation and productivity.

Knowledge of skills and training for the dairy workforce, retail and processing or consumer insights would also be beneficial.

Potential applicants must demonstrate a sound understanding of the policy and trade issues affecting the dairy industry, as well as a willingness to connect with the wider NFU membership.

Applicants should be active dairy producers with a good understanding of the sectors, be forward-thinking and have strong communication skills.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak we suspended the appointee recruitment process in early 2020. We are now reopening the process for a one year term to serve until early in 2022, when we hope to return to resume the more regular two year terms for appointees. Interviews and inductions will be conducted virtually, however, a more extensive induction will be provided when restrictions allow.

What you need to know

Successful candidates are expected to attend six meetings a year, typically at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. Although until further notice, all meetings are held virtually. Attendance at other supply chain, government or NFU meetings as a representative of the board will be required from time to time.

In return you will receive an honorarium, paid monthly, and reimbursement of reasonable expenses.

  • Closing date for applications: Midnight on 1 March
  • Interview date: 11 March (to be held virtually)
  • Expected start date for new appointees: 1 April

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