Andrew Burgess elected chairman of NFU organic forum

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Vegetable farmer Andrew Burgess has been elected the new chair of the NFU organic forum.

Andrew, who takes over from John Pawsey, is director of agriculture at Produce World and founder of RB Organic. He was previously on the NFU horticulture and potatoes board and has served on the LEAF board, Soil Association, AHDB and British Carrot Growers. He said:

“I’m thrilled and excited by the appointment. I feel very energised and empowered.

“My aims are to continue the great work of my predecessor, John Pawsey in raising the awareness of the benefits of organic farming, not just to the health and environment but also to other farmers.

“As we move towards net zero and payment for public goods, organics has a lot of knowledge and developments to share. The ever-decreasing armoury of plant protection products and the move to lower carbon nutrients will lead to the whole of agriculture having to think about those challenges. We are in the vanguard when it come to the search for the solutions of the future.”

West Midlands dairy farmer Mark Wycherley has been elected the Forum’s vice chairman. Mark, who farms at Beckbury, Shropshire, produces antibiotic free milk for OMSCo’s premium pool. Mark’s family has farmed in Shropshire for six generations and has been organic since 1997. He enjoys the feeling of working with nature, and not trying to beat it. The family are currently running 60 cross reds on a robot, selling to OMSCo into the 'Antibiotic free' premium milk pool. They also grow potatoes, and previously carrots and onions.

Mark said: “I’m excited to work with the new chairman and forum to build on the work of the NFU, in my new role as vice chairman. I currently sit on the NFU’s Net Zero Steering group as the organic forum representative as well as an independent representative on OF&G’s certification committee.”

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