There were three nominations to the NFU Sugar board for the three places available. Two board members return to serve another term: Simon Smith (vice chairman) and Sam Godfrey. Tim Beaver returns to the board after a brief period away, beginning his three-year term in March 2021. Find out more about them here.
Simon farms close to the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border, currently growing and delivering 40,000 tonnes of sugar beet into the Bury St Edmunds factory. He also grows wheat, oil seed rape and beans and runs a farm contracting business and agri-haulage company.
Since graduating from Shuttleworth agricultural college in 1996, Simon has developed the farm business with a commitment to utilising sustainable and innovative growing techniques.
Simon is committed to the continual development of the sugar beet crop amid challenging agronomic pressures and the devastating result of virus yellows.
Having had the privilege of participating in the 2014/15 Sugar Industry Programme, Simon was delighted to become an appointed member of the board. Simon first sat on the board in 2015. Now sitting as vice chairman, Simon strives to promote the interests of all sugar beet growers. He lives with his wife and two young sons and when work permits can be found racing his Caterham or supporting Norwich City Football Club.
Sam has been a director in his family farming business based in Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire since 2008. The farm covers a wide geographical area and a range of soil types, and sugar beet is grown across most of the farm as part of a rotation, growing a considerable tonnage of sugar beet for the Newark and Wissington factories. Previously Sam was a participant on the Sugar Industry Programme, a member of Red Tractor Combinable Crops and Sugar Beet Board and a National Pig Association Producer Group member.
Sam will continue to play a crucial role in seed negotiation and will continue to sit on the Recommended List board.
Tim is a new addition to the NFU Sugar board, but it is a role he will be familiar with as he previously sat on the board. Tim runs a tenanted arable farm business in south Lincolnshire. Tim believes that having a diverse rotation is critical and wishes to continue to have sugar beet in the rotation, but not at prices below the cost of production. Tim is passionate that the beet price must also include the true costs of growing beet including possible soil damage, track damage and other extra costs. Tim is also BASIS Diploma qualified.
When on the board previously Tim’s most significant wins included helping to eliminate the sugar beet assurance tax, saving growers £55,000 a year, and instigating the removal of the crown deduction that ultimately led to all yields increasing by 6.6%, giving growers a fairer deal.
You may also be interested in:
- NFU Sugar represents homegrown industry on an international stage
- Changes to UK-EU trade in plants and plant products from 1 January 2021
- Campaign data for the 2020-2021 campaign
- Abandon sugar import quota, growers urge government
More from NFUonline:
- A Message from the President
- NFU Live: Your guide to the NFU's programme of autumn events
- What the NFU is doing to help members