Get involved with our commodity boards

31 August 2023

Farmers standing in a field

As the transition to the new NFU East region continues, there are opportunities for members to get involved with our regional commodity boards.

A larger NFU region, with East Anglia combining with Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex, will bring new-look commodity boards and wider engagement across the East.

NFU Regional Director Zoe Leach said: “Our commodity boards are at the heart of our policy work and we are looking for more members to get involved in our NFU East region.

“As a board member, you would network with other farmers from across the region and help shape policy. Your participation in a commodity board can, and will, make a difference to your business and your life.

“Our NFU commodity boards are only as strong and effective as the people who are on them, so we are really keen to see as many people as possible coming forward to take up these places.”

The region will be looking for two representatives per county to sit on the regional crops, dairy and livestock boards.

These positions will be approved at the annual county meetings in November and December. Then, in early January, the regional commodity boards will elect their chair, who will automatically sit on the national commodity boards.

Discussions are ongoing as to how horticulture, potato and poultry members will be best represented.

Essex farmer David Lord sits on the regional combinable crops board and he encouraged members to get involved.

“I found that being a member of the East Anglian crops board has been a rewarding experience, tackling the multiple complex issues facing the sector, speaking to members and interacting with those at the top level of our industry to try and facilitate positive change for farmers,” he said.

“It has also enabled me to fine tune my own business to make it more resilient to this increasingly challenging political, economic and environmental climate.

“The NFU has had some success lobbying for policy changes, but for the NFU to remain effective it is vital individual farmers views are represented.”

Meeting frequency varies depending on commodity but will be a combination of face-to-face, farm visits and virtual meetings. They typically last for around two hours.

As well as commodity boards, the regional tenants forum will continue for the forthcoming year, including county representatives for the NFU East region.

To find out more about the roles, please contact your county adviser. You can also download our brochure, telling you more about how the boards work and why you should get involved.

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