NFU appoints new policy manager to champion East Anglian farming

21 April 2022

East Anglia
Regional Policy Manager Charles Hesketh

The NFU has created a new role in East Anglia to drive the union’s policy work forward on behalf of members’ businesses.

Charles Hesketh starts work as regional policy manager at a time of unprecedented change, challenge and opportunity for the NFU and its members.

Previously NFU Suffolk County Adviser, he is looking forward to meeting members across the region and working to ensure their views are represented as policies are developed.

Charles said: “I have really enjoyed my three years as county adviser and I’m now excited to be moving into this new strategic role, championing our fantastic industry across East Anglia and supporting colleagues and members with the wide range of policy issues on the horizon.

“Farmers are facing some major immediate challenges, including the soaring cost of fuel and fertiliser, labour shortages and adapting to the biggest change in agricultural policy in more than 50 years.

“We also mustn’t lose sight of longer-term challenges and opportunities, such as helping businesses progress towards the NFU’s ambitious goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions for agriculture by 2040.”

Charles grew up in rural Yorkshire near Harrogate. He first fell in love with farming at 15, when he began working on a nearby family friend’s organic farm during weekends and holidays.

After completing a four-year business and economics degree at the University of Liverpool, he joined the MDS fresh produce graduate student scheme. This included placements as technical management for a tomato nursery and planning the import of various vegetables to supply the ready meal market.

Before joining the NFU, he worked in the seed potato industry for five years, coordinating planting, allocations and forward planning in East Anglia and further afield.

NFU Regional Board Chair Tony Bambridge said: “The NFU has created this new role at a time when a strong voice for farming has never been more important. It will be of real benefit to members across the region.

“I would like to congratulate Charles on his appointment as regional policy manager and I look forward to working with him.”

Charles will be based at the NFU regional office in Newmarket. The NFU’s new county adviser for Suffolk will be announced shortly.

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