Paul Tompkins elected national Dairy Board chair

21 March 2024

Paul Tompkins and Ian Harvey

Photograph: NFU Dairy Board chair Paul Tompkins and NFU Dairy Board vice chair Ian Harvey

Paul Tompkins has been elected as chair of the NFU’s national Dairy Board.

Paul worked in the financial sector before meeting his wife and joining the family dairy business.

He first joined the Dairy Board in 2017 as an appointee before being elected as the North East representative. He has served nearly four years as vice chair in total.

Following his appointment he said he was “delighted” to have been elected, adding that he will do his utmost to deliver for all dairy farmers.

He said: “I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Dairy Board, to thank Michael Oakes for his dedication to his role as chair of the board over the past eight years.

“It feels like we are at a point in time for dairy farming; a vibrant, profitable, sustainable future is an ambition shared by all farmers but can only be achieved with effective regulation, a functional supply chain, a commitment to eradicating cattle diseases and growing access to markets at home and overseas.

“I want to focus on improving the environment in which our businesses operate, improving confidence in the future of dairy whilst acknowledging the challenge to do better.

I would like to start my chairmanship with an open invitation to dairy farmers and processors to collaborate and embrace the opportunity this legislation brings to the UK dairy sector.”

NFU Dairy Board chair Paul Tompkins

“The Fair Dealings Obligations (Milk) Regulations was laid in parliament last month and the legislation is on track to reach assent this July. I would like to start my chairmanship with an open invitation to dairy farmers and processors to collaborate and embrace the opportunity this legislation brings to the UK dairy sector.

“My work has only just begun, and together with other dairy farmers from every county in England and Wales who gift their time, energy and commitment to the NFU, I will do all I can to help members navigate this point in time for dairy farming and seek the opportunities to help our industry thrive.”

Dairy contract legislation top priority

Paul will be supported by vice chair Ian Harvey who helps run a family farm partnership milking 180 cows with 180 followers on approximately 400 acres in Cornwall.

Ian is interested in improving the environmental impact of the industry and has recently embarked on a river fencing scheme to reduce potential erosion and water contamination.

He said: “After six years of continuous dairy board service, I am extremely pleased and honoured to have been nominated and elected as vice chair and to support the continuing work of the board and new chair Paul Tompkins.

“A priority for me and an issue close to my heart is the representation of dairy farmers in their negotiations with milk buyers.

“Now the dairy contract legislation has been laid in Parliament, we need to ensure it delivers for all dairy producers and that they derive the full benefit on farm and in their farming groups.”

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query someone from NFU CallFirst will contact you. If needed, your query will then be passed to the appropriate NFU policy team.

You have 0 characters remaining.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.