NFUTenants24: NFU Deputy President looks ahead to Conference

16 April 2024

Tenants and land
David Exwood

David Exwood

NFU Deputy President

NFU Deputy President David Exwood

Creating opportunities for tenant farmers in a changing farming landscape is the theme of a national conference being hosted by the NFU today. NFU Deputy President David Exwood highlights the challenges and opportunities facing the tenanted sector, and what to expect from the Tenant Farmers’ Conference.

Tenant farmers are some of the most dynamic and forward-thinking farmers I know.

I am a tenant farmer myself and we play a vital role in producing food for the nation while delivering the government’s environmental targets, helping to grow the rural economy and being at the heart of rural communities.

Just like all other sectors, tenant farmers across the country are feeling the squeeze; the cumulative loss of direct payments over the past four years and the slow transition to the Environmental Land Management scheme, together with high input costs have created real cashflow issues.

However, as tenants we don’t often have the financial capital to pivot to embrace new opportunities in the same way as non-tenant farmers, which leaves us particularly vulnerable.

Code of Practice to foster fairness

Now we are dealing with the immense pressure of what the adverse weather is throwing at us, with months of non-stop rain and some of the worst flooding on record, causing further financial and mental wellbeing concerns.

Over the past few weeks we have seen the rollout of the Farm Tenancy Forum and actions and recommendations from the Rock Review being implemented.

The NFU played a significant role in campaigning for the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice which also launched recently.

Its aim is to help foster fairness, address poor conduct but also highlight good practice and provide a good basis for ongoing tenant-landlord relationships – but to make meaningful impact it will need to be adhered to by all parties.

By working together, we can and must create new opportunities for tenant farmers which will help us to deliver a robust, vibrant, and thriving agricultural tenanted sector for the future.”

NFU Deputy President David Exwood

Farming schemes must work for tenant farmers

With a fantastic line-up of speakers, including the Farming Minister in attendance, I have no doubt today’s Conference will generate much needed debate and discussion on the important issues impacting tenant farmer members.

For example, it is crucial now that government ensures its new farming schemes work for tenant farmers.

Progress has been made on SFI but as more options become available, we have to make sure tenant farmers aren’t disadvantaged, particularly in the uplands, to ensure it delivers for both government ambitions and for tenant farmers across England.

By working together, we can and must create new opportunities for tenant farmers which will help us to deliver a robust, vibrant, and thriving agricultural tenanted sector for the future.

NFU members, join our Tenants and land community to comment

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.