“British farming has lost one of its greatest ever advocates and the NFU has lost its greatest ever President,” Mrs Batters said.
“There was no one more passionate about British farming than Lord Plumb and he remained a great champion for the sector throughout his life. He worked with a constant energy and determination to ensure the importance of farming was recognised by policy makers and continued to highlight the importance of the sector throughout his time in the House of Lords.
“As President of the NFU throughout the 1970s, he was at the head of the organisation when Britain joined the European Union. His success in guiding the NFU through a turbulent period came from his great ability to persuade through discussion and well-reasoned argument.
“Following his nine-year Presidency of the NFU, he became a Member of the European Parliament and was later elected as its President.
“His impact on British farming during a career in agriculture and politics that spanned decades cannot be underestimated. His passion, dedication and sheer hard work on behalf of, and for, our industry was an inspiration to me and to many others.
“He was a truly remarkable man. He was committed, fearless and the most charming man you could meet.
“His loss will be deeply felt and our sympathies are with his family at this sad time.”
Lord Henry Plumb – a timeline of his career
Born Charles Henry Plumb in Ansley, Warwickshire, the son of a farmer.
His father takes him out of school to work on the farm because of wartime labour shortages.
Elected chairman of Coleshill YFC.
Married his wife, Marjorie.
President of the National Federation of Young Farmers.
Became an NFU officeholder for the first time when elected NFU Vice President.
President of European Farmers’ Association.
Elected as an MEP for the Cotswolds in the first-ever European Parliament elections. Served as an MEP until 1999.
Became the first, and only, British President of the European Parliament. Served in the role until 1989.
Made a Life Peer.
Chancellor of Coventry University.
The Henry Plumb Foundation was launched – a charitable foundation to encourage the younger generation to engage with the agricultural industry.
Retired from the House of Lords.