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National Farmers' Union of England and Wales
National Farmers' Union of England and Wales

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) is a member organisation/industry association for farmers in England and Wales. It is the largest farmers' organisation in the countries, and has over 300 branch offices.


On 10 December 1908, a meeting was held in an ante-room at the Smithfield Show to discuss whether a national organisation should be formed to represent the interests of farmers. The outcome was the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

The first President, Colin Campbell, worked tirelessly to get new branches off the ground, encourage membership and establish the NFU's credibility with Government, at a time when farming was going through the longest and deepest depression in its history, as imports of cheap grain and frozen meat flooded in from abroad.

At the 1918 general election, the union ran six candidates, none of whom were elected. In 1922, it sponsored three unsuccessful candidates under its own name, and four successful Conservative Party candidates. It again sponsored Conservative candidates in 1923 and 1935, but has not done so since.[1]

The organisation celebrated its Centenary in 2008.[2]

The NFU is registered as an association of employers under the 1974 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act. In 2000 it founded Assured Food Standards who administers the Red Tractor Scheme.

Barnard was also sponsored by the National Party.

Blundell, Bruford, Lamb and Shepperson stood for the Conservative Party.

All candidates stood for the Conservative Party.

Both candidates stood for the Conservative Party.

Two candidates were sponsored and elected for the Conservative Party.


There are several tiers of NFU membership:

  • Farmer and Grower [14] : The NFU is the only organisation that champions all farmers and growers in England and Wales. We’re here to give you a voice and protect your way of life now and in the future. Our strength is in our numbers. With over 50,000 farmer and grower members, we are heard when it counts – locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Countryside [15] : NFU Countryside is a membership that celebrates the British countryside from great food, stunning wildlife and places to visit, to what to do with your garden or veg patch, and how to get the most from your equine and canine companions.
  • NFU Pro [16] : If you are a professional working in agriculture whether in a legal, technical, financial, veterinary or any other capacity, becoming a member of NFU Pro helps you enhance the service you offer your customers.
  • Student [17] : NFU Student is a free membership category for anyone studying a full or part-time agricultural, horticultural, land-based or related course at university or college.


Known as 'The Voice of British Farming', the NFU states that it "champions British farming and provides professional representation and services to its Farmer and Grower members."[3]

It negotiates with the government and national organisations on behalf of English and Welsh farmers. The NFU's Back British Farming campaign [18] highlights hundreds of reasons why farming deserves public support.


The NFU is governed by its Constitution and Rules. Under the Constitution and Rules the NFU shall maintain a number of bodies, which are responsible for the Governance of the NFU. These include NFU Council, Governance Board, Policy Board, National Commodity Boards, Regional Commodity Boards, an Audit and Remuneration Committee and Legal Board and Regional Boards.[4]

The NFU has an office in Brussels, Belgium to represent the interests of British farmers to the European Union.

The NFU is closely associated with the insurance mutual company NFU Mutual, which is also based in Warwickshire.

NFU Cymru is based at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.


The archives of the NFU are deposited with the Rural History Centre at Reading University.[5]


See also

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