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.

National Farmers' Union
HeadquartersAgriculture House, Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, England, CV8 2TZ
  • England and Wales
55,000 Farmer and Grower members, 34,000 Countryside members
Key people
Officeholders 2022–2024: Minette Batters, President; Tom Bradshaw, Deputy President; David Exwood, Vice President; Terry Jones, Director General
WebsiteOfficial website


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

The NFU elected its first female president, Minette Batters, in 2018.[2]

1918 general election

ConstituencyCandidateVotes %Position[1]
Barnard CastleOctavius Monkhouse1,27410.04
East NorfolkWilliam Benjamin Taylor1,92612.33
HertfordEdmund Broughton Barnard7,15838.82
LeominsterErnest Wilfred Langford2,87017.43
OrmskirkStephen Hirst4,98928.33
Richmond (Yorkshire)William Parlour4,90733.22

Barnard was also sponsored by the National Party.

1922 general election

ConstituencyCandidateVotes %Position[1]
CarmarthenDaniel Johns4,77515.93
HowdenshireH. J. Winn7,02139.52
LeominsterErnest Shepperson10,79853.11
OrmskirkFrancis Blundell11,92158.71
Rutland and StamfordE. Clark4,47120.33
StoneJoseph Lamb7,74238.31
WellsRobert Bruford10,21047.71

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

1923 general election

ConstituencyCandidateVotes %Position[1]
LeominsterErnest Shepperson11,58257.31
OrmskirkFrancis Blundell10,59853.01
StoneJoseph Lamb10,00150.81
WellsRobert Bruford9,90944.22

All candidates stood for the Conservative Party.

1924 general election

ConstituencyCandidateVotes %Position[1]
LeominsterErnest Shepperson13,23752.51
StoneJoseph Lamb12,85657.31

Both candidates stood for the Conservative Party.

1935 general election

Two candidates were sponsored and elected for the Conservative Party.


The NFU proclaim themselves 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 member farmers.


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]


Coat of arms of National Farmers' Union of England and Wales
Granted 9 September 1946 [6]
On a wreath of the colours a scythe and sceptre in saltire Or.
Vert a chevron Ermine between in dexter chief a hull's head and in sinister chief a ram's head caboshed and in base three ears of wheat banded all Or.
Labore Agricolae Floreat Civitas

See also

  • National Farmers' Union of Scotland
  • Farmers' Union of Wales
  • Ulster Farmers Union


  1. Craig, F. W. S. (1975). Minor Parties in British By-elections, 1885-1974. London: Macmillan Press. p. 56.
  2. "NFU elects first female president". BBC News. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  3. "About Us". NFU. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  4. "NFU Democratic Structure". NFUonline. NFU. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  5. Chris Cook, The Routledge Guide to British Political Archives: Sources Since 1945 (Routledge: 2006), p. 345.
  6. "National Farmers' Union". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
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