What should the NFU be doing?

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
Having a discussion last night with some friends about the power of the NFU or lack thereof.

i have thought for a while now they mostly focus on the wrong things. For example, lobbying the government to stop imports not grown to our standards (this is utterly impossible waste of time and will never happen, they are commodities) rather than sorting out red tractor/AIC and the extra burden put onto us for no benefit. Imagine telling a Ukrainian farmer they need a red tractor sticker to export their wheat to the uk! Another example is social media campaigns for British food which basically seemed to be aimed at farmers, and is just a load of NFU type farmers tagging and congratulating each other.

in my opinion the NFU are too focused on the agricultural industry in general, rather than farmers. The wider industry extracts money from farmers and gets no questioning or opposition. Be it red tractor, fertiliser cartels, chemical being all supplied through 5 companies, questionable serviced agronomy, contracts where you are forced to buy inputs in order to grow the crop, processors putting in questionable claims on loads, wheat having to be a certain moisture when being higher is absolutely no issue.
An example: CF fertiliser for years have been demonising and lobbying against urea fertiliser, based on science we know is flawed and out of date, to the point where it was very nearly banned in the UK. The NFU acted like this was a win for them. It is not. They should have aggressively stamped out CF fertilisers mis-truths years ago, it should never have got to the point where it was nearly banned. Instead the NFU have CF sponsor their AGM.

i guess my point is that I think the NFU need to become aggressive, stop being overly pally with the wider industry as they are not the ones they are meant to represent and start truly fighting for farmers.
I think the NFU does do some good work, but have lost the path of who they truly represent. This is why I am no longer a member.

what do others think the NFU should be focusing on?
 

thorpe

Member
Nfu is only as good as it’s members by walking away it’s one less sensibly voice by sounds of things
It’s difficult to change its direction from the outside but lots of us are trying from the inside
If your not happy you should have got involved and got your hands dirty
i did get involved years ago tried to make my voice heard , this regaurded sugar beet . nobody listiened , and i decieded never to go to a meeting again.
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
Nfu is only as good as it’s members by walking away it’s one less sensibly voice by sounds of things
It’s difficult to change its direction from the outside but lots of us are trying from the inside
If your not happy you should have got involved and got your hands dirty
Disagree. This is always the excuse touted by keen members.

An organisation that’s culture is so wrong and so deeply ingrained is impossible to change. My only vote on anything is membership.
Cancelling membership if quite a few do it is going to be more conducive to change than spending years attending meetings attempting to work a way up the ladder.
 

7610 super q

Member
Arable Farmer
Nfu is only as good as it’s members by walking away it’s one less sensibly voice by sounds of things
It’s difficult to change its direction from the outside but lots of us are trying from the inside
If your not happy you should have got involved and got your hands dirty
This is/ has been the number one problem with the NFU. One man bands haven't had the time to get involved, big knobs have, and have shaped the NFU to their own needs.
 

Henarar

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset
Having a discussion last night with some friends about the power of the NFU or lack thereof.

i have thought for a while now they mostly focus on the wrong things. For example, lobbying the government to stop imports not grown to our standards (this is utterly impossible waste of time and will never happen, they are commodities) rather than sorting out red tractor/AIC and the extra burden put onto us for no benefit. Imagine telling a Ukrainian farmer they need a red tractor sticker to export their wheat to the uk! Another example is social media campaigns for British food which basically seemed to be aimed at farmers, and is just a load of NFU type farmers tagging and congratulating each other.

in my opinion the NFU are too focused on the agricultural industry in general, rather than farmers. The wider industry extracts money from farmers and gets no questioning or opposition. Be it red tractor, fertiliser cartels, chemical being all supplied through 5 companies, questionable serviced agronomy, contracts where you are forced to buy inputs in order to grow the crop, processors putting in questionable claims on loads, wheat having to be a certain moisture when being higher is absolutely no issue.
An example: CF fertiliser for years have been demonising and lobbying against urea fertiliser, based on science we know is flawed and out of date, to the point where it was very nearly banned in the UK. The NFU acted like this was a win for them. It is not. They should have aggressively stamped out CF fertilisers mis-truths years ago, it should never have got to the point where it was nearly banned. Instead the NFU have CF sponsor their AGM.

i guess my point is that I think the NFU need to become aggressive, stop being overly pally with the wider industry as they are not the ones they are meant to represent and start truly fighting for farmers.
I think the NFU does do some good work, but have lost the path of who they truly represent. This is why I am no longer a member.

what do others think the NFU should be focusing on?
The thing is those at the top of the NFU are overly pally with seemingly lots of folk they shouldn't be overly pally with, make them properly elected by all the membership and therefore accountable to us and perhaps they would remember who they are spose to represent
 

agricontract

Moderator
Location
Merseyside
With out grass roots getting involved there is a danger it functions upside down
Top down not bottom up
I try but do agree that you can’t run with the fox and the hounds
so been to close to big ag supply or retail is not ideal for a lot of things but for some it’s needed
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
There's a thread on here already highlighting people's disappointment in the way the NFU has gone......




Just sayin' :whistle:
 

MrNoo

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Cirencester
Nfu is only as good as it’s members by walking away it’s one less sensibly voice by sounds of things
It’s difficult to change its direction from the outside but lots of us are trying from the inside
If your not happy you should have got involved and got your hands dirty
Sorry but this is all I ever hear from NFU reps, “change from within” they say, it’s never going to happen until one member one vote.
I wholeheartedly agree with the OP, I could see this 20 odd years ago and left then.
The other issue is a lot of them think they are above conversing with normal everyday farmers, if you don’t agree with their blinkered views or question them they ignore you.
High time for a shake up, with the loss of SFP any additional costs that don’t add value need to go.
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
With out grass roots getting involved there is a danger it functions upside down
Top down not bottom up
I try but do agree that you can’t run with the fox and the hounds
so been to close to big ag supply or retail is not ideal for a lot of things but for some it’s needed
Need to get really commercial and aggressive.
Good business is fine but at the moment there is too much unfairness perpetuated which seems to have just become ingrained as the acceptable norm.
 

agricontract

Moderator
Location
Merseyside
The beauty of social media and forums is that you can very quickly raise important points and gain huge amount of visibility almost instantly. This doesn’t involve endless meetings and committees.
Completely what trends on social media makes the news reels and papers 24h later and also politicians follow the voters
 

AlfM

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Norfolk
Nfu is only as good as it’s members by walking away it’s one less sensibly voice by sounds of things
It’s difficult to change its direction from the outside but lots of us are trying from the inside
If your not happy you should have got involved and got your hands dirty
Nonsense. I never had a vote on anything when I was a member. Only vote I had was to leave.
 

Vader

Member
Mixed Farmer
Nfu is only as good as it’s members by walking away it’s one less sensibly voice by sounds of things
It’s difficult to change its direction from the outside but lots of us are trying from the inside
If your not happy you should have got involved and got your hands dirty
Change from within....
Lol
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

Farm-safety-640x360.png
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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