Peter Kendall is to step down as president of the National Farmers’ Union in February, after eight years in the role.
Kendall announced he had decided not to stand for re-election at the NFU’s next council elections as the union this week kicked off the process for electing its three key officer holders - president, deputy president and vice president.
“I have always planned for this to be my final term in office, but I will be leaving the NFU in excellent shape,” Kendall said.
From a traditional, mixed family farming background, Kendall was elected president in 2006, having previously been chairman of the NFU’s cereals division as well as deputy president for the union. He currently farms arable crops in East Bedfordshire with his brother, but has declined to say so far if he plans to focus full-time on farming or seek a new position in business or politics following his departure from the NFU.
Kendall has enjoyed a high media profile during his tenure - including during the horsemeat scandal - and has been credited with raising public awareness of farming issues. He said perceptions of farming had changed considerably since he became president, adding: “Sir John Beddington’s Foresight report and three global food spikes have meant that agriculture’s importance is being increasingly recognised.”
News of Kendall’s imminent departure has sparked speculation about his likely successor, with Meurig Raymond - currently deputy president - touted as a likely frontrunner in farming circles.
Nominations for the NFU elections will be accepted until 15 January.