The National Farmers' Union has promoted Kevin Pearce to the role of head of food and farming with immediate effect. He replaces Robin Tapper who stepped down from the post in July.

Pearce has worked for the NFU since 1985 and, in the past 21 years, has held a number of senior positions, including chief livestock adviser and, most recently, head of food chain and farm policy. He will now be responsible for the NFU's commodity work as well as its work in the food chain.

Martin Haworth, NFU director of policy, said: "Kevin is widely known and respected, and just the right person for this challenging post."