A spokesman for the NFU confirmed that Tapper, who has been in the role since October 2003, would be stepping down at a time yet to be confirmed, but would continue to work for the NFU in a consultancy role from its London office.
Tapper joined the NFU in September 2002 and, prior to taking on the food and farming role, was head of marketing. In that role he was responsible for bringing a strong consumer perspective into farming, pushing the red tractor scheme forward and improving communications. He has spent most of his working life in food retailing and buying, starting out as a graduate trainee with Marks and Spencer.
In 1989 Tapper joined Sainsbury's as a senior manager where he was responsible for a number of buying departments. He left Sainsbury's to set up RRT Consultants, his own food and wine consultancy, before joining the NFU.