National Farmers’ Union president Sir Ben Gill is to step down next February after working for the organisation for 13 years.

Sir Ben has been president since 1998, having previously been deputy president. Before that he was vice-president and prior to that he was livestock chairman.

He was made a CBE in 1996 for services to agriculture and knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year.

announcement coincided with a restructuring of the NFU. Robin Tapper, head of marketing and NFU corporate, has become head of a newly created food and farming department. Andrew Opie, head of technical services, has been appointed head of policy services.

The switch to two broad departments within a new policy directorate is designed to sharpen sector focus.

Stephen Rossides, head of food, health and science, has been made head of special projects. Chief advisors to the food and farming department include Stuart Thomson, covering the food chain unit, and Tom Hind, covering dairy.