Minette Batters

Fee Band


Minette was the first woman to lead the National Farmers' Union. During her six years at the helm, she worked with four different Prime Ministers to represent the views of 47,000 farmers. She did so during a period of extreme turbulence, which ranged from the aforementioned political upheaval, to the fallout from Brexit, Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war. 


Biography

Minette is the Former President of the National Farmers’ Union, a position that she held between 2018 and 2024, where she was the first woman to hold the post. During her tenure, she was responsible for representing 47,000 members of the farming community through a period of change and instability. The issues Minette faced ranged from political turbulence, the after effects of Brexit, and sustainability challenges.

Raised on her father’s tenant farm in Wiltshire, Minette was dissuaded by him from following in his footsteps. Instead, she took a Cordon Bleu course and launched and ran her own catering business for 20 years. However, upon her father’s retirement, she made the decision to take on the tenancy. Upon her election to the NFU (first as Vice-President in 2014, and then as President), she juggled running the farm with her responsibilities at the Union. 

Working closely with four different Prime Ministers and six different Environment Secretaries during her period at the helm of the Union, Minette has unique insights into the political landscape and leadership. She was responsible for representing the views of the entire farming community during Brexit negotiations and during the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused unprecedented food shortages. Subsequent challenges she tackled while she was leader included the spillover effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which involved price increases for both fuel and produce, and labour shortages. She has been an active campaigner for a thriving rural economy and food standards - notably bringing together a range of chefs, environmentalists, consumer groups and animal welfare experts in a 2020 campaign, which led to over 1 million people signing the NFU Food Standards Petition. She has been included in BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour Power List, and in 2021 was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant to Wiltshire.

 

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