Role of the National Farmers' Union

Understanding the Role of the National Farmers' Union (NFU)

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) is pivotal in the United Kingdom's agricultural landscape. It represents the interests of farmers and growers, providing a unified voice in a sector crucial to the nation's economy and food security. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune delves into the role of the NFU, outlining key facts, definitions, and best practices for implementing relevant legislation and regulations. By understanding the NFU's impact, organisations can better navigate the complexities of agricultural compliance and ensure they meet their regulatory obligations effectively.

Key facts and statistics

  • The NFU represents more than 55,000 farmers and growers across England and Wales.
  • Agriculture contributes £11 billion to the UK economy annually.
  • The UK produces 61% of its food domestically, with farmers playing a vital role in maintaining this level of self-sufficiency. 
  • The agricultural sector supports around 476,000 jobs, highlighting its importance to the rural economy.

Key definitions

  • National Farmers' Union (NFU) - It is a trade association for farmers and growers, providing a collective voice to influence government policy and regulation. It offers various services, including legal advice, market information, and training.
  • Agricultural compliance - Refers to adhering to laws, regulations, and standards that govern farming practices. Compliance ensures the safety, sustainability, and ethical treatment of resources and livestock.

The Importance of the NFU

Advocacy and representation

The NFU plays a crucial role in advocating for policies that support the agricultural sector. This includes lobbying for favourable trade deals, subsidies, and environmental policies that balance productivity with sustainability.

Legal and regulatory support

Farmers face many regulations, from health and safety standards to environmental protection laws. The NFU provides members with guidance and support to navigate these complex legal frameworks, ensuring compliance and avoiding potential penalties.

Training and development

Continuous professional development is essential in farming, given the rapid advancements in technology and practices. The NFU offers training programmes that help farmers stay updated with the latest industry standards and innovations.

Recommended best practices

Understanding legislation and regulations

Farmers must be aware of key legislation such as the Agriculture Act 2020, which sets the framework for agricultural policy post-Brexit. The NFU provides resources and advice to help members effectively understand and implement these regulations.

Implementing sustainable practices

Sustainability is at the forefront of modern farming. The NFU encourages practices that protect natural resources, such as soil health management, water conservation, and biodiversity enhancement.

Health and safety compliance

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) mandates strict guidelines to ensure the safety of farm workers. The NFU assists members in implementing these guidelines, reducing the risk of accidents and improving workplace safety.

Environmental stewardship

Farmers are stewards of the land, and their practices significantly impact the environment. The NFU promotes environmentally friendly practices, such as reducing pesticide use, improving waste management, and adopting renewable energy sources.


To ensure compliance and leverage the support provided by the NFU, farmers and agricultural businesses should:

  • Engage with NFU resources - Regularly access NFU publications, webinars, and training sessions to stay informed about industry developments.
  • Utilise ComplyPlus™ - Our ComplyPlus™ legislation and regulatory compliance management software can streamline compliance processes, ensuring you meet all regulatory requirements efficiently.
  • Adopt best practices - Implement the sustainable and safe farming practices the NFU recommends to enhance productivity while safeguarding the environment.


The National Farmers' Union plays an indispensable role in supporting British agriculture. By advocating for farmers, providing essential resources, and promoting best practices, the NFU helps ensure the sector remains robust and sustainable. Staying compliant with legislation and adopting recommended practices is crucial for agricultural businesses. Leveraging tools like ComplyPlus™ can aid in managing compliance effectively, allowing farmers to focus on what they do best – feeding the nation.

Click here to explore our comprehensive training courses and compliance management solutions. Ensure your farming practices are not only compliant but also sustainable and forward-thinking.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

Understanding the Role of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK

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