Richard Butler joins the National Farmers’ Union and arrives with more than a decade of experience with the Confederation of British Industry.
He also has more than 30 years’ experience of sales, account management and membership engagement and will represent the union and its members across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, alongside the East Midlands counties.
In his new role he will lead NFU membership growth and engagement strategies across both regional territories.
The brand new position will see him work closely with Robert Newbery, NFU regional director and Nigel Pearson, Midlands membership manager, alongside the regional team.
“I am really delighted to have joined the NFU in this new position,” Richard said.
“We live in a challenging world and as an industry we are facing many challenges.
“Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people at this time, and the impact of the Russian invasion is being felt globally.
“Commodity supply and inputs remain a concern and for everyone there are fears around future food availability.
“There are also significant inflationary pressures, Covid-related issues and ongoing regulatory and environmental change that we all face.
“Agriculture and horticulture businesses are impacted by all these issues directly and indirectly – as a result I believe there has never been a bigger need for the NFU as the strong and influential voice of British farming.
“The NFU’s mission to campaign for extensive policy change with Government, coupled with unrivalled information, insight and intelligence for farmers and growers presents a compelling membership proposition.
“In my new role I look forward to playing my part for farmers, growers and the NFU by leading union membership growth and membership engagement strategies across the Midlands.”
Richard said working for the CBI, one of the UK’s largest business membership organisations, and his other experience would stand him in good stead going forward.
“Combined with the current resources – a highly respected and experienced team of NFU county advisors, regional specialists and NFU group secretaries – I believe we have all the necessary components for success,” he added.
Robert Newbery, NFU regional director, welcomed Richard to the role and said he would be out and about across the region working with the team and meeting members.
He said: “This is a new role across the Midlands territory, both West and East, and his focus will be leading the county adviser team to optimise membership recruitment, retention and member connection activity.
“I am delighted to welcome him to this new position, which will be of benefit to the NFU, and its members.
“I am sure that staff and our members will welcome him in the weeks and months ahead.”