PFK Non-Executive Director appointed Chair of RABDF

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Non-Executive Director at PFK Robert Craig, where he contributes towards the growth of the Rural Department of business has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF).

At the associations October Chairman's meeting on the 3rd October, Robert, the previous Vice Chair, started his three year tenure, taking over from Devon dairy farmer Di Wastenage.

A third-generation dairy farmer, Robert operates three dairy farming businesses across Cumbria and Northumberland, milking 1,500 spring and autumn calving cows. As a past Chair of Cumbria NFU, he still maintains an interest in local and national politics on and off the farm.

Robert is also a Non-Executive Director of First Milk, here he is currently the co-op's Vice Chair. All three of Robert's businesses supply First Milk, he also represents First Milk at Dairy UK, where he chairs the Dairy UK Farmer Forum.

A 2012 Nuffield Scholar, Robert has worked closely with The Sustainable Food Trust since his travels, particularly on the Global Farm Metric Project. He has also been active as RABDF Vice Chair, representing the association on the Ruminant Health and Welfare Steering Group, helping inform and guide on the general diary issues, often acting as the spokesperson for wider matters. He has been instrumental in delivering a dairy labour roundtable, continuing to focus heavily on this crucial area.

Robert thanked Di for her work, saying "I am delighted to be the RABDF Chair and am thankful to Di for the work she has done during her term and for leaving the RABDF in such a strong position. Di has contributed to a wide range of topics, including the environment, animal health and welfare and through her role as Patron of Women in Dairy, showcasing the importance of female roles and the exciting opportunities for women in the sector".

Commenting on his plans during the tenure, Robert added "as well as building the foundations laid out by Di, there are some exciting projects that we hope to develop as an association to help overcome labour shortages in the dairy sector and also to do more to promote the industry, particularly to the next generation". "Undoubtedly, there will be a focus on the here and now and the impact milk price cuts are having on farmers and ways in which we, as an association can help support out members as the pinch is felt".

Succeeding Robert as Vice Chair is Tim Downes, who is a dairy farmer from Shropshire. 

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Wednesday, 19 June 2024
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