Defra to boost links with farmers

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has created a head of internal comms post to improve its relationship with farmers and other stakeholders.

The move comes during an ongoing review, chaired by Lord Haskins, into DEFRA, its role in the regions and the roles of the various bodies responsible for regulating the countryside. His findings, to be published later this year, are expected to recommend that DEFRA, led by Secretary of State Margaret Beckett, is slimmed down with delivery functions going to regional development agencies.

The post’s new holder, who will report to deputy director of comms Kelly Freeman, will oversee all stakeholder and internal communications.

Simon Rayner, National Farmer’s Union communications manager said: ‘We would encourage them to remember to listen as well as inform.’

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