During the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) Board meeting in Viterbo, Italy, Peter Kendall tendered his resignation as President. He resigned due to conflicting commitments after having also been appointed by the Government of the United Kingdom as the new Chair of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Peter Kendall is standing down as WFO President with immediate effect.
Mr. Kendall stated, “Since my election I have been appointed by my government to Chair a statutory body responsible for promoting agricultural growth in the United Kingdom and, regrettably, I now find I am not able to devote the time to the WFO Presidency that it requires and deserves.”
Dr. Evelyn Nguleka, WFO Vice President has stepped in as the Acting WFO President. Dr. Nguleka is the President of the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU). She was elected as ZNFU’s first female President in 2013, and prior to that served as first Vice President of ZNFU. Dr. Nguleka studied veterinary science, and advocates to protect local family farmers and food producers. She is a smallholder family farmer herself, who is particularly close to issues related to women and young farmers.
During their meeting, the WFO Board appointed a new Vice President. Mr. Piet Vanthemsche, President of Boerenbond (Belgian Farmers Federation) was elected by the WFO Board as Acting WFO Vice-President. He took over as President of Boerenbond in 2008. For many years he practiced as a veterinary surgeon, and has been a veterinary inspector at the Belgian Department of Veterinary Services, as well as Director at the General Secretariat. Mr. Vanthemsche has served as the Chef de Cabinet of the Belgian Minister of Agriculture and Advisor-General at the General Secretariat. He has also been CEO of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FAVV) and Inter-ministerial Commissioner Influenza, before becoming Vice President of Boerenbond and then its President, and regent of the National Bank of Belgium.
The World Farmers’ Organisation wishes both new officers a productive mandate.
Peter Kendall closed by saying, “Since being elected to this position in March 2014, I have been more and more convinced of the importance of the WFO as a global voice for productive agriculture, and our presence at the Climate Change Summit in New York in September really brought this home to me.”
Peter Kendall stated that the work of WFO is central to many of the big global challenges of the future, and it is key to have strong leadership that delivers clear and consistent messages. He concluded by assuring the WFO Board, “I know that WFO will become an even more influential and respected voice of entrepreneurial farmers across the world. I wish WFO and its Board every success in the future.”