Supermarket chain Tesco has announced that it has appointed Tom Hind as its new director of agriculture.
Mr Hind is currently the corporate affairs director at the National Farmers Union (NFU), an organisation he has worked at for 15 years.
The appointment follows a commitment made by Tesco's chief executive officer Philip Clarke at the NFU Annual Conference earlier this year, promising to help strengthen relationships between farmers and help create a more transparent supply chain, on the back of the horse meat scandal.
Mr Hind will now be responsible for overseeing the company's brand new agriculture team, which consists of industry experts specialising in various different areas of farming, working together to develop Tesco's sustainable farming groups.
Kevin Grace, commercial director at Tesco said: "As British agriculture’s biggest customer, we’re proud of the relationships we’ve developed with thousands of farmers across the UK. Through schemes like our pioneering Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group, we’ve led the way in developing new ways of working with farmers and we hope to build on these achievements with the appointment of Tom Hind."
He added that the appointment of Mr Hind would add a huge level of experience to Tesco's team, and that his strong relationship with farmers would allow greater interaction between the company and its suppliers.
Another responsibility that will be part of Mr Hind's new role will be animal welfare, something which his new employers have prided themselves on taking seriously, introducing various schemes aimed at ensuring high standards.
Commenting on Mr Hind's departure, NFU director general Andy Robertson said that although the organisation was sad to see him go, it was looking forward to working with him in his new role.
He said: "Tom will bring a high level of insight and understanding of agriculture to Tesco and more importantly farmers can be reassured that this key role is being filled by someone who understands agriculture."
While at NFU, Mr Hind was widely credited with helping the farming industry through some of its most testing periods, including the Foot and Mouth crisis and an outbreak of Bovine TB.