Farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty supports Farm Essentials

Farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty has become an ambassador for Farm Essentials - NFU Mutual’s new insurance product for smaller farms. The Suffolk-based rare breed pig farmer is well-known for his TV appearances on Jimmy’s Farm, Food Unwrapped and many others. Here he describes why he has given his backing to NFU Mutual and how well he feels the company supports its farming members...

When NFU Mutual asked me to become an ambassador for Farm Essentials I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. As an organisation, I believe NFU Mutual represents the same things we do at Jimmy’s Farm. Being a modern farm means we need to be dynamic and constantly adapting to change and that is what NFU Mutual represents.

Farming today isn’t about riding on a tractor, leaning on a gate and chatting - you have to be the vet, the engineer, the shopkeeper in a farm shop, an open farm host - and this means you need an insurance company that can support that diversity.

Local, personal service

I’ve been a customer of NFU Mutual for a long time and have a great relationship with my local Agent Jill. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re trying to conduct business over the phone and have to speak to someone different each time – that drives me mad.

With NFU Mutual and with Jill we have a face-to-face relationship where I can discuss any issues with someone who understands and knows me and my business. I’m slightly old-fashioned because I like the idea of eye-to-eye contact, a conversation, and shaking hands. So much of the modern world now is conducted through an email or a telephone conversation and that’s it.

Working together

When we first started the farm I lived in a caravan and we had just a handful of pigs. Now we have 20,000 free range turkeys, a restaurant and a large public area, and having someone like Jill who has watched the business develop and change is really important - we’ve grown together and that is vital support for a modern business.

When it comes to making a claim NFU Mutual really proves its value. I remember one year in particular where we had some terrible winds come through and all our greenhouses were absolutely destroyed. This was a nightmare because the greenhouses contained all the veg seedlings which were due to be planted. Luckily, once we put a claim in, NFU Mutual dealt with things really quickly so we were able to get our new greenhouses in, plant the seeds and our restaurant got its vegetables.

As a farmer it is clear to me that NFU Mutual gets farming much more than other insurers. NFU Mutual understands the grass roots, the day-to-day activities of farmers and that is vital because farming is so diverse. It’s unlike many other businesses so you have to have that connection and that deep understanding.