'Can I speak to your husband' - First ever woman to run National Farmers' Union tells how she overcame sexism in the farmyard
The first ever female leader of the National Farmers’ Union has told how she has had to overcome sexism in the farmyard by reminding people coming to her farm that she is “the boss”.
Minette Batters, a beef farmer from Wiltshire, became the first woman to lead the NFU in its 110-year history after winning the union's elections this week.
Ms Batters told how she had to make it clear to visiting delivery drivers to her farm that she was in charge.
She said: “I can always remember somebody delivering something to the farm and saying ‘can I see the boss’. And I said ‘I am the boss’.
“And he looked me up and down and he looked very surprised that I was going to get in the loader, put the pallet forks on and unload the delivery.
“There is a lot of that and often you get phone calls from people saying ‘can I speak to your husband’.
“So a lot of women suffer from that. It is more interpreted by the outside world as being a male industry than those working within it.”
Ms Batters, 50, a mother of two, also called for less fruit to be sold in plastic wrapping. She urged retailers to learn the lessons from greengrocers which tend to sell loose fruit which is not covered in plastic.