Charles Baker – New NAAC Chairman
Looking ahead and seeking new opportunities has been key to Oxfordshire-based contractor Charles Baker’s business and, as newly voted in Chairman of the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC), his forward-thinking approach will be vital in tackling the current challenges facing the industry.
‘In my term, my aim is to significantly increase NAAC membership, as the best way to represent our sector is to have a strong and powerful voice,’ commented Mr Baker. ‘Inclusion in the political arena, particularly at this crucial point in agricultural history, is so important and I cannot emphasis enough to other contractors the importance of getting involved and pushing our sector in front of politicians and the Government. We are a professional and vital part of the agricultural industry, with an estimated 91% of farmers using our services and it is crucial that we can be formally recognised as ‘farmers without land’, having become an integral part of farm business management.’
‘We must stand together, united as professionals, and be enabled and financially supported through changing agricultural policy so that contractors can feel confident to invest and take brave but well-thought out decisions to support the farming industry, bringing forward new technology and machinery, alongside skilled and trained staff.’
In his own family run business, R C Baker Limited, Mr Baker is no stranger to innovation and, since the company’s formation in 1974, he has strived to offer new services to his customers, always on the lookout for productive and profitable opportunities that can add value to his farmer customers. Niche markets have been important to the business and, following the dairy industry crash in the early 90’s, when almost half of the silage business was lost overnight, restructuring was necessary which saw R C Baker diversify into plastic recycling, environmental work and, later, establishing itself as a specialist in the application of organic fertilisers, importing the UK’s very first Xerion/Kaweco tanker in 2008. In 2009 this growth and achievement was recognised when RC Baker Ltd won the coveted Farmers Weekly Contractor of the Year Award.
Today, Mr Baker works closely with his children Christopher, Stephen and Jennie as they continue to grow the business, aiming for a 30-50% growth in the next ten years. There are few jobs they can’t tackle, with their impressive and extensive line-up of kit, but they continue to focus on customer service and satisfaction.
Visiting clients is where Mr Baker now spends much of his time, having stepped slightly back from the day to day management of the business, alongside offering his expert guidance and new ideas.
‘It can be hard not to interfere but I have complete confidence in the family and I am delighted that, after twenty five years as a member of the NAAC, I now have the time to give something back through the Chairmanship. I am looking forward to driving the Association forward through this historical era in agriculture and, with the support of the NAAC team, I am passionate about putting the NAAC and contractors firmly on the political agenda.’
For further information contact:
Jill Hewitt, NAAC Technical Consultant Tel: 07889 511245 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by: Springtime Consultancy