Farmers weekly editor Andrew Meredith
Andrew’s parents supported his decision to leave the family farm and pursue a career in journalism. Credit: Andrew Meredith

Farmers Weekly editor, Andrew Meredith feels lucky combining his passion for print with his former life as a farmer. He discusses the brands 90th birthday next year, their exclusive investigation into the foreign pork scandal and fight to maintain readership. 

Raised on a cattle and sheep farm in Wales, Andrew Meredith graduated from Aberystwyth University in 2011 with a degree in Agriculture. He then returned to work on his family’s farm. 

Andrew says, “I fell into journalism by accident, I entered a competition at Farmers Weekly to write a diary of a farmers event, it was a pretty light-hearted piece and because they liked the piece, it developed into a regular role.”

Andrew, 34, climbed the ranks and was promoted to Editor in 2021. 

“I felt very lucky because so many people fight hard to break into this role, I’m a relatively young person to be leading a team,” he says. 

Launched in 1934, Farmers Weekly is the UK’s leading agricultural media brand. Their B2B magazine is launched weekly targeting farmers and farm owners in the UK.

Alongside the management of his team and company resources, Andrew’s highlight of his role is his engagement with the industry. 

“It means a lot to people when I throw that into the conversation, you see them visibly relax, they feel I can relate to them without them having to exhaustively explain themselves,” he added.  

With a decline in print circulation, the brand is aiming to improve its weekly active subscribers. 

“We’ve seen a much slower decline than many other segments of B2B and consumer magazines, our strategy will be our Farmers Weekly Today app,” he says.

The brand’s app will be relaunched to provide readers with the top daily news stories that disappears at midnight and refresh the next morning. 

Andrew says, “Our website is a beast, it holds everything but it’s cumbersome.

“We are competing for a slice of our readers time, a lot of it is on your smartphone and social media, whenever someone decides to leave Farmers Weekly as a subscriber, it’s because they aren’t getting that value for money.”

Farms across the UK are at risk of closure due to the increase in supply costs, Andrew recognises the number of potential readers they can access is likely to decline. 

“Our mission, from a self-interested perspective, is to help readers continue to exist which will help us hold on to our readership, we’ll need to fight for every reader as they justify every pound of spending,” Andrew says. 

Farmers Weekly released an exclusive investigation exposing a food manufacturer for fraudulently selling foreign pork.  

Andrew says, “It’s important to do stories like this, it started from asking difficult questions and trying to find out the answers on behalf of our readers.”

The team took inspiration from the horse meat scandal in 2013 as they worked to expose the food manufacturer. 

Farmers Weekly March Issue
Farmers Weekly sold for 2p per week when it launched in 1934. Credit: Farmers Weekly

Andrew says, “It’s been bonkers, there were questions in Parliament, interest from newspapers and broadcasters, it’s been enormous and that makes the team feel proud and like you’re at the centre of something.”

Andrew plans to remain in his role as editor as the team gets ready to celebrate the brand’s 90th birthday next year. 

“Side by side with farmers for nine decades, that will make the readers feel warm and happy and our advertisers too, some of them will want to tap into that messaging,” he says.  

With the rise of AI journalism and increasing competition, Andrew advises new journalists to find a niche topic that they are passionate about. 

Andrew says, “Be different to the internet, good storytelling has to be at the heart and it’s finding those stories that people are willing to pay for, so don’t succumb to clickbait, be different and be valuable.”