The UFU, along with the other UK Farming Unions, is part of the British Agriculture Bureau (BAB) and over the past four decades the BAB has developed a reputation as one of the most astute and well-connected of all farm lobby groups in Brussels.
Since 1973, when the UK joined the European Union, the rules and regulations on agriculture and the environment have come hard and fast. From the type of fuel you put into your tractor, to the size of your single farm payment. From how to tag your livestock, to which pesticides you can spray on your crop. Given this monumental impact on British agriculture it is essential that the UK farming unions are working in Brussels to shape legislation from its inception. Changing law after the ink is dry can be impossible.
The UFU's aim is to lobby these institutions to ensure that the concerns of farmers in Northern Ireland are taken into consideration during the decision-making process.
Maeve joined the NFU as a graduate trainee after studying at university in Dublin and London. She was the Water and Climate Change policy adviser in the NFU’s environment department for over two years and moved to Brussels in 2005. She has been the BAB Director since February 2006.
Main areas of responsibility: •Brexit •CAP & Rural development •EU Budget •Trade •Food Supply Chain •COPA Presidium & Policy Committee
European Policy Adviser
Richard Potts started work for the NFU in 2012 as a policy adviser in the North East and then went on to be the County Adviser for Northumberland before joining the BAB office in January 2015. Richard graduated in 2003 with a BSc in Agriculture from Newcastle University, he then went on to train as an agricultural consultant and then moved to Natural England to be a land management adviser where he was seconded for 9 months to the NFU in the North West to be the environment adviser. Richard is passionate about all aspects of UK agriculture and the environment.
Main areas of responsibility: Dairy, Sugar, Livestock (beef and sheep), Breeding livestock, Feeding Stuffs, Animal Health & Welfare, Food Health, Safety, Nutrition & Hygiene, Food Labelling, Plant Protection Products and Plant Health
European Policy Advisor
Main areas of responsibility: •Pigs & Poultry •Horticulture & Potatoes •Cereals & Oilseeds •Seeds •Agri science & technology •Environment issues •Climate change •Renewable energy (biofuels, biomass etc.) • Bees •Organic farming
Parliamentary & Communications Advisor
Claire previously worked with Richard Ashworth MEP and most recently at EuroCommerce, the European retail and trade association.
Main areas of responsibility: •European Parliament •Communications and media •European Council •Transport •Employment, Health and Safety •Fertilisers •Quality and Promotion
Office and Events Manager
Having lived in Brussels for 20 years, Michelle has the expertise to coordinate all Brussels meetings and visits of UFU delegations. Before working for the UFU in Brussels Michelle worked in CEN for the European Committee for Standardisation, she also has a background in the creative arts.
Main areas of responsibility: Should be contacted regarding farmer group visits, BAB finance & Commission Civil Dialogue Groups
Main areas of responsibility: (part-time 10:00-14:00) should be contacted regarding hotel & travel bookings
UFU Member, Beef and Sheep farmer from Aughnacloy