Minette Batters - Celebrating 50 years of BAB

16 June 2022

By Minette Batters - NFU President

"Since 1972, BAB has been representing farmers and growers from the four parts of the UK in Brussels. Back then, Lord Plumb was President of the NFU, and it was he who oversaw the establishment of BAB. He was a passionate believer in the European model and went on to become an MEP, the Chair of the Agriculture Committee and the first, and I dare say, the only British President of the European Parliament. Lord Plumb sadly passed away in April, but his memory and values remain.

BAB has been representing UK farmers in Brussels for 50 years now. The many attendees and familiar faces at our 50th celebration is testimony to the collaborative and inclusive way in which the office operates. Whilst we always advocate for UK farmers, we always try to find common ground with our European colleagues and working collaboratively within Copa Cogeca. These values are highly prized and even more important now that the UK is outside the EU.

The UK farming unions recognised early in the Brexit process the importance of remaining in Copa Cogeca. We prioritised our future relationship and are grateful for the support we received from the other farming unions and from Director General, Pekka Pesonen, for BAB to become the first “privileged partner” member. We value and recognise the important relationship between UK and European farmers and cooperatives, as well as the broader supply chain. Trade binds us. Our markets are integrated, and our future policy is travelling in very similar directions. The challenges we face are the same and we believe are best tackled in collaboration.

It is vital that our politicians find the resolve and ingenuity to fix the remaining problems with the EU/UK relationship, so we can enjoy a prosperous future together. BAB is staying in Brussels to represent UK farmers and growers and we look forward to continuing to work closely with all of you.”