Glyphosate – Members, your Union urgently needs your help

Neill Patterson, Michelle McIlveen, (DAERA Minister), Allan Chambers (Seeds Cereals Chairman) and Victor Chestnutt (UFU Deputy President)
Neill Patterson, Michelle McIlveen, (DAERA Minister), Allan Chambers (Seeds Cereals Chairman) and Victor Chestnutt (UFU Deputy President)

The clock is ticking and the countdown is on to ensure the active substance glyphosate should be re-authorised by the European Commission before 31 December 2017.

Germany has been made responsible for the evaluation and has recommended full re-authorisation for 15 years.

This should have happened by the end of June 2016, but the whole process became politicised distracting from the science and stalled delivering an 18-month approval. There is every expectation that this may happen again as we get closer of the end of 2017.

UFU are calling on its members to get involved by writing to their MP and or MEP to outline the importance of the plant protection product on their farms. We encourage our members to write a personal letter outlining a bit about you and your farm, outlining how glyphosate works for you and what it allows you to do.

The UFU is also encouraging their members to tweet “Don’t #StopGlyphosate as #glyphosateisvital to my business/farming because… (fill in your reason)” to help progress the need for renewal.

We encourage our members to check out the NFU/UFU infographic which is on the UFU website. How glyphosate works for us all – The withdrawal of approval for this plant protection product would entail serious consequences for farmers and our environment’.

The UFU with the other farming unions will be actively campaigning for support at Cereals on 14-15 June.

UFU hosts visit

UFU Seeds & Cereals Chairman Allen Chambers and nephew Neill Patterson who share farm in Co.Down hosted an arable farm visit for Minister McIlveen. Discussion centred around some key priorities for the arable sector and included the importance of land availability and tenure systems.

Allen discussed in detail his passion for a real need for soil management, including the benefits of a new model for mapping productivity potential on a field by field basis. The minister noted that the UFU seeds & cereals policy committee were looking forward to AFBI CEO Dr Sinclair Mayne sharing his vision and delivery for arable over the coming weeks and reiterated to the Minister the importance of arable research for the region. Brexit also featured and discussions concluded around how that could impact on the future of cereal production going forward without support. UFU Deputy President Victor Chestnutt, Seeds and Cereals vice Chair, Richard Kane and Senior Policy officer for Arable and Horticulture Patricia Erwin were also present during the farm visit.

Pictured above left is Neill Patterson, Michelle McIlveen, (DAERA Minister), Allan Chambers (Seeds Cereals Chairman) and Victor Chestnutt (UFU Deputy President).

Operator Road Show for 2017 – collect your CPD points

2017 Annual VI Operator Road Shows: There are two workshops remaining for the NRoSO training events. They will take place on the 15th February in Clough and on the 23rd February in Greenmount. This is your opportunity to collect your CPD Points. Visit to book.

UFU Vegetable Growers, North Down Group

and NI Good Food

representatives present a cheque for £600 to Local charity Daisy Lodge

UFU Vegetable Producers in partnership with North Down Group and NI Good Food show support for local Charity Daisy Lodge. Their charity collection totalled £600 from the public who in return took home fresh in-season local produce.

The UFU wish to thank our local vegetable producers, North Down Group and Chef Molly Cunningham from NI Good Food for supporting this initiative allowing the consumer the opportunity to discuss the importance of supporting local with our farmers and many had the opportunity to sample the food and experience the taste, flavours and textures of cooking with fresh seasonal local vegetables.

Pictured above right is Kelly Millar (Food NI) Ashley Megarry (North Down Group) Sam Robinson (North Down Group) Adrian McGowan (UFU Vegetable Vice Chairman) and Sorcha Chipperfield (Corporate Fundraiser of NICFC/Daisy Hill).