What was the biggest challenge of your new role?
The biggest surprise has been the breadth and number of issues I'm covering on the food side, ranging from technical and scientific topics to farming and the food chain. But I was brought up on a beef farm, so I have a strong interest in the link between producers and retailers.

Describe your work with Defra on the food chain
I have been communicating retailers' perspectives on the development of a sustainability strategy for the food industry, as called for by the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food. The BRC was one of the first groups to produce a sectoral strategy and we will continue to work with the Policy Commission on its creation and implementation. I'm providing input on English farming partnerships, and the IGD's food chain centre.

What are the other main issues you are looking at?
I am working on submitting the BRC's comments about the EU's mid-term spending review and reformation of CAP. I also study the effects of EU legislation on labelling, GM products and hygiene and small businesses. And I have been involved in the development of farm assurance schemes, including the Red Tractor, and an organics action plan linking producers and retailers.

How do you occupy yourself outside work?
I live in a small Oxfordshire village and am with the PCC, helping at village fetes. I also have two small daughters who take up a lot of my time.