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20 Years of NPA - promoting Tidy Farms

30th Apr 2019 / By Alistair Driver

In the latest in our series looking back at 20 Years of the NPA, we go back to April 2016 and the launch of the Tidy Units Campaign.

NPA 20th logoThe NPA has always been active in working with the industry in response to the challenges posed by activists who seek to demonise what we do.

This can take the form of working directly with those targeted, liaising with the media to ensure the coverage that emerges is balanced and publicly challenging some of the ridiculous claims made.

Another very important element of all this is working with members to ensure everyone is adhering to the high standards this industry sets itself, so that not only are farms in good shape, we remove any ammunition activists might have.

In April 2016, following a spate of farm exposés, NPA launched the Tidy Units poster campaign, designed to present members with a simple but comprehensive checklist for their end-of-day routines. Key activities included:

  • Check all animals have sufficient bedding for the night.
  • Check whether any animals need special treatment.
  • Check there is no damage that could cause injuries during the night.
  • Never go home until any welfare issues have been resolved.
  • Ensure all medicines are under lock and key.

We also encouraged producers to regularly invite non-farming acquaintances to look round their farms as a ‘critical friend’ – ‘as a fresh pair of eyes is always helpful’. 

Tidy Farm Andrea“The idea was to encourage producers to question whether they would be happy for someone, not necessarily connected to pigs, to walk in to their unit. Would they be happy with what they found? With the help of Producer Group, we then came up with the idea of the check list,” office manager Andrea Vickers recalled.

She had only just started at the NPA and this was one of her first tasks. “All members received the posters in April and May and they have proved very popular. 

“Me and the kids spent ages rolling posters and putting them in the postal tubes (pictured). They were everywhere – in the office, they filled my dining room, and it felt like running a marathon to get four posters sent out to every member in such a short space of time! 

“But it was a task I really enjoyed - as it does make a difference! It was a great introduction into what the NPA is all about.”

The poster, which can still be downloaded here, remains just as relevant today.

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