Election gets off to a scorching start... because it's the economy, stupid
24th Nov 2017 / By Digby Scott
Brexit signals a protracted period of political turmoil for pig producers, but it’s a fair bet the real impetus behind the strong interest in NPA elections this time round, is the pig cycle.
Clinton was right. it’s the economy, stupid. And if you have the stomach for it (and can manage a wry smile on this chilly November day) you may view exactly where we are in the price cycle by visiting NPA’s election website voteNPA.co.uk.
Here’s the direct link: http://www.votenpa.co.
NPA’s online polling booths open in eight weeks for members to elect a new Producer Group for the next three years, also a new Allied Industry Group.
The two bodies will work together to determine the British pig industry’s direction of travel over the next three years.
The 2018 election campaign has got off to a scorching start with two nominations for Producer Group already, and four for Allied Industry Group.
And according to Phil Stephenson and Hugh Crabtree, respective committee chairmen, there are many more candidates in the pipeline, including a number of new faces.
NPA’s much-lauded impact as a lobbying organisation is built on its triennial elections. Strong democratic principles have been writ deep in the association’s DNA from day one, and remain the secret of its enduring success as the industry’s lead voice.
The association relies on continued member approval for its funding, and that in turn depends in large part on the calibre of its elected representatives.
It’s quite different from AHDB, which is funded by parafiscal tax and answers to Government.
Whilst European Union law does not proscribe the principle of parafiscality, it does require the tax not be used to distort competition, for instance by favouring British pork over imported pork.
And this is why the future strength and stamina of NPA as a wholly independent body is crucial to the future of the British pig industry, particularly as the cycle turns down.
The goal in these elections is, as ever, not just to fill the 12 places on Producer Group and the 10 on Allied Industry Group, but to have more candidates than seats, to ensure members have a choice at the polls.
It’s why the rules require a 150-word election address and head-and-shoulders picture from each candidate… to help voters from Exeter to Elgin make an informed choice between people they may not yet have met, except on the NPA website and through the pages of Pig World.