Former NPA chief executive Zoe Davies awarded OBE
16th Jun 2023 / By Alistair Driver
The NPA is delighted to announce that former chief executive Dr Zoe Leach has been awarded the OBE in the first King’s Honours list.
Zoe (better known to many in the pig industry by her maiden name of Davies), was granted the honour in recognition of her services to the pig industry.
She joined the NPA as regions manager in 2008 and became its first chief executive in 2014, a role she held until she joined the NFU as its Eastern regional director last summer.
During her time at the NPA, she was a hugely influential figure across the pig sector and beyond, successfully lobbying Government on behalf of farmers for fairer regulations, making producers’ case throughout the supply chain and often being the voice of the industry in the media.
Zoe said: “This is a massive honour and I’m still slightly in shock! For me, this really reflects on the fantastic work of the NPA over all my years there and well before that.
“Although this OBE is being awarded to me, I couldn’t have achieved anything without the amazing team at the NPA, which continues to do great work for members, along with all the producer and allied representatives, and especially the chairmen who served alongside me.
“The pig industry is unique – it’s full of wonderful people who have faced and come through some tough challenges over the years. I have just tried to do my best to support them”
NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson said: “We are all absolutely thrilled with this news and want to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Zoe.
“Not only has she won countless battles on behalf of the entire industry at Government and supply chain level, but she has formed a unique bond with members, often going above and beyond in supporting them on an individual level.
“She has given blood, sweat and tears for the industry over the years and this is a thoroughly deserved honour.”
NPA chairman Rob Mutimer said: “I want to add my personal congratulations to Zoe. She really has battled so hard for the pig sector, never more so than during the recent crisis, when she showed tremendous leadership.
“As a producer, I can safely say the industry is in a much better position to continue producing great British pork than it would have been without Zoe. This honour is just reward for that.”
Prior to joining NPA, Zoe worked in Defra as a senior scientific officer for five years, having come from BQP where she ran a pig farm in Suffolk for three years. Between 1995 and 1998 she completed a PhD in pig welfare at the University of Reading, studying the welfare implications of outdoor pig breeding systems.
She won the much-coveted 2020 Chris Brant Award (CBA) in recognition of her ‘massive contribution’ to the British pig industry and the prestigious David Black Award in 2022.
Zoe was also awarded a Fellowship of the NPA when she left the association last summer.