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Welcome to the NPA Forum. This forum is moderated and contributors are expected to use their real names. Send your forum message here.

Stuart David Wood, July 19, 2021

I sincerely hope our government is going to put an immediate  stop on imports of all pork products from the EU now that ASF has been found in domestic pigs in Germany because the EU would sure as hell stop us from exporting to them if we had ASF here.

Meryl Ward, June 7, 2021

We have a vacancy for a Service House operator at Ermine Farms Ltd. 

Join a team of 6 on a 750 sow indoor breeding farm in North Lincs.  High welfare farm with group housed dry sows on straw based electronic sows feeders. 

Excellent salary, bonus payment on performance, pension and accommodation. Continuing Professional Development including management training and career progression. 

E.Mail:  or ring 07860 565289 for more information.

Emily Bushby, April 28, 2021

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Leeds and, as I initially posted here in January, I am looking to reach as many pig producers in the UK as possible to understand their views on a nutritional method to reduce stress within UK pig herds.

My project, which is supervised by Professors Lisa Collins and Louise Dye, is examining whether magnesium improves performance, health and welfare in pigs. Diet has a major impact on the welfare and productivity of pig herds. I would like to understand what producers think about using additional magnesium, and their experiences and thoughts on this practice.

This survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and you can complete it via this link: -

or by following the link to the post at the top of my Twitter feed (@EBushby23).

All answers will be anonymised and no identifying information will be collected.

Please contact me with any queries or questions at  and thank you for your time and help.

Stephen Tuer, April 19, 2021

The EA position on autumn applications of manures will mean seismic changes and could end many muck for straw arrangements as arable farmers may incorporate straw rather than spread muck on crops in the spring.

Even if muck is stored in heaps over the winter it must lead to more pollution from runoff than if it were spread, incorporated and taken up in the autumn.

If the rules change and then we subsequently discover that runoff is an issue then we may have to cover heaps or invest  in bunkers and still have to deal with effluent.

For those that produce slurry, double the storage, all covered if permitted and our spreading window is usually March through to early May. Any earlier and the ground is too wet to legally apply slurry. Any later and the crop has grown too tall for umbilical applications.

We've had years when we get very little on in the spring due to weather but manage to empty the lagoon onto stubbles. What if this option was taken away from us??

Zanita Markham, AHDB Pork, April 16, 2021

During the summer, AHDB will be hosting a webinar with the Environment Agency (EA) to answer some of your questions about environmental permitting.

To help us tailor the content to meet your needs, we'd like you to let us know what questions or concerns you have on the topic.

Perhaps you have queries about the new Best Available Technique (BAT) requirements, or maybe you want to know more about the ammonia emissions work we've been involved with and how that will affect emission factors? Let us know what's on your mind so we can answer your questions.

Tel: 07741 844997

In the meantime, visit our website for a variety of resources to support your environmental permitting needs:

David Sopko, April 15, 2021

I am Head of Production at West Berkshire Brewery, located in Yattendon, Berkshire. 

We have brewer's spent grains/hops and brewer's yeast available as animal feed.  We are looking for a partner to take these co-products away and ensure they get used productively.

We are of a reasonable scale, producing circa 2000 litres  of brewers yeast per week and 15 tonnes of spent grain/hops per week.

If interested, please contact both:

Dave Sopko - 
Will Twomey - 

Aimee Mahoney, NFU chief poultry adviser, April 7, 2021 

A poultry member from the North West is involved in an initiative looking at views of farmers on the potential for trees to capture ammonia in and around livestock buildings.

The survey is being carried out by the ART project with partners including Natural England (Catchment Sensitive Farming), the UK Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, Forest Research, Environment Agency, Lakes Free Range Eggs company and Cumbria Farm Environment Partnership (CFEP).

This is not just for poultry members - it also covers pigs and ELMs, and the project leads are keen to hear from livestock farmers as well. 

The survey can be found here.

The majority of the questions are tick-box type and should take you 10-15 minutes to complete. No location or personal details are collected within the survey, which closes on April 11.


Recent research undertaken by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Forest Research has shown the potential for trees to capture ammonia in and around livestock buildings. 

The ART project are looking for your views on how tree shelterbelts, designed for ammonia capture from livestock buildings and free range livestock, fit with the farm business - what are the pros/cons, practicalities and your constraints and motivations.

Current work led by industry and the Catchment Sensitive Farming partnership has been proving the effectiveness of this practice, through measurements, improved tools and farm case studies.

Together with results from this survey it will help provide better advice and grant options for farmers through future environmental land management schemes. 

Meryl Ward, Ermine Farms, March 16, 2021 

Vacancy for a Trials Supervisor - Ermine Farms is a family run pig breeding and rearing operation based in North Lincolnshire. The position is to run a new 4000 place nursery, equipped with the latest weighing and monitoring equipment, and emissions reduction systems.  

Job responsibilities for the Trials Supervisor include day to day management of the trials unit including all aspects of feeding, health and welfare of the pigs from weaning to 40kg, collection and analysis of trial results, and working with other team members to improve the quality of weaned piglets.

Competitive salary including housing, company pension and bonus scheme.

Please e.mail, Meryl Ward at:  or ring on 07860 565289.

Ali Tomlin, APHA, March 15, 2021

If you need to submit applications for the temporary use of land for keeping livestock, please note that APHA is currently dealing with a high volume of applications which is expected to increase through the spring and summer grazing period.

In addition, high work volumes and COVID-19 restrictions are also impacting our delivery times and it is highly likely it will take the full 10 working days to process your request. 

With that in mind, please submit applications in advance to avoid delays and to ensure we can approve your application by the date you require.

If possible, you should send applications by email to the  mailbox as access to our post is sometimes limited or disrupted, which can lead to further processing delays. In addition, we are currently unable to process any applications sent by fax.

What a shambles. it comes as no surprise that IMPORT checks are being delayed another six months does it.

I thought DEFRA and the government were trying to help the industry,well obviously not .just words as usual and no action,what a shambles  this government really is and yet again using Covid as a mask to hide behind. Also our NFU president saying this is all needed to keep supermarket shelves stocked - another missed trick here.

Lets have empty shelves and food shortages instead and then we will get a modern price for our produce and not have to put up with prices which in real terms are 40 years adrift.

Richard Longthorp, March 2, 2021

Just seen the results of the election – what a team!

Well done to all those elected and well done and thanks to those who stood but missed out – I am sure you pushed the eventual successful candidates all the way.

The result was announced after the stock market closed so no reaction there but I feel sure the SPP will respond in an appropriate manner. ðŸ˜€ðŸ˜€

Hugh Crabtree, February 25, 2021

You have only got one more day to cast your vote - please, please, please DO IT NOW!

There's a great field of candidates and the newly constituted Pig Industry Group needs the strongest possible mandate, please give it to them.


Dearbhla Connell, Harper Adams University, February 23, 2021

Calling all those working in the UK pig industry! Please take 10 minutes to fill in my survey about antibiotics and feed additives!

I am in my final year at Harper Adams University, and I am studying Benzoic acid for my dissertation. As part of this project I am trying to understand producer and allied industry perspectives on the use of Benzoic acid in the context of changing antibiotic and zinc oxide legislation.

Please spend a few minutes completing my questionnaire and share with anyone else who can help. Thanks in advance!

The impact of antibiotics and feed additives on the viability of pig enterprises (

Jade Tubb, February 23, 2021

My name is Jade and I am a final year University student undertaking a project on African Swine Fever.

I am looking for Pig Farmers, or anyone who owns pigs based in the UK to kindly participate by giving feedback on an infographic I've designed to raise awareness of the disease, and complete a short evaluation questionnaire on its effectivity.

If this is something you can help me with, I would be happy to send across more information.

All help gratefully received. 

Peter Johnson, February 17, 2021

Hello Everyone. I come from an indoor commercial pig background, which I left some years ago. We have just taken a farm with some decent fields that we intend to use to fatten pigs using tents. 100 in each field.

As I haven't managed pigs like this before I am looking for advice from anyone who runs pigs outdoors. I am trying to simplify the cleaning out process, and considering putting a hard standing in front of the tent, where the drinkers are, in the hopes that they will mess on the concrete and we can just skid steer it off, with maybe just a little picking on the grass areas before hand.

So the layout will be Large tent, on grass, heavy straw bedded; concrete pad to drinking area; grass field for rooting. The question; is this pointless?

will they just muck on the grazing and if they do how do you manage mucking out, in winter especially? Do you do it by hand? Do you find they use one place? Is it even a problem?

Stephen Tuer, February 15, 2021

I've just spent 3 hours filling in the consultation on revised red tractor standards only for it to reject my submission and take me back to the start. Won't be spending another three hours on it. 

Richard Longthorp, February 10, 2021

I guess the whole of the UK pig industry has benefited significantly over the years from the China market. A great example of industry and government working together

But with China rebuilding its own herd (probably bigger and better than before) and some political pressure over trade deals, should we not be looking to make our industry somewhat less dependent on the China market?

Rory Hall, Harper Adams, February 5, 2021

It would be greatly appreciated if NPA members could spare a few minutes to complete this dissertation survey and potentially distribute it amongst others working in all aspects of the pig industry on behalf of my girlfriend.

It is about staff training and will require quite a few completions in order to get enough responses to make the results valid. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

You can access it here:

Many thanks.

Fiona Glaves, Karro Business Development Manager – Agriculture, February 1, 2021

We have a job vacancy for a Research Fellow (KTP) in Data Analytics (Smart Agriculture). 

More information here:

David Owers, January 27, 2021 

Just a couple of questions someone may be able to answer. 1) As our market has been flooded by cheap pigmeat from the EU due to Germany losing their markets due to ASF - if a foreign lorry driver gives us ASF will the EU still take pigmeat from us?
2) I see N. Ireland's pig farmers have been given £2 million + to help them due to Covid problems-about £16 k each- when can we expect our cheques?

Steve Shaw, ECO Animal Health UL, January 26, 2021 

UK Pig Producers that are Home Mixers?

I wonder if you could please help with my search for information regarding the UK Pig Producers that mix feed at home, and the ones with Cat5/6 Feed Additive licence?

What % of farms or units are fed on Home mixed diets?
What % of Sows and %age of growers - finishers?

Thank you.

Chloe Gimson, January 26, 2021

I am currently in my final year studying BSc Agriculture with Farm Business Management at Harper Adams University.

I am undertaking research for my Honours Research Project investigating how the stockperson influences physical performance on outdoor breeding pig units and how this can be managed.

My background in pig farming along with my involvement with Ladies In Pigs and Young NPA sparked my interest in undertaking research in this area and I would be extremely grateful if NPA members could complete the following survey to inform my research:

Debbie Wilson, January 22, 2021

Does anyone still have a copy of the Yorkshire post magazine which was published first week of January and had a feature about Ladies in Pigs in it please?

A scan or picture of the feature would be appreciated.

David Owers, January 14, 2021

Many thanks to both Richards for their tireless efforts on behalf of the British Pig Industry over many years - I have always admired Richard Longthorp's brutal honesty and Richard Lister's bright and cheerful persona.

Jason Evans, January 7, 2021

Dare I ask have any producers read the amendments to the RT Standards yet? What are your thoughts? And no rude words please. 

Sarah Vermont, Biomin, January 6, 2021

This upcoming webinar hosted by Biomin might be of interest to some NPA members. It is on Wednesday, Jan 13 at 8am, but it will be recorded so people who have signed up will be sent a link to the recording.

The topic is "Swine Disease Prevention - the role of organic acids" and will cover:

  • Role of microbiome and pathogenome in the gut of pigs 
  • Management tools and strategic interventions to prevent the outbreak of bacterial disease 
  • How to decontaminate pig feed using organic acids
  • How Biotronic® Top line products reduce Salmonella, Lawsonia and Brachyspira in swine 

You can find more details and how to sign up HERE

Michael Zarkos-Smith, December 23, 2020

We are recruiting. 

Are you an enthusiastic, ambitious and independent personality and do you want to guide our customers in optimising their business results? Then we are looking for you!

As a worldwide specialist in farrowing pen management and nutrition for sows and piglets, Zarkos-Smith Associates, part of the international Swinco Group, support feed companies, integrations and pig farmers in optimizing their activities in pig farming.

We are a dynamic, decisive and customer-oriented organization with an open, result-oriented approach. Because we are active worldwide, we have a clear understanding of the developments that global pig farming is going through.

The combination of our advice and our products, including feed and feeding installations, is unique and enables our customers to get the maximum return from their business.

Does this appeal to you? Then come and strengthen our rapidly growing team!

For more details contact me at: 

Ian Broumpton, December 10, 2020

New producer attestation required to allow export of pork to continue to the EU - I said along that leaving the E U would increase RED TAPE rather then reduce it and this is only the start, lots more to come im sure.

Dont get me wrong, I voted Leave, but the whole thing was done far too quick and not anything like enough info was available from government before voting in or out.

Typical Government effort really - as usual, Cart afore hoss.

Have as good a christmas as possible everyone(im sure missing socialising and a beer or six), and one thing I am sure is that 2021 will not be as prosperous as 2020 but we live in hope.

Ian Broumpton, December 9, 2020

No Deal V Deal. on the face of it a No no no no deal (jim trott/vicar of dibley) looks a better option for uk pigmeat trading.

Sows are already making nowt, so no great difference there. I'd like to know how much of the 35000 tons of exports are sow carcases. But big tariffs on imported prime pigmeat must be good for our pork prices here.

We keep hearing that the logistics of exporting to the E U could cause problems, but surely it works the other way too with imports.lets try and put a positive slant on things for once.all the headlines are gloom and doom.

We are experts at talking our prices down in this country,lets talk them up and look at the positives for a change.

Jason Evans, December 7, 2020

After Talking to Hugh Crabtree and seeing Sally Stockings' comments, I have for the fist time put myself forward for election as I would like to be part  of the PIG team that has done a fantastic job of supporting and promoting the British Pig Industry over the last 20+ years.

I hope my 30 years in the industry with most of that spent at the coal face for MPP, stands me in good stead to be elected as one of the allied industry members. Also it would be nice to follow in the footsteps of my late father who was a key member in the very early days of the NPA.

I have worked on many different systems and seen lots of change which seems to accelerate year on year and would like to add my voice to the steering of the industry through the more than likely turbulent times ahead, to keep ahead of the curve.

Jason Evans, December 4, 2020

Ian Broumpton. I am sure I have filled one or two similar surveys in the dim distance past and wondered where they get their info from to put these surveys together?

Ian Broumpton, December 4, 2020

SRUC survey, here we go again with even more utter rubbish. Frstly the second question needs amending to allow more then one box to be ticked as im sure like us most indoor producers have both straw and slatted systems.

More importantly i do not need an academic trying to tell me how to look after pigs and as for making farmers go on a course to get a certificate on pig enrichment which no doubt would have to be paid for by farmers, well its yet again people living in dream land - come on NPA knock this for six immediately.

Ian Broumpton, November 20, 2020

RE Disease contingency planning (see Members' Area, Nov 16 post). In short, what a load of elaborate crap this is,who the hell has dreamed this up now.

Firstly its yet more paperwork form filling which most of it is already recorded elsewhere and has to be  for farm assurance, secondly its  giving farm assurance schemes more ideas as to what we will legally end up having to do every year. get rid of it immediately. my own contingency plan covers whats needed in a real world and is plain and simple just like me.

Richard Longthorp, November 17, 2020

How appropriate that the two Chief Executives of the NPA and the BPA should both have their huge contribution to the UK Pig Industry recognised independently, though almost simultaneously, with Zoe Davies receiving the Chris Brant Award and Marcus Bates the David Black Award.

A big well done and thank-you from pig producers large and small.

Rob Mutimer, November 15, 2020

NPA elections are now open and I would strongly advise anyone in the industry to consider putting yourself forward to have a voice in the newly formed Pig Industry Group, which has combined the Allied Industry Group with the Producer Group.

Whether you are a producer or work in the allied industry on small or large scale, we need your nominations so NPA members can have the opportunity to vote on candidates with real diversity from all sectors of our very diverse industry.

Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two terms on the NPA board and producer group and hope to be a continuing part of the new group.

The NPA continues to operate with a very dedicated small team, led by Zoe, with an ever increasing remit of roles including political representation, environmental expertise and welfare concerns of both pigs and NPA members.  The organisation's role is to help the pig industry members react to continuing changes in the pig market and external forces, such as Government and NGOs.

The new PIG going forward will be pivotal in keeping the NPA team up-to-date with changes and new challenges in the industry, helping both the NPA staff and board make sure the organisation continues to be a forward-thinking relevant force delivering real value for money for all its members.

There are some great forward-thinking characters in our industry and we really do need your input into the NPA. It is not a massive time commitment and as an organisation, it really does make a significant contribution to the success of our industry – so please get your nominations in!

Sally Stockings, November 11, 2020

With the NPA election nomination window now open... to put yourself forward or to not put yourself forward, that is the question!

Mr Crabtree (see October 7 below) suggested that it was a 'no-brainer' for me. Having recently taken over the reins of the business he felt I had a lot to learn. He of course, as usual, was right. If you have a passion to ensure we are able to farm profitably, a profound desire to see the pig industry get stronger and to have a voice in questioning legislation, it should be a no-brainer for you, too.

I have been fortunate to work with excellent members of the NPA staff. The knowledge that Zoe imparts, that Lizzie and Becca deciphers and that Andrea manages to communicate is amazing.

If it has ever crossed your mind to put yourself forward, please do not hesitate. The environment is welcoming and along with the more serious aspects of the meetings, it is a joy to meet up with fellow members of the pig Industry on a regular basis.

Phil Stephenson, October 23, 2020

It is election time again, this time not for Producer Group, but for the Pig Industry Group, which includes our Allied Industry friends.

The NPA evolved some 20-odd years ago – some may have wondered if we needed an independent body to represent us.

Having been on Producer Group for 12 years, I am still surprised at the number of diverse issues the fantastic NPA team has to deal with and help individual producers with.

Planning/Incursions/environmental issue/political developments, particularly Brexit/new or proposed regulations – the list is long.

There is no doubt that we would not have an industry as it is now without an NPA – and I thank the pioneers who had the foresight to set up in the first place.

To function at its best, Zoe and the team need a strong guide from the Pig Industry Group. I would urge any producer big/small/indoor/oudoor to put their name forward and have an opinion.

You will help shape and secure the future of our industry and meet lots of interesting people along the way - give it a go!

Stephen Thompson, October 23, 2020

Has ASF chair, Baroness Neville-Rolfe been asked to resign yet or even better offered her notice in?

Alistair Driver, October 23, 2020

Well, here's your answer, Stephen! 

Hugh Crabtree, October 7, 2020 

Yes folks, it's NPA election season! Nominations are now open for the forthcoming elections to the newly constituted Pig Industry Group in January 2021.

During 2020 the NPA has been trialling the new group - the PIG - in a bid to better facilitate communications, reduce costs and improve policy making. The PIG is the amalgamation of the Producer and Allied Industry Groups. It has been unanimously declared a great success and is set to be formally put in place and ratified by the upcoming elections.

The number of elected representatives has been reduced a little and the number of regular invitees has also been reviewed. The result is a new group of 10 producers, 7 allied industry,  the YNPA chair for the time being, one co-opted person, invited representatives from BPA, AHDB Pork, Red Tractor and the NPA staff. A total of 26 members.

This is a really important development and once again demonstrates the NPA's willingness to pursue efficiency, communications and policy formulation improvements with innovative and 'can do' thinking. Being part of this new group will be an exciting opportunity, a challenging responsibility and an exclusive privilege - all at the same time!

The NPA would like to invite members to think hard about whether or not they might put themselves forward to take on this new role and if not, propose another suitable candidate to come forward.

If ever there was a time the UK pig industry needs active membership engagement, participation and leadership - it is now! Brexit, increasing regulation, ASF, animal rights, veganism, consumer choice and the pandemic all impacting our livelihoods massively.

Please consider becoming a part of the new PIG and get your name on the ballot paper!

Trevor Guyton, September 3, 2020

Hi Stuart

Thank you but we have it sorted now.

Stuart Rowley, Premier Nutrition, September 1, 2020

Hi Trevor
Please give me a call on 07718 909774 and I will try and help you.

Regards Stuart

Trevor Guyton, September 1, 2020

We have some GOS pigs and I have bought a mill and am grinding my own corn. We have soya too. Where can we buy minerals from to add to our feed, it's proving quite difficult?

Anna Brown - August 5th, 2020

My name is Anna Brown and I am a student at the University of Reading completing a Summer Placement research project looking into the types of contractual arrangements used in the UK pig industry. I am not focusing on the details of the contracts, but just general information to develop a mode assessing their impact on farms' economic resilience under different shocks. This is part of the larger project PigSustain.

I am collecting this information via a short online survey which is completely anonymous and takes no longer than 5-10 minutes to complete with access to the survey in the link below.

I am also hoping to conduct short interviews with industry experts to understand more about the broad types of contractual arrangements used. 

If you could possibly fill out the survey or participate in a telephone interview at any convenient time for you it would be greatly appreciated.

Vanda Kettelhut, July 9, 2020

I am making a new TV Series for Channel 5 about Farm Diversification and I am looking to speak to farmers who are currently in the process of diversifying their farm, or thinking about it and haven't yet taken the first steps.

With the help from our team of experts, we would like British Farmers to unlock the potential in their farmland by tapping into new revenues of income.

We are looking for Farmers from across the UK to take part in the series, of which the tone will be informative, and hopefully encouraging to the nation in supporting local produce and amenities, and of course the series will be full of beautiful countryside and farmlands.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the series can e-mail  or call me on 0141 300 3806.

Ian Broumpton - Who's telling porkies now? July 7, 2020

I'm baffled to see that massive disruption to european pork processing plants due to covid 19 is causing mayhem.

Has anyone checked out the number of reported cases in these countries in the last two weeks or so, for example germany is showing about 20 to 80  new cases/day countrywide  and its similar elsewhere.

So someone is definitely telling porkies?

Ian Broumpton - Food for thought, June 25, 2020

As I have previously stated that every year we get the (kids are off school) excuse as to why demand falls away in the summer holidays.

However, kids have been off school for much longer then normal holidays and pork demand has been higher then usual. Two things spring to  mind here. The normal excuse is purely an excuse to suppress prices and that schools obviously use imported pork like all food services, which only goes to prove that price rules and people in general don't care how food is produced. We need to ensure we are not made to jump through more hoops in the future.

One more point is something else that I've been saying all along too is that Brexit will force us in to more legislation and not less (eg Boris and farrowing crates etc in prime ministers question time in House of Commons).

Harriet Bartlett, PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge Dept of Veterinary Medicine, June 12, 2020

Sustainability Research with Cambridge Vet School

Calling all pig producers: participate in research quantifying the carbon footprint, biodiversity impact, animal welfare and antibiotic use of pig production.

The aim is to identify inevitable compromises (if they exist) and identify characteristics of optimal systems. All participants are anonymised, and are offered a detailed breakdown of their scores (including a full carbon footprint) benchmarked against other farms AND details of any ways your farm performs particularly well and means to improve.

Participation involves an interview (max 45 mins), and a farm tour. I then carry out welfare assessments, which are non-invasive and do not require your time. My priority above all else is biosecurity and your privacy and anonymity, and I have new COVID-19 protocols in place. I have visited over 50 pig farms so far, and am looking to recruit more producers of all types. I want to produce unbiased, useful and timely information for the pig industry.

Incentive: You might know that private firms offer impact assessments like this, and can charge a considerable amount of money. If you take part in the study, your impact assessment is completely free of charge.

If you are interested, or would have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. My email address is:

Richard Longthorp, May 21, 2020

Still some potential challenges to face but big thanks and bloody well done Team NPA on the Import Tariff front reported on the NPA website.

David Owers, April 26, 2020

Totally agree with what you say Stephen.

David Owers, April 25, 2020

Ian, we are also having a remote vet inspection on Monday. The vet did give us the option of a farm visit if we were having any problems.

He is ringing me at 10am while I am having my coffee break and I will What's App any pictures he needs. I am expecting this call to be constructive and morale boosting.

Chris, It will be very interesting to hear about your Red Tractor remote inspection we like you have very poor mobile reception.

Red Tractor- I have always been a staunch supporter of a strong assurance scheme which Red Tractor have delivered with one or two notable exceptions from a personal perspective. We are one man down due to Covid 19 (20% of our work force) and will be for a considerable time.

I have worked 7 days a week for the last 7 weeks. Farmers don't want any plaudits - we are not putting our lives on the line like NHS staff. The next phone call I receive could be a stockman ringing in sick or a slaughterhouse cancelling pigs because of staff sickness.

Stephen Tuer, April 25, 2020

With office staff working from home, getting through the usual paperwork, accounts and payroll is proving challenging. I would personally find it very difficult to add another layer of complexity to proving conformance at a time when just doing the basics is what is important.

Many businesses are also dealing with staff shortages due to shielding of vulnerable family members and self isolation due to partners being exposed to covid if working in the NHS.

So my opinion is that audits should be temporarily halted entirely for the time being.

All that said, I believe remote inspections and a portal style records/certification process would be a very positive step forwards, provided it is done carefully and phased in over time.

Ian Broumpton, April 24, 2020

Re remote inspections, we actually have a remote quarterly vet visit next tuesday, David ,which is all part of Red Tractor etc. I'll update after then. Personally, I think we should all have simply missed this quarter's visit (real or remote) and annual Red Tractor audits should all be postponed until suitable times given that everything else in life is being put on hold.

Chris Leamon, April 23, 2020

We are having a remote Red Tractor inspection on May 1 and are getting ready by putting information on portal – I will report back how it goes. We have poor mobile phone coverage.

David Owers, April 23, 2020 

It's hard raising pigs at the best of times, but what's all this crap about remote inspections? Interested to hear your views, Mr Brompton?

Nick White, February 10, 2020

Sad to learn that Glenda Montgomery has passed away - what a character! Condolences to Rex and their family.

I hope that details of the funeral will be made available as would like to attend if possible.

Phil Stephenson, January 31, 2020

I recently had a farm visit from Harriet Bartlett (a PhD student at Cambridge University), who is researching pig sustainability.

She is testing the idea that it is not possible to have low carbon footprint AND low biodiversity impact AND high welfare AND low antibiotic pig production – that there are some inevitable compromises.

All results are anonymised, and if you take part you are given the option of receiving complete feedback from Harriet, including a full carbon footprint, land use footprint, Welfare Quality scores and antibiotic use compared to all other anonymised farms and those most similar. This will include details on how your farm is particularly good and possible ways to improve.

Participation involves a questionnaire (max 45 mins) then a tour of your unit, and then she carries out welfare assessments which doesn’t require your time. She is very thorough on biosecurity measures.

She has visited over 20 farms in the UK and 20 in Brazil and is hoping to double this in the coming year. If you are interested in taking part or would like to learn more, please contact Harriet on .

Ian Broumpton, January 6, 2020

Happy new year everyone. Let's hope we get what we deserve with our prices this year. Firstly and it comes as no surprise I had absolutely no response to my post on Dec 11th, but I didnt expect one, did I.

So back to what may be in store for us this year. Well I'll predict for you all. It will be another series of excuses as to why our prices "can't" advance as much as they should. January  trade is always slack here, but given that we are only 50%-ish self sufficient and less imports are arriving and China still consumes vast ammounts all year round, then we shouldn't have too much pork here to meet a so called 'poor' demand.

But of course January and empty pockets is just another excuse to keep a lid on our price. And as usual we will peak in may/june before it's then either too hot or too wet in the summer and kids dont eat during school hols. 

And then brexit again will be used as an excuse wont it. No doubt this time next year I will be saying the same things again, won't it.

Phil Woodall - vacancy at TVC, December 28, 2019

We have a vacancy for a Livestock Movement Co-Ordinator, based in Yorkshire at Thames Valley Cambac Ltd, the UK’s largest and only truly national pig marketing operation.

Due to continued growth and the increasing complexity of servicing customers, an opportunity has arisen to join this small but specialised team to fulfil the above new role.

Based in the North office (Brackenholme, Selby) the successful applicant, following an appropriate induction and training period, will be responsible for developing systems to manage regulatory documentation associated with livestock movements. The role will include producer liaison to assist with adherence to industry and retailer standards, which will in time lead to auditing livestock production units.

Within the team you will be assisting with livestock scheduling, planning and transport co-ordination.

Remuneration package will be commensurate with the successful applicant’s skill sets and experience.

For more information, email me 


Ian Broumpton, December 11, 2019

How can it be feasible that TESCO has reduced British fresh pork facings by 7 % and British bacon facings by10% when European mainland pig meat is more expensive then British product? 

Presumably the answer is that we are subsidising imported meat, which is why the supermarkets are reluctant to pay more for our product. If anyone from Tesco reads this and has the balls to reply then please do, but I won't hold my breath waiting for a response. Possibly, you processors may have a response, too!

Joseph Hender, Cardiff University engineering undergraduate, December 6, 2019

I am part of a small engineering team at Cardiff University  looking into the development of a cloud-based sensor system which will monitor the vital signs of pigs. The aim is to create a multi-purpose system which can aid in, for example, early disease detection and estrous onset detection.

As part of the early stages of development we are looking to gather information on what pig farmers may want out of the system, as well as information on manual checks already being done. 

I have compiled a short online questionnaire, which should take only a few minutes to complete, to help collection this information. I would be very grateful if you could take the time to complete it. 

You can access it here:

All questionnaire feedback will remain confidential and anonymous. Thanks for any time you can spare in completing this questionnaire and if you have any questions regarding the project please contact

Richard Longthorp, November 21, 2019

Best news I’ve read on the NPA website for ages

Not pig price. Not feed cost. Not tariffs

But Young NPA and their new leadership and structure

Bloody marvellous and all power to their elbow

 Matthew Hewitt, November 5, 2019

I am 33yrs old, I live in Cannock, Staffordshire and I currently have very limited knowledge around Agriculture.

I have a passion for farming. However, I've never had much in the way of experience. I have done some volunteering on an egg laying farm a few years ago, they also had a few sheep which I helped with hoof trimming/fly strike and a friend of mine had a hobby beef cattle farm which I helped with cleaning out on occasions.

Down to the real question then. Do any Pig Farmers (Outdoor or Indoor systems) around the area of Staffordshire (am willing to take time off work and travel as long as I can stay over) need any free volunteering work by an enthusiastic 33yr old that is willing to learn the ropes of everything to do with Pig Stockmanship? I'm also looking in to the AHDB Pig Stockman course they have listed.

You can contact me at  

Stuart Bosworth, November 4, 2019

"PUBLIC MONEY FOR PUBLIC GOODS" - What might that mean for producers in the future UK pig industry...........assuming there is one?

One interpretation is that the Government will support businesses that can demonstrate both high levels of "Animal Welfare" and "Environmental Sustainability" in the future.

For our UK pig industry, meeting legal minimum animal welfare standards has been the subject close to the top of the public agenda with the pig industry for many years, certainly since the UK Government led with unilateral legislation to ban sow stall and tether production systems.

But what about "Environmental Sustainability"?

Before we can improve in that area, we need to assess where we are as individual businesses and as a pig industry nationally, as well as learning what are the priority factors to concentrate on for improving "Environmental Sustainability".

I recently had an interesting farm visit by Harriet Bartlett, a Cambridge University PhD student, who took time to make her own assessments of our pigs' welfare in dry sows, lactating sows and growing pigs. She also collected our production data to contribute to her project in comparing 50 pig units in the UK with 50 pig units in Brazil. (originally it was going to be a comparison with China until the ASF outbreak took hold)

Harriet needs some more UK pig units to contribute to her study, which I think is a very worthwhile exercise for the industry to be involved with. Data collection is not too onerous if you are willing to share production records, mortalities and culling, manure management, energy use including straw, fuel and electricity, as well as antimicrobial use. I know Harriet is keen to have a range of indoor and outdoor production systems contribute to her study.

She is absolutely thorough on biosecurity for the farm visit. The data from each participating business will remain confidential to that business, while contributors will eventually be able to compare results in different areas of the research against group results. Her work is supported by the departments of Zoology and Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University.

If you are willing and able to contribute to this important study now, and you are happy to receive a free, confidential and independent assessment of your pig production system looking at both 'Animal Welfare' and 'Environmental Sustainability', including a carbon and land use footprint when the study concludes in 2021, please contact Harriet Bartlett by using her e-mail address 

All farms are anonymised in any published results.

Ian Broumpton, October 22, 2019

YET MORE EXCUSES being given to keep our prices in check. Hav