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Red Tractor, June 16, 2022

Maternity cover opportunity

Red Tractor is looking to recruit a Pigs Technical Manager on a fixed term contract as maternity cover, following the exciting news that Georgina McDowell, once of the NPA, of course, is expecting a baby. 

You can view the advert here:

Other RT vacancies are available here


Meryl Ward, May 9, 2022

£40,000 of bursary funding available as part of #AgriLeadershipWeek

I am delighted to write to post this on behalf of the Agri-Leadership Consortium (ALC) to give you an update on plans for the 2022 #AgriLeadershipWeek, which is due to be held from Monday to Friday, May 16-21.

Now in its second year, the initiative has been created by a consortium which originated as The Farmers Club Charitable Trust (FCCT), the Institute of Agriculture Management (IAgrM), the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), Nuffield Farming Scholarships, the Worshipful Company of Farmers and the Council for the Awards of the Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) and has now grown to include Management Development Services (MDS), the National Farmers Union (NFU), The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH), Farmers Weekly and the Agricultural Universities Council.

The purpose of the week is to promote the importance of leadership to businesses and organisations, highlight opportunities for individuals, and to get across the message that leadership development can be for everyone.

The week will highlight opportunities for those engaged in agriculture and food to develop their professional management and leadership skills at whatever stage they are at in their careers. 

A range of activities are planned during the week, including an extensive social media campaign, interviews with key industry leaders and a review of leadership development opportunities both within the sector and more generally. 

An exciting addition this year to the activities is the introduction of an initiative called ‘Snapshot Studies’.  

In recognition of the Farmers Club Charitable Trust’s 40th year, they are offering £40,000 of bursary funding to individuals based in agriculture and its allied industries to report on a study based around topical themes.

Applicants can apply for between £1,000 - £2,000 through a ‘light-touch’ application process - the final study report is to be presented in a three minute video presentation.  

Further information will be posted at the beginning of #AgriLeadershipWeek. The Trust’s website will also have further information.

The full Stakeholder pack which gives details on how you can get involved on the lead up and during #AgriLeadershipWeek2022 can be downloaded HERE

David and Lizzy Owers, May 5, 2022

So sad to see Zoe leaving us but what an inspiration she has been to us all. She has led her small team like a true warrior fighting on our our behalf with a tiny budget and punching well above their weight.

AHDB, this is how you should spend our hard earned losses by following NPA example! Good luck in your new position Zoe xx

Hugh Crabtree, May 4, 2022

I am now able to post the funeral arrangements for Bernie Peet who died Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

The funeral will take place on Thursday May 12 at 11am at:

Oakley Wood Crematorium
Bishop's Tachbrook
Leamington Spa
CV33 9QP

and after at:

The Leopard Inn
Bramley Cottage
10 Oakley Wood Road
Bishop's Tachbrook
Leamington Spa
CV33 9RN

the live stream:

The Login PIN to access the webcast is 621-0680

Ian Broumpton, May 3, 2022

Pig movement and handling course

Well, where do i start. Firstly, I have just wasted one and a half hours of my life on a Sunday - it was as interesting as watching paint dry.

To all of you out there who came up with this load of B-----ks  thought that farmers like me needed to endure this then you are deluded and need to get a life.

What good is any course when it's impossible to get the answers wrong. It was like being in primary school. I'm sure we all have plenty of much more pressing things to deal and cope with at this time.

David Turton, April 25, 2022

With incredulity I read that HM Government is considering to delay the implementation of post Brexit import checks again, and may be indefinitely.

Ladies and Gentlemen, outrageous - British farming to be economically abandoned by a British Government. Surely the economic opposition in the EU must be in a state of ecstasy, they are in the envious position that food products from the UK a subject to rigorous highly costly inspections that hinder trade.

Yet they have free and unfettered access to the UK market. Extremely perverse stance by HM Government.

Hugh Crabtree, April 21, 2022

With the greatest sadness I must inform you of the death of an absolute industry stalwart and David Black Award winner - Bernie Peet.

He died on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 aged 72 and four days short of his 46th wedding anniversary. Details of any further arrangements will be posted here in due course.

Bernie managed the Reading University pig unit at Old House Farm - in the 1970s when it existed and they had pigs. He then managed the NAC Pig Demonstration Unit working for BOCM in the 80s. This is when he received his DBA gong. 

He then emigrated to Alberta, in Canada, and worked as a consultant and training guru with Mick Evans. He also did a lot of work in China.

I'm sure very many of you will join me in offering heartfelt condolences to the Peet family. Lovely man, in our thoughts and prayers.

Debbie Wilson, April 11, 2022

A very sad day for Ladies in Pigs

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you all of the very sad passing of the amazing Stuart Ham.  

Stuart was a stalwart of LIPs, and I am sure everyone that met him and worked events with him would agree what a gentleman he was, with a kind and willing smile for everyone. Always willing to do whatever was asked of him and he always had an entertaining story to tell too!   

He will be greatly missed by the LIPs family and our thoughts are prayers are sent to Sally and the family at such a very sad time.

Ellie Campbell, March 25, 2022

Hello, my name is Ellie Campbell. I am a student at the University of Edinburgh conducting a research project titled “Contributors to and Impacts of the overstocking crisis in the UK pork industry: a focus on welfare”.

My project is based around producers' experiences of the crisis and my aim is to produce a policy brief based on the data collected and review of the literature to advise how a similar crisis could be prevented.

I would be grateful for as many responses to my survey as possible to represent as many producers as possible when it comes to creating the policy suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to read my message.

I would be grateful if you could complete this survey

Hugh Crabtree, March 24, 2022

Ukrainian pig producers have appealed for help. I am sure many would be prepared to support an initiative if one could be found that's up and running.

I have emailed allied members and have had some response. Do you know of any initiatives through your business? Do you have contacts in business who would know?

Could you please use this forum to post ideas, comments, contacts so that others in the sector might get involved. Thanks.

Brian Shaw, March 23, 2022

It is time for our industry to be thinking ahead to a new form of contract, that is worth signing. Producers along with NPA and others must UNDERSTAND how this will be achieved.

To start the process NPA must provide all of the workings of how the SPP is calculated each week. It may be a long and complicated equation, but without that in our hands we cannot start to consider our futures. I look forward to the workings of the SPP being available to all.

Erica Thomas, March 23, 2022

I am a final year student at Harper Adams University studying Agri-Food Marketing with Business. During my placement year, I was employed in a category marketing role at a leading meat industry company. Post-graduation, I will be entering a similar role at the same company to continue my career in the sector.

Following my developing interest and passion for the meat industry, as well as my own experiences as a farmer’s daughter and being employed in the sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, I have chosen to investigate ‘how Covid-19 has influenced the employment of women in the meat industry’ for my final year dissertation project.

It would be hugely appreciated if this questionnaire could be answered and shared across the meat sector, via the link below, to collect as many responses as possible.

It should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Anyone who has worked or does work in any area of the meat industry is welcome to answer. Both male and female responses would be appreciated.

Ian Broumpton, March 22, 2022

AHDB gloom and doom merchants .just when there looks to be light at the end of the tunnel the very people we pay our pork levies to are already trying to talk the price down.

For crying out loud AHDB stop being so pessimistic and give us some encouragement in these mega tough times.

Hugh Crabtree, March 16, 2022 

The campaigning end of the NPA membership is doing another store promotion tomorrow, Thursday, March 17, at the Aldi store in Hessle - HU4 7DY.

If you can spare the event a few hours please do. We'll be setting up from 8.30am and running 10am-2pm. Of course the idea is to talk to shoppers and get them to join in with the #biteintobritish campaign on social media.

But it's much more than this for two reasons:

1) we will have good press coverage so we use the backdrop of our promotion to talk to the press who help us keep our story out there. Amplify our message. It's a real challenge keeping the plight of British pig farmers in the news right now for obvious reasons. That's why we need to put in the effort to be out there doing something ourselves;

2) the activity provides a really important opportunity for industry people to do something positive together. The weather should be okay and despite the grim times it will be fun with others around you under the same cosh.

Especially, it would be good to have the involvement of YNPA members who might like to take a look first hand at this kind of thing and perhaps help organise similar events in other parts of the country. Any producers with personal experience of on-farm culling, willing to talk to the press, will also help us make the public understand better the seriousness of the sector's situation.

Hopefully see some of you there tomorrow.

Ian Broumpton, March 7, 2022

Health and Welfare grants: Just a word of caution to you all before putting pen to paper. Dont ask for a grant towards altering your farrowing crates.

Tell DEFRA(government) instead that if they want us to change current buildings then they need to pay for this cost entirely and not simply give a grant towards this move. Building new builds is possibly slightly different but DEFRA/GOV need to pay for the extra cost involved here too.

Having said all that it could be quite some time before any of us can even contemplate any new building costs at all  in the current escalating input costs climate unless  pork manages to get well north of £2.00/kilo ex farm (we can dream and live in hope, I suppose).

Julie Oxley, March 4, 2022

We are looking for pig farmers who would be interested in working with the charity Country Trust to host school visits across Yorkshire.

If you’d be interested in finding out more please contact myself, Julie Oxley, at: 

David Owers, March 1, 2022

Just had a call from Sir Edward Leigh's office - he would like a meeting. Apologies for the old fart remark from my earlier post! (they must have read the forum - ed)

David Owers, February 25, 2022

Hi Richard, we wrote to our MP Sir Edward Leigh - 10 days ago.

Guess what - no reply. Retire you old fart.

Richard Lister, February 22, 2022

"And we may need to bring forward regulation "... quote George Eustace NFU conference today

...if that's the best that he can come up with then this government needs to know it has lost its support. If you haven't let your MP know then get on with it .

Also a huge thank you to Minette for her robust and powerful words in support of the pig industry today.

The NPA's cultural attaché, February 14, 2022 

Chairing the member (when pigs had political influence)

A quick observation. My inability to gain the attention and sympathy of politicians recently has caused me to think on the Hogarth print below, which shows a sow and her litter knocking into a man carrying the local MP and causing the seat to fall.

Pigs unseating an MP! It was drawn in 1758 when there was little in the way of democracy and those that could vote were ‘bribed’ or ‘influenced’ if you are offended by bribed, by food and drink and entertainment (all can be seen in this print).

Mob violence was also used to influence opinion. The print has an added ‘Brexit’ interest in that the government had recently passed a Bill to allow foreign Jewish people living here to be naturalised as many were ‘key workers’.

Hogarth print

Nick White, February 14, 2022

I am now retired but still feel part of the industry, and I feel for my many friends and former clients in the current desperate and unprecedented situation that you find yourselves in.

When I recently read that DEFRA were launching a £25m grant scheme for investment I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! 
Yes, I know that will be from a different departmental budget, but surely that money could be made available NOW to help ease the current dilemma.

Government need to wake up to the fact that the predictions about the demise of our industry are not scare-mongering but very real, and only immediate help can go anywhere near to saving the day, albeit sadly too late for many.  Of course, the cynic in me thinks that this Government is not interested in food production.

Well done to the NPA team and elected representatives for all the hard work you are putting in.

Stuart Bosworth, February 13, 2022

Please get the Government to call the army in to work in pork processing plants next week to relieve the backlog of pigs on farms. We need action right now!

Iain Lyle, Harbro

Compounding the current crisis of the backlog, I am now hearing the surging increase in energy prices is starting to impact production costs.

One producer (280 sows) with a 200kVA supply is facing a monthly rising in the Standing Charge from £325 to £3,500. 

Another producer with 450 sows is facing an annual rise from circa £50,000 to approx. £100,000, frustratingly for this producer the energy supplier is setting a quota, anything used above this quota will be charged at spot price.

What experiences are producers in this forum experiencing in relation to energy costs?

Ellen Furby, February 11, 2022

Whilst undoubtedly the single most disgraceful characteristic of the current crisis must be the needless slaughter and waste of healthy  pigs, hot on its heels in a close 2nd must be the near equal disgraceful atmosphere of fear of speaking out that hangs over the industry like a pall of smothering, choking and destructive black smoke

Unless and until this cloud is lifted I fear that, no matter how honourable her intentions, Minister Victoria Prentice will struggle to get change in the supply chain.

Even pigs are afforded “Freedom from Fear”

Maybe a “Five Freedoms” for Pig Producers would be a start!

David Turton, February 9, 2022

30 years ago electricity in the UK was generated by Coal. Not so today - nigh on all Coal generated electricity has ceased. It would be impossible to instantly start generating electricity using Coal now. The means of production do not exist.

30 years ago was the advent of the EU Single Market, Britain being a member then. Since then there has been a massive change in the means of production in the production, butchering and processing of meat, especially Pig Meat.

It is impossible to instantly go back to how it was in 1992. The means of production as then do not exist. HM Govt do not seem to understand this.

Stuart Wood, February 8, 2022

Good to see the round table discussion is going to happen this week, but we need a lot more out of it now than we did in the earlier ones.

The French government have announced a rescue package for their pig industry of €270 million and much stronger biosecurity measures against ASF.

We need a ban on imports to protect our industry. If there is no pig industry there is no need for abattoirs or processors, and we need much more robust contracts with our abattoirs & processors and they with their customers the supermarkets to build a much more resilient and stable industry, so all parties can thrive.

Thomas Skilling, February 6, 2022

I am a student at Nottingham Trent University. For my research project, I've chosen to investigate the impacts of Brexit and the pandemic on the pork industry, particularly how they effect the exportation of pork and live pigs to Europe and the impact this has on producers and consumers.

If anyone has any information that would be of help, please do get in touch so that we could arrange a short interview. I would be so grateful for any responses.

Thank you in advance.


Members Forum response - January 19, 2022

A response to Hugh's comment (January 17 - see below) has been posted in the Members Forum.

Members can view it HERE.

Tim Bradshaw, January 19, 2022

Three years ago someone suggested I apply to to become an AHDB Pork sector board member; much to my surprise and probably all my piggy pals too, I was successful and have just completed my first three-year term.

I'm writing this to encourage you to apply yourselves; you don't have to be a renowned industry figure, just someone who can commit the time to attend meetings and contribute to the discussions and debates that we have over how the levy is spent. 

If you don't know what AHDB do then why not stick your head above the parapet  and find out?

You don't have to tell me that there's more urgent concerns right now - I'm struggling the same as the rest of you. I do believe that there are happier times ahead of us and that UK pig production has a future; think on and give it a go !

Yes-men and -women need not apply........

Hugh Crabtree, January 17, 2022

Can anyone tell me what is going on please? I know about the following: 150k+ backed up pigs; minimum 35k pigs killed on farm; very high feed prices; George Useless telling farmers to get more from the market; silent retailers; conniving processors; grafting NPA staff; and a very small core of "activist members" doing stuff.

Where are the shouting producers? Where are the pig marketeers? Is it only a tiny minority responsible for the backed-up pigs? Where's the bloody noise about what must be the most catastrophic situation for the UK pig industry since 1998?

What's going on?

Answers on an industry forum near you please.
Baffled of Reading

Ian Broumpton, January 12, 2022

Well Mr Useless ,it just goes to show that you are totally useless and its you that needs culling ,after all it would only be a small percentage getting rid of you so no one would care in westminster or miss you when youve gone.

Richard Longthorp, January 6, 2022

Do family farms matter any more?

Reflecting on a conversation I had with Dave Morgan at today's #biteintobritish promotion campaign at Tesco Leeds as to whether there is a future for the independent family pig producer, it suddenly dawned on me that the answer was staring us all in the face on the Tesco pork shelves.

And that answer is the amount of tertiary branding that goes on. Where a family farm does not exist, they invent one. Clearly they place a value on the family farm - all we have to do is make sure they use real British family farms!

Anyway, the Tesco promotion went really well – despite some periodically atrocious weather, up there with the best in my experience and very favourably commented on by one of Tesco’s commercial team who just happened(!!!) to be there. This was due in no small part to the enthusiastic producers and allied trades who  were present and engaging with the public

The other reflection was simply just how professional and valuable Ladies In Pigs are. Throughout all the turmoil over the past 25 years or so, they have been a constant and consistent positive presence

Lessons learned?

1. The fax may have been replaced by Twitter but the pig industry is still great at this type of activity engaging with the public

2. Next time we need more producers!

Claire Payne, December 17, 2021 

Westerleigh abattoir, in Bristol, has 35 butchers arriving next week, if they can find accommodation for them. Ideally they are looking for six months but anything would be a start.

We all know how much they are needed and would be grateful if anyone can find them accommodation.

If you can help, contact me: 

David Owers, December 10, 2021

Has the time not come now for a more militant approach to the crisis pig producers in the UK are facing. The cheap EU pork that is flooding the UK is produced in systems of production that are illegal in this country - FACT.

If the UK broke down with ASF from these illegal imported products, would the EU buy our pork - would they Bollocks!!

AHDB/DEFRA Back us now or lose us - grow some BALLS.

Ian Broumpton, December 9, 2021

Ref Phil Gladwin and imports.

Yes Phil, resticting imports is the best way to get rid of the UK backlog. Cheap imports are a massive part of the problem regardless of butcher shortages.

If the retailers which are poor on UK facings (you know who you are) increased UK product on shelves, then people will buy it. I'm sure our pork would  find its way on to supermarket shelves one way or another.

So when Mr useless says nothing more can be done to help the UK pig industry, perhaps he needs telling this, but knowing Boris and co it will fall on deaf ears - perhaps we should invite them all to an illegal party with pork on the menu. I'm sure they will all come.

Phil Gladwin, December 6, 2021

Well done Zoe for your bit on the farming programme this morning, spot on. 

Has not the time come to suggest we might be able to restrict pork imports from countries with ASF, like Germany for example?

Richard Longthorp, November 23, 2021

Very many congratulations to all those who won awards at last night’s National Pig Awards but special mention must go to the Morgan girls and Duncan Berkshire.

With industry facing yet another crisis, it is heartening to know that we have such outstanding people who stand up to be counted when the need arises. Often putting justice and fairness ahead of their own personal business interests, theirs is a moral compass that always reads 'True North'.

Bloody well done and massive thanks.

Richard Longthorp, November 2, 2021

Come on you producers and allied trades (particularly the Facebook savvy generation amongst you) – the Morgan sisters are working their butts off trying to get the #Biteintobritish campaign going.

Let’s give them the support they deserve and the industry so desperately needs.

Richard Longthorp, October 11, 2021 

It looks to me as though Boris and Patel are waiting for the Hectatomb to commence before they do anything

I understand that some pigs have already been culled and more due this week

I reckon we need a rolling counter on the website of total numbers culled – maybe the Daily Mirror would publish daily also?

Richard Lister, October 10, 2021

Huge well done to everyone this week for the way they have performed with the media in probably one of the busiest weeks in NPA times.

Fantastic to see these people prepared to fight for this industry and bare their souls. I wonder if any of the processors have rung any of them to thank them for their work?

Stuart David wood, October 7, 2021

Firstly, well done to the Morgans for their rallying cry to stimulate some action and to everyone that participated in manchester - only sorry we couldn't  make it.

This is not a criticism of what the NPA are asking of the government, short term visas for EU butchery staff. But would we be better asking for some kind of intervention cold storage scheme into which carcasses with minimum butchering could be put in to get the over weight pig backlog out of the system without dragging the price down any further? 

I am sure greater minds than mine are thinking of all these these plans to help us out of this deja vu situation but just in case.

Zoe's response

Thanks for your message, Stuart, and, yes, I whole-heartedly agree with your comments about the Morgans! Great effort by everyone involved. 

Rest assured, this is something that has already been raised with Defra. It is not straightforward, in terms of logistics and not what the processors necessarily, but, yes, it is something that we want to see discussed - and we're on it!

Richard Lister, October 5, 2021

Here, here, well done to the Morgans for pulling it all together at such short notice.

Richard Longthorp, October 4, 2021

Reflections on today’s demonstration at the Tory Party Conference

First and foremost, let’s be clear, that by any measure the demo was an unqualified success – a real credit to the three Morgan sisters. The banner display, the rapport established with the local police (thanks Hugh) and the huge amount of media interviews brilliantly handled by the various spokespeople could not have been better. For the Morgans to organise such a display of pig industry frustration and controlled anger at such short notice – whilst running a business and looking after families - certainly says something about True Yorkshire Grit & Determination! So many thanks once again

The other great aspect which for me, as an industry old fart, was the proportion of young people involved. Whoever says our industry is aging should have had a look round at the age demographic today. The industry might not be in exactly great shape right now but it is most certainly in great hands

However, experience would suggest that the harsh reality is that we will more than likely have to follow up with further activity to continue to ram home the message. And whatever form that activity might take – be it writing to MPs or more physical activity, it will need bodies. So, for those unable to make it today, I am sure that there will be plenty of opportunity over the coming weeks to make your voices heard.

But finally, let’s just reflect on a bloody fine day’s work by some bloody fine people.

Vicky Morgan, September 27, 2021 

Come on we need some action!  We cannot allow the import of cheap meat into the country whilst ours is held up on farm because of a 'labour shortage'  Especially as certainly the Germans are receiving help from their home retailers and government aid as well!  We have to be heard, this is criminal.  Who is up for a trip to London?? We will bring some cute weaners as well? (If I can find any petrol)

Richard Longthorp, September 22, 2021

Reference "Anonymous NPA Member" Hear bloody Hear!

Ian Broumpton, September 22, 2021

Barking up the wrong tree: Whilst a levy holiday may help  to a very small degree, you lot at AHDB are missing the point entirely. It isnt about selling more pigs cheaper, the issues lie in getting them butchered due to a lack of labour, CO2 driver shortages etc . Even if  we give the pigs  away there isnt the staff available to process them,it is not a case of over supply of pork in the UK  its the issue of the supply chain not able to get the pork to the consumer which is causing the backlog.

Anonymous NPA member, September 20, 2021

A message to the NPA team: I think the pig sector is very lucky to have such a dedicated and focused team working on behalf of the whole industry right now

We’ve had Brexit, Covid and the price challenges and as if that wasn’t enough of a workload with all the usual trade and regulatory stuff we’ve now got the slaughter pig rollover crisis topped off with the CO2 issue.

Yes the NPA members are under considerable stress right now but with such a small team and Executive you’re also under incredible pressure and I also know you care so much for those directly affected.I just wanted to again put on record it’s appreciated and also the strengths of the NPA are admired far wider in the farming community.

Peter Crichton, September 20, 2021

I question the disease risks posed if pigmeat from other countries in the EU and beyond where African Swine Fever has been diagnosed is imported into the UK?

David Turton, September 20, 2021

I am a retired Pig Farmer and have no financial interest in Pig Farming. I read with huge concern the many problems British Pig farming is facing at present. I have an idea that may be of help, herewith.

Way back in 1976 when I started farming Pigs there were three distinctive finish selling weights. Baconer 76+ Kgs deadweight, Cutter 62-65Kgs deadweight, Porker 43-45Kgs deadweight. The Cutter and Porker trade was for fresh pork trade, the Baconer as the name implies the Bacon and Gammon trade. It was frowned upon to sell a Bacon weight pig for fresh pork consumption. The meat from these pigs were considered to be too tough and less flavoursome to be consumed as fresh pork.

There were three different prices to these weights, as I recall Baconer AAPP price, Cutter AAPP + 8p price, Porker AAPP + 15p price.  

With the advent of the Single Market in 1992 in order to compete with other EU pork producers carcass dead weights started to creep up. Today is common that the only fresh pork on offer to the British consumer is meat from 80Kgs dead weight pigs. I put forward for debate that this heavy weight carcass does not suit the British pallet, bluntly it is too tough, less succulent and less flavoursome.

For debate I suggest with the agreement of the retailers, abattoirs and processors that immediately they allow British Porker and Cutter weight pork to be offered for sale. My reasoning for this are threefold;

1) Space is immediately made available to hold some of the very heavy pigs which should have gone for slaughter. Immediately taking pressure out of the system.

2) Hopefully all the heavy pigs could eventually be processed into very good quality British Bacon and Gammon, plus Sausages. Christmas is coming up.

3) The British consumer will once again be able to enjoy the sweet succulent taste and easy to chew fresh British Pork from lower carcass weight pigs as was on offer before the advent of the Single Market. This would be a uniquely British product which Continental Europe could not compete or be bothered with.

I can well understand the hardened Pig Economists sucking air at my suggestions.  I do though put forward my thoughts as a possible way of a) easing the current stress in the system b) hopefully offer a very tasty yummy constant repeat order product which British pig farmers can build on.

Sarah Thomas, Plumpton College, September 17, 2021

Pig Unit Manager - Up to £35,012 per annum.

Established in 1926 Plumpton College has trained thousands of agricultural staff who now occupy leading positions within the industry. Central to our training in agriculture is our farm.

We are seeking an exceptional Pig Unit Manager to support us in our mission to provide an exemplar teaching and commercial resource for the college.

We are currently building a brand new 130 sow, high welfare unit & expect this to open in January 2022; we need the right person to ensure that this fabulous new resource has the maximum benefit for the farm & our students. As you'd expect we are LEAF and Red Tractor accredited and once open our new pig unit will be RSCPA approved.

For more information please visit our advert on our college website:
Closing date: October 5, 2021 Interviews to be held: w/c October 11 (either virtually or on campus).

Colin Shaw, September 13, 2021

When are we going to stop imports? They put us out of bussines - we supply less than 50 % of our market. When are we going to the ports?

Ellen Furby, September 8, 2021 

It’s a long time since I posted anything on the Forum but now I’m no longer directly involved in the industry I have little reason to do so. But a few recent calls from people still trying to make a living from producing pigs have prompted these thoughts.

Whilst profitability might be crap the main and most pressing issue seems to be the looming crisis of what to do with pigs that literally have no market due to pigs being continually rolled. Defra and some processors would appear to be hearing what the industry is warning about the issue but maybe not actually listening.

And to put it bluntly what the experience of the similar but different situation in 1999/2000 taught us was that to convert your audience from hearing to listening mode you very often have to shock them and keep shocking them until they do listen and keep listening. Not pretty but a case of needs must

And that leads to my second thought – have industry yet reached a point where “needs must”. That point where you are at the limit and can take no more. Near weekly bankruptcies, and talk of piglets being culled at birth as was the case 20 or so years ago. We reached that point back in 1999/2000 when that generation of producers decided enough was enough and did whatever was necessary to get their audience into listening and acting mode.

I am not saying an Outgoers/Ongoers Scheme is necessarily appropriate for today’s problems but it was action brought about by a combination of grass roots producers grabbing the audiences attention and skilful negotiation by NPA. Similarly the commitment we got from retailers.

That generation of producers fought for their and their families futures. The breaking point had been reached. The Rubicon crossed. And if once again it has been reached, what is industry going to do about it. NPA is limited in what it can do to get folk to listen. Groups of individual pig farmers are not.

David Owers, September 3, 2021

Hear Hear IAN we will not be attending either - not because they are not feeding the guests with British Pork ( Shameful ) but because after 20 years of support and work for Ladies in Pigs Lizzy and my Daughter Lucy have both resigned with great sadness.

Ian Broumpton, September 3, 2021 

I've just received my invitation to the LIPS 30th year celebrations only to find yet again Pork isnt being served as the main meal.

I've been given the usual reasons about it not being cooked correctly etc etc. perhaps our levy money needs to be spent on educating chefs how to cook the stuff properly.

I refuse to attend because of this and hope that other pig farmers /associates will boycott this event too. Sorry LIPS but I really do believe  that charity begins at home and we cant expect the public to support the industry if we dont show the way.

Peter Thompson, August 31, 2021 

I read about the excess of pigs in the press and sparked my interest.

I run a vegetable farming business in N Essex. We have been considering the potential to include pigs in our operation, they would help clear crops and crop residues we currently have to destroy and plough etc and would improve our soil.

It occurred to me that if pig farmers need to relocate excess stock we could host pigs here outdoors with the appropriate assistance and infrastructure.

Do you think this would be of interest?

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.

Ian Broumpton, May 12, 2021

Now is the time for radical action regarding the latest shit the government want to chuck at us.  they will NEVER  insist on imports meeting our standards so there should be no conversation with defra and government  over this  just simply tell them NO  until all imports meet out standards.

we are far too soft here and need to grow a pair of balls and  fight rather then rolling over and agreeing a meek compromise. Soon there will be no farming industry in the uk just the same as all other production of goods here.

Just this week ive heard that steel has doubled in price and there is now a cement shortage here which no doubt will lead to a massive rise in concreting.

Everyone blames covid for all this but brexit and our week government are the problem.

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