NPA brings industry together to seek common ground on the big issues
8th Sep 2016 / By Alistair Driver
The National Pig Association (NPA) brought together leading figures from across the pig supply chain this week to discuss the big issues facing the sector over the next few years.
The event on Monday brought together representatives from Government, retailers and processors, alongside pig producers.
A wide range of topics of key interest to the pig sector were debated during the day-long event in Central London with some key themes emerging from the discussions.
- The need for the pig industry to speak with one voice on the big Brexit issues, including new trade arrangements, a future domestic farm policy, regulation, access to labour and labelling
- A desire for the entire supply chain to be more responsive to consumer needs, as the UK pig sector competes with both imports and other meat categories.
- Calls for the lead for this to come from supermarkets, for example, with the development of a new pricing mechanism that reflects consumer demands more accurately than the current grading mechanism
- The need for concerted action to address pigmeat eating quality and consistency issues
- Calls for the Defra Animal Health and Welfare Scheme to help facilitate investment in housing and equipment on farms to address pig health and welfare, partly in the context of the drive to reduce antibiotics. The industry needs to explore opportunities in the redrafting of post-CAP domestic agricultural policies
- The need for a wider debate on how the industry derives maximum benefit from the Red Tractor Scheme, including the extent to which efforts should be made to raise scheme standards.
The aim was to put in place the building blocks for a new strategy to guide the industry through the next decade or so and the Brexit process.
NPA chairman Richard Lister said the summit had provided food for thought across the supply chain and within Government about the big issues facing the sector.
“The challenge for us now is to put this all together in the form of a coherent strategy that will provide a solid basis for future discussions and policy debate.”
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “We were delighted with how the event went and the level of engagement from across the sectors of our industry.
“This is about the industry making its voice heard in some of the vital discussions that lie ahead.”