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NPA Election 2021 logo            Producer Manifestos 

 

 

A total of 16 producer candidates will be competing for 10 places on the PIG. There are seven producers standing from the hotly contested Eastern region, three each from the North and South West, two from the South Central region and one from the Midlands.


EAST

Jack Bosworth

Jack Bosworth PIGAt 25 years young, I am the fourth, generation of our family farming business in Essex. Managing the business alongside my father, we have just over 500 sows all indoors with progeny split across two sites (Essex and Norfolk). We also have property lettings, renewables and 650 acres of combinable crops.

2020 has been a tough year and 2021 looks like it could be another challenging one for producers but we are all familiar with challenges! Farming breeds them on a daily basis, that’s what I love about it! The aim is rising to these challenges and coming out the other side stronger, that would be my main priority on the NPA PIG if elected.

I think we need a mixture of age groups on the PIG working together to analyse the threats and opportunities that lay ahead for the pig industry and help shape a brighter future. There is a lot of gain to be had from working together, perhaps opportunities to commit straw requirements as bigger groups therefore gaining greater buying power?

Working together to measure then set new carbon emission targets? Can the government work with us to regain our confidence rather than try and catch producers out? Can we work together to help auditors better understand and identify real welfare rather than just what ticks a box?

I sit on other committees in subjects I am passionate about, producing healthy pigs in a sustainable manner at high welfare standards is exactly that!


Steve Hart

Steve Hart 4I'm a first generation farmer who owes everything to the humble pig. The farm now includes 1,100 hectares of arable and 54, predominately outdoor, pig units. We employ more than 170 people and the everyday issues we all face affect their lives as well!

I feel, through the experience I have gained over the last 40 years, I may be me able to make a difference.

Crystal-ball gazers claim pigs and poultry are better placed than the rest of agriculture, post Brexit, largely through currency and never having been reliant on subsidies. I think it is the hardship this has brought over the years that has made us resilient and better able to cope!

Whilst our business is fortunate to have the scale to deal with most everyday issues, it is through collaboration and co-operation that we are strongest. This mantra is the bedrock of everything we do. With this in mind I must pay tribute to the excellent work the NPA team does on behalf of us all.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my two years on the NPA board and it would be an honour to continue to serve the industry through this office.


Andrew Houston PIGAndrew Houston

NPA is the soul and driving force of our industry with a dedicated team working on our behalf to keep us all ahead of the game.

We will always have and will always overcome the challenges that are presented to us as an industry but I want to make sure that we help to create and maximise any opportunity that keeps driving our industry forward as a progressive and profitable entity.

What do you get if you vote Houston? You get whatever it takes to keep pushing our industry forward. Kind words when it matters, strong words if needed and if none of that works then we all know the other options are endless.

I have daughters aged 9 and 12 who’s enthusiasm for our pig enterprise is really quite mind blowing. I want to make sure that we hand them the platform to succeed and profit!


Fergus Howie

Fergus Howie 1Pig farming is in my genes and my support for UK pork is passionate. It’s the imports that nearly drove us as a family out of the pig business in 2000, due to poor pricing and lack of support from the UK consumer.   

We have always had pigs on the farm. I started our processing brand, Wicks Manor, and now all our pigs go into our own on-farm processing and butchery. We now export 25% of our produce, mostly to the middle and far East. 

I am an advocate for more promotion of British pork in export markets, we have a huge point of difference and must not let Spain absorb all the premium market with their Iberico pork. I am currently an associate member of the AHDB sub group for marketing helping to shape the advertising for the previous pulled pork adverts and the mid-week meal campaigns. 

I always support any media requests NPA ask to have covered, and am aware that the industry needs to ensure we don’t overplay outdoor and free-range messaging at the detriment to the indoor producers.

I am vice chair of the board of governors for Writtle University College so have board experience. 


Robin Lawson

Robin Lawson PIGI am the General Manager at Rattlerow Farms, an independent pig producer and genetics company based in East Anglia. We operate both indoor and outdoor units as well as supplying genetics to many of the country’s producers.

I am a third generation farmer and started working in the pigs from school age. Following a sabbatical spent at university and working in London, I returned to the family business 6 years ago. I have been involved in all areas of the supply chain and understand the challenges facing both small and larger producers.

There are significant challenges on the horizon: increasing environmental regulation, animal activism and the true impact of Brexit still to come. I believe that the NPA is one of the most proactive and effective lobbying groups within the agricultural sector. During these uncertain times it is vital that a well-supported NPA works closely with AHDB, DEFRA and other organisations to represent the interests of its members.

Despite these challenges I see real opportunities for the industry and if elected I will ensure that NPA members continue to receive the excellent level of representation they currently get and that their views are reflected in NPA lobbying efforts.


Rob Mutimer

Rob Mutimer 3I run our family business with my wife Helen, we are based in Norfolk. We are independent pig
farmers with 800 sows, finishing all the progeny in straw based accommodation on five local farms, supplying pigs to Pilgrim foods at Spalding and our own butchery business.

We run Swannington Farm to Fork wholesale and retail butchery supplying two shops and 150 wholesale customers in Norfolk and North Suffolk. Before the COVID-19 restrictions it has been a successful, interesting diversification strategy and insight into the workings of the meat industry away from the farm gate.

I also sit on the AHDB pork board and away from the business have a keen interest in rugby and skiing.

My second term on the NPA has seen many challenges for the pig industry with the BREXIT debate still dominating the political agenda and virus’s in both pigs and humans causing considerable market interference.

On top of that our issues with animal rights activists and other NGO’S have added extra pressure to both the industry and especially the team at NPA. These must be seen as
challenges in the context that the industry has seen a period of relatively good trading conditions
and growth in production, especially exports.  

I believe the NPA has been a fundamental part of helping the industry deal with the ever-changing challenges that have presented themselves. With our changing trading condition with the rest of the world I believe the industry will need strong representation from both NPA and AHDB.  

If I am successful with being re-elected to the new NPA PIG  group I will try to support the NPA team and as part of the PIG group try to ensure this small compact highly influential organisation remains effective for the whole pig industry whatever the challenges and structural changes are going forward.


Howard Revell

Howard Revell 2I work for BQP as production director – BQP is an integrated pig production business, part of Pilgrim’s Pride Ltd. We are committed longstanding supporters of the NPA, and I have had previous stints on the NPA Producer Group.

As we are all aware, we all face a number of challenges, and the industry needs to be united in facing these challenges across all parts of the supply chain. We are all inter-dependent on each other for our businesses to be able to thrive in the new world opening up before us.

Alongside the challenges will come opportunities that we must recognise, and, as an industry, grab hold of for the best interests of all.  It currently feels that how successfully we deal with these current issues could shape the industry for the next decade.

So what does success look like? By the end of the term of the next NPA Pig Industry Group, a profitable vibrant industry that is valued and respected by its customers, consumers and employees; an industry that is able to confidently plan for the future with optimism.

The NPA have a successful, dedicated team that deserve the very best support of the whole industry, and I am ready to commit my full energy and support to the NPA PIG, if elected.


MIDLANDS

Sam Godfrey

Sam Godfrey PIGI am an independent Lincolnshire producer and third-generation pig farmer. I have worked in my family farm for 13 years, operating indoor units from farrow to finishing and manufacture feed for ourselves and others.

It is important that the pig industry has a strong independent voice; for the last 11 years I have been an active member of a strong NPA producer group and PIG group helping to steer the industry through rollercoaster times.

I have been heavily involved in the debate with the regulations that afflict our industry. There is a better way of doing things; we could produce a better product if we spent more time with pigs, than with paperwork. NPA has a vital role in persuading government to ensure that regulations on welfare, planning permission, IPPC, and NVZs are manageable but not burdensome and with the supply chain that assurance is effective, not arbitrary.

The pig sector needs the NPA to continue to be a robust voice to help respond to the challenges ahead - with Brexit and the new regulatory environment that entails; with a government that increasingly wants to intervene in the sector but has a diminishing understanding of pig farming; a supply chain that is increasingly squeezing margins whilst at the same time asking for stricter standards; and supermarkets that have little interest in the value of UK production.

I hope to contribute through NPA to a sustainableand profitable future for pig farmers.


NORTH

Joe Dewhirst

Joe DewhirstI am Group Managing Director of our family farming business, based just outside Driffield in East Yorkshire. Yorkwold Pigpro forms the largest part of our farming group, where we have 8,000 breeding sows housed across 13 indoor units and their progeny housed across 22 finishing units.

Yorkwold Pigpro was set up by my father, Jim Dewhirst, in 1972. The longer term development of our pig business has been my primary role over the past 10 years.

Since joining the business straight from university in 2001 pigs have been my passion and I feel like now is the right time to for me to offer my support to the NPA and the pig industry as a whole. We have a wonderful industry with fantastic people that produce a top class product. This is something that is worth protecting and supporting.

We are amidst a period of immense change with ever shifting environmental and welfare regulations and the uncertain market influence of a post-Brexit era.

I would relish the opportunity of helping to shape our industry during these challenging times so that we continue to move forward as an industry that we are all proud to be a part of. This means profitable pig businesses investing for the future, happy and fulfilled people enjoying their careers and satisfied loyal customers.

I have no doubt that a strong NPA can help achieve this.


Matthew Donald

Matthew DonaldI am a third generation farmer based in North Yorkshire, working alongside my father and brother in the family enterprise. I returned to the business over 10 years ago now, following a short-lived university trip!

We have a 300 sow farrow to finish unit producing pigs to bacon weight, as well as the pig herd we run two broiler breeder sites and have both arable and renewables across the business.

Since starting out on the farm at school age, I believe it is a positive industry in which to work, without the NPA the pig industry would not be in the great position it is in today. They have helped farms arise to many different challenges in recent years and I am sure will continue to do so through the years ahead.

We are facing tougher environmental legislation, higher welfare standards, ongoing Brexit challenges to name a few, all whilst supermarkets are putting pressure on margins.

]I am passionate about pigs and agriculture, my passion was recognised in 2017 when I achieved the Young Pig Farmer of the Year award, I want to help lead the industry through all of these challenges so that it is as strong, if not stronger for future generations who also follow in our footsteps.

The NPA has a great team and I would like to support the NPA in moving the industry forwards and achieving goals in which every member will benefit from.


Phil Stephenson

Phil StephensonI am a 56 year old indoor pig producer from East Yorkshire. We run our 700 sows on a batch farrowing-to-finish unit, breeding our own replacements. The farm was originally established by my Father, some 45 years ago.

We finish all own pigs and have Fred Henley as our only offsite B & B unit, and he keeps me informed on grass root opinion (regularly). I still get my own hands dirty on a daily basis on farm. While we have some arable and renewables, pigs is what we do.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being Producer Group chairman for the last six years  and recently joined the board of Red Tractor. Within Red Tractor, I believe in not overregulating our industry, but compliance and continuing to move sensibly forward is essential.

We are in, as always, challenging times – Brexit, Covid, feed prices, oversupply of pigs and the constant flow of new regulations all mean we need a strong diverse PIG, capable of responding in the correct manor to whatever the next crisis is to best represent the whole of the UK pig industry, something which I am very passionate about.

I ask for your vote and, if elected, I will continue to offer my full support to the PIG and our magnificent NPA team from a practical on farm background.


SOUTH CENTRAL

Tom Allen

Tom Allen PIG 21I am a partner in a fifth-generation family farming business in the south, with a mix of combinable crops, broiler chickens and 7,300 indoor and outdoor sows across several sites. The progeny is marketed through Thames Valley Cambac to several customers.

Since the start of my career I have taken a keen interest in pig industry politics, chairing Southern Young NPA and the AHDB South Regional Forum, and over the years I've sat on numerous committees and groups associated with both organisations, Defra, Red Tractor and others.

Brexit is leading the United Kingdom into unknown territory, which will no doubt come with numerous challenges. Whether they relate to health and welfare, labour, the environment or something completely different, we need to be united and on the front foot, fighting for a sustainable industry regulated by fair, practical and science-based legislation. 

It may also bring opportunities for our sector and with these we need to react quickly to ensure we meet the evolving needs of our existing and future customers. The role of the NPA is imperative in ensuring we tackle all of these challenges and opportunities head on, to guarantee the best deal for our industry members.

I hope you will allow me to use my passion for this industry to help guide it over the next few years by voting for me as part of the Pig Industry Group.


Sally Stockings

Sally Stockings PIG 2I have almost given up reading the newspapers and watching the TV news, it is so depressing. The issues that we are facing are grave. But I am not going to talk about Brexit, Covid, ASF or EML.

What I would like to say is that, as an industry, we have a vital and passionate group of people who promote and protect our livelihoods. Zoe and her staff at NPA need support, and I would like the opportunity to assist them in the future. The next eight months are likely to be very challenging.

Our businesses in the south, south west, midlands and Wales employ over 60 people and we have 85 independent farmers that we work with, to finish our pigs. I still enjoy employing Harper Adams students, so I know that the newest recruits to the industry hold great promise, the important thing is that we can farm profitably to ensure we have an industry that they want to join.

An industry that the public trusts, that is not hampered by animal rights activists, excessive environmental regulations, obstructive planning rulings and increasing welfare regulations.

However I would like to add that I see real opportunities for us all. Our product is one of the most respected in the world and I would like it to be promoted more proactively. Having visited China and Japan in 2019 and met with supermarket buyers there, we have the opportunity to spread the news far and wide. Having seen their reactions to a video of our outside sow units, the interest is there.

I am willing to devote time and energy to make the pig industry thrive, and so I ask for your vote, please.


SOUTH WEST

Andrew FreemantleAndrew Freemantle

I have farmed near Exeter for 27 years with a straw-based 380-sow unit and slatted finishing unit, selling pigs to Pilgrims Progress via Thames Valley Cambac and local butchers.

Around 35 a week are marketed as Kenniford Farm pigs which we process through our own farm butchery, which has given me a good insight into further processing and dealing with customers.

For NPA Producer Group to represent all the British pig industry properly, it needs to have a range of elected members from all types of farm businesses.

I like to think independent farmers like myself do that. My pig business is responsible for twenty five people's wages plus my family's income, so you can be sure I will be doing my best to keep it profitable and free of needless intervention.


Sophie HopeSophie Hope

I always marvel at the diversity and breadth of what NPA achieves. NPA is critical to safeguarding the future of our industry and I believe it is important for the next generation to step up to the plate to help drive the sector forwards, so guaranteeing we have a successful and sustainable industry indefinitely.

I run a mixed farming business in Gloucestershire with a 380-sow farrow-to-finish unit, 81,000 broiler breeders and a few subsidiary enterprises. In the past I have had experience with both large integrators and small independent farms, outdoor and indoor, and supply chains from processor to retailer.

I believe these experiences give me a well-rounded view of producers' needs, which is what the industry needs to deliver a strong and cohesive voice when fighting our cause.


Richard Knox

Richard knoxI started my pig keeping career in 1980 on a farm in Oxfordshire that has since been converted into a business called Daylesford Organics.

The pigs were sold as heavy hogs to Walls (the fatter the better!) The dead pigs were sent to the circus lions and we fed skimmed milk at 7p a gallon. The industry has changed a bit since then. 

I progressed onto start my own outdoor unit on the edge of Dartmoor with 50 sows, I now have 300 indoor sows and finish the progeny.

Over the years, I’ve attended various events ranging from handing out sausage and bacon baps outside Tesco to caring for Winnie (remember her!) in Parliament Square. It seems we as producers have had a constant battle to get a fair deal for our efforts. I’m not about to let all those battles that I and many others have fought be wasted.

If you vote for me, I would like to continue fighting for a fair deal for British pig producers. Now that we have officially left Europe, we can start to steer our own course and develop our industry in such a way that will give us a decent living. This in turn will attract more young people. They are the lifeblood and the future for us but the conditions and the rewards need to be there for them.

After 40 years of involvement I feel that I can bring my practical experience of running a family business through good times and bad to the table and support the NPA in their vital work. I see a bright and promising future but there could be a few hiccups along the way.

Please vote for me if you think I could have something to offer.


 

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