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BPPF 2024: Pig Forum programme announced

3rd Apr 2024 / By Alistair Driver

The organisers of the 2024 British Pig & Poultry Fair, which takes place at the NEC on May 15 and 16, have announced the Pig Forum programme.

Pig and Poultry Fair logoAs always Pig Forum Theatre will bring together top speakers to cover off the hot topics of the day, from the popular Pig Outlook to discussions on farm assurance, African swine fever (ASF) and next-generation marketing. 

“This year we have a great mixture of practical advice and blue-sky thinking in what is a constantly evolving sector, from which visitors are sure to take ideas to implement at home,” said Fair organiser Alice Bell. 

Here are some of the highlights confirmed so far. 

Ministerial opening: Opening the first day will be Defra Farming Minister Mark Spencer, who is sure to be quizzed on Government policy. 

Pig Outlook: Chaired by Pig World editor Alistair Driver, this session will feature key figures from across the supply chain, who will discuss the current state of the industry and the prospects going forward. 

AHDB, which is partnering the Pig Theatre, will be hosting three very different Forums. 

Inspiring younger people to eat pork: Whether farmers are selling direct or via a processor, this session will ask: ‘What do we know about consumers of the future and how do we reach them?’

Roz Reynolds, head of education at AHDB, will consider the different life stages of young people. “We are working with the British Nutrition Foundation to deliver the ‘Food – a fact of life’ education programme, targeting teachers with classroom resources for school children aged three to 16 years,” she said. 

This project is looking at how to eat a balanced diet, where food comes from, and how to cook it, as well as profiling careers within the pork sector.

Debbie Wilson from Ladies in Pigs will also be joining the panel session and will be doing some cookery demonstrations on the AHDB stand.

The AHDB marketing team will be discussing how best to reach 18-25-year-olds, or Generation Z. 

African swine fever: In another AHDB forum, experts will discuss how to protect the national herd against ASF. 

Topics covered will include biosecurity and early detection, how industry collaboration is vital in the event of an outbreak, and key roles and responsibilities. Visitors will also get pointers on how to develop a robust contingency plan. 

The final AHDB Forum will be confirmed soon. 

Assurance scheme discussion: NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson chairn a forum on assurance schemes, with both Red Tractor and RSPCA Assured setting out the future for such schemes, against the backdrop of a review of farm assurance across the UK.

Pathway update: Defra is holding a seminar on the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway (AHWP), chaired by Stewart Houston, chair of the Pig Pathway Project Group. 

Innovation Theatre: Zinc oxide was banned for therapeutic use in piglet diets in 2022, and the Fair will be held just before the ‘grace period’ granted in the UK allowing producers to use products already in the system ends in June. 

A plethora of new products continue to be developed to support gut health in piglets post-weaning.

As well as browsing new products like these among the 330 exhibitors, visitors can head to the new Innovation Theatre to hear about the latest production aids on the market. 

New venue and dates for 2024 BPPF

  • The 2024 Fair will be taking place on Wednesday and Thursday, May 15 and 16, in halls 10, 11 & 12 at the NEC.
  • Centrally located adjacent to the M42 and M6 the Fair is easily accessible by car, train and air.
  • The NEC offers ample car parking and a bus transfer to the halls.
  • Visit the website to book your FREE ticket and for more travel information www.pigandpoultry.org.uk