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Chairman's New Year message: We must work together in challenging times

1st Jan 2021 / By Richard Lister

NPA chairman Richard Lister's thoughts as we enter a potentially difficult New Year for the pig sector.

Lister 6As I write this with four days to go before Christmas, we are at perhaps one of the most challenging times for a British Government since the Second World War.

With the increasing worries around the spread of COVID-19 and the new variant, these are worrying times for both pig producers and processors. 

I am sure the pig sector’s resilience and stoicism will serve it well, as it has done over many crises  It is important that we all work together and support each other through these challenging times, and communicate any difficulties and worries to those within the supply chain.

The NPA team has had a strong year, leading as ever on the many challenges and consultations that have been presented throughout the year, not least working remotely for nearly the whole year.

We have waved goodbye to Ed Barker who carried our political portfolio most ably in Westminster and beyond, and welcomed Charlie Dewhirst to the fold.

Becca has been at the heart of the PHWC Anti-microbial sub-group work on antibiotic targets, Targets Task Force 2 and so much more.

Lizzie has, as ever, been busy with animal rights and the increasingly important Environment potfolio. Andrea has kept the office running from home and ensured everything still operated smoothly.

Finally, Zoe who was the most worthy winner of the Chris Brant Award, and continues to run the Association to the highest standard.

In addition, with Brexit now at last a reality, the ramifications of this are still uncertain and much still needs to be resolved, with the ever growing queues at Dover, absence of Border Control Points and changing legislation a concern.

Undoubtedly, the oven ready deal Boris talked of was harder than it looked when it came to forging a deal with the EU27. Whatever deal is concluded, it is clear there will be costs at some point within the supply chain.

As we leave 2020 , I would like to thank all our key workers for keeping the supply chain moving and hope that 2021 brings more certain and normal times for us all. 

The New Year always brings excitement and promise of better things, and we can but hope 2021 brings all those things .

I hope all our members had a Happy and Healthy Christmas, and I would like to wish you all a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.