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Hugh Crabtree, February 15, 2024

Calling ALL NPA members - producers and allied. Have you voted yet? If so, please encourage others to do the same as there is only a week to go before polls close at the end of the day February 22.

If you haven't yet voted, then please do NOW!

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for members to mandate their policy body through a big election turnout. This hugely strengthens the clout of our trade association in its dealings with other industry stakeholders and not least the government itself.

You're paying your subs - have your say in who is going to represent you at the policy table.


David Turton, February 9, 2024

When I read this report - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68244374 - my eyebrows raised in distain. I recall back in the year 2000 I had my vet, a member of the Pig Veterinary Society, out for a regular consultation.

At the end of the consultation we were having a general chat. He informed that the firm opinion of the veterinary profession was that because of the then Government's cavalier attitude to checking meat imports there would be a serious notifiable disease outbreak. He also informed the then Government were dismissive of Veterinary profession's concerns.

Within months of his utterances Foot and Mouth entered the UK with all it's most costly and devastating effects.

Fast forward 24 years, different government, but with the same cavalier attitude. Disease knows no boundaries, prevention is far cheaper than cure.

I have never been to Australia, but have read no person is allowed to take even an Apple into the country.

It is a pity that HM Govt does not have the same serious attitude to biosecurity.

Andrea Tranter, February 7, 2024

As you are all well aware by now, the NPA elections are currently underway and voting is open to all our Producer and Allied members. 

I would like to take this opportunity to urge each of you who pay a membership to take 15 minutes out of your day to read the manifestos and to cast your vote.  

Have a little look at the manifestos the candidates have submitted online and, in a couple of cases, even made a husting video, so you can get to know a little more about them.

These candidates have all put themselves forward voluntarily (in most cases) to help steer and challenge us as your trade representatives. 

You can download a ballot form from the Members Area of the website or from the weekly Piggy Points email. 

If you want a copy of the ballot form posting please get In touch with 

Lucy Henry, February 3, 2024


For my final year at Harper Adams University, I am completing my honours research project/(dissertation) on 'UK Farmer awareness of porcine respiratory disease complex and other respiratory diseases'.

If you are from the UK and are 18 or over and are a pig farmer or worker or keep pigs I would be incredibly grateful if you could spare 5-10 minutes to complete or share my survey - https://app.onlinesurveys.jisc.ac.uk/s/harper-adams/farmer-perceptions-on-prdc-and-respiratory-diseases-in-pigs

(All responses are strictly anonymous"

Any further questions please email me at: 

Hugh Crabtree, January 30, 2024

Now's your chance, people - VOTE and please do it now!!

That said, the forum is feeling a lonely place recently!

Hugh Crabtree, January 16, 2024

Nominations are closed and we have 20 candidates for the Pig Industry Group elections. 12 producers contest 8 seats and 8 allied contest 4 seats.

Genuine competition - exactly as it should be. The NPA has undertaken to avoid duplication of business type but the next most important thing is for you the members to vote when the polls open on January 23rd.

If you don't know all of the candidates, check out their manifestos and look out for any additional information from them. If in doubt contact them directly.

Calling ALL CANDIDATES - it won't hurt to make your presence felt on this Forum or in the Members Only section.

Voters tend to support the familiar so get your voices heard!

Whatever else, make sure you vote in this election. It really is important that we have a big turnout so the winners have a crystal clear mandate to represent members.

Hugh Crabtree, January 3, 2024

Pig Industry Group Election Nominations close next Monday at 5pm!

Please get your nominations in without delay. There are 8 producer seats to fill and 4 allied seats. An essential part of a successful representative trade association is to have keenly fought elections which clearly demonstrate that it is taken seriously, considered to be valuable and something to be part of.

We have a very successful trade association in the NPA and in these changing times we need to keep it so. That means we need committed producer and allied members to stand to continue their contribution or perhaps more importantly, new hands to bring new perspective, knowledge and enthusiasm.

Could this be you?

If you have any questions or need further information - contact me 

Hugh Crabtree, December 21, 2023

Well done allied members for coming forward! A couple more candidates would make it a real contest - which is exactly what we need.

Producers! Where are you?

With 8 seats to fill we need at least a dozen candidates to step up which means we're only half way there. This is a real and beneficial opportunity for the next generation to get involved at the heart of our trade association's policy making.

Closing date is January 8, so please, please act now and get your nomination forms submitted!

Hugh Crabtree, December 15, 2023

Calling all NPA members! Please consider standing for the Pig Industry Group elections. Closing date is January 8th so you need to act now!

A lively contest for all places on PIG demonstrates clearly that the association is recognised, valued and important to the sector. Others like Defra see this as well and our legitimacy as the true voice of UK pigs is confirmed.

But better than that, membership of and involvement with PIG is interesting, valuable to your business and fun.


Richard Longthorp, December 4, 2023 

1000 Press-Ups a Day for Parkinson’s Punchers

Having reached the biblical allotted lifespan of three score year and ten (70 in new  money) earlier this year, I thought I would take the opportunity to give a proverbial 2 fingers to the 2 challenges of age and Parkinsons.

Richard Longthorp boxingBut, more importantly, whilst January is more often associated with GIVING SOMETHING UP, I thought it would be better instead to make it an opportunity for GIVING SOMETHING BACK – to those great organisations working within the community to beat Parkinsons - St Paul’s Boxing Club in Hull, Goole Amateur Boxing Club, (both of who now have very active Parkinson’s Boxing Groups), and Parkinsons UK.

Muhammed Ali once said “Inside the ring or out, there ai’nt nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.” Well, none of the guys with PD I have come across at boxing are ever going to stay down. And so I wanted to raise some funds for Parkinsons UK and the 2 Boxing Clubs by undertaking a challenge of my own.

After much research(really?) and seeking opinion, I have settled on that challenge - an attempt to do 1000 press-ups a day during January (albeit with a contingency for 4 free days if circumstances dictate)!

What finally decided me was when I asked my boxing coach Mike Bromby what he thought. His reply was to the point – “you’re mad!” he said.

He’s probably right

1000 press-ups a day works out at 31,000 in a month or, at approximately 75% of body weight, 65 tonnes a day / 2015 tonnes in the month

The first hit when I Googled “1000 press-ups a day” was ‘No normal person wants to know how to do 1,000 pushups a day’.  

For men over the age of 60, the Amerícan College of Sports Medicine recommends ‘between 8 and 10 pushups’

So, I think I have chosen a challenge that I still believe to be achievable but is certainly not a stroll in the park!

Training has started, now all I have to do is to try and get sponsorship so that Parkinsons UK, St Paul’s Boxing Club and Goole Amateur Boxing Club can continue to benefit those impacted by this bloody disease. Oh yes … and then do a few press-ups in January!

Should you wish to donate, then please see link below and many thanks. This is a GoFundMe page administered by the Rotary Club of Howden - a registered charity and also registered for Gift Aid.

Howden Rotary will then distribute ALL funds raised + Gift Aid to the 3 respective organisations

To Donate:

St Pauls Parkinson's Punchers Video:

For Further Information on Beneficiaries:

Hugh Crabtree, November 2, 2023 

Calling all members of NPA's Pig Industry Group (PIG)!

The initial outcome of Defra's deliberations on the pork supply chain have recently emerged as a draft Pigs Policy Document. It has been shared with PIG members for comment.

Following the battering pig producers got from the market over the last couple of years, through absolutely no fault of their own; and following the graft put in by the NPA to achieve a review of commercial practise in the pork supply chain; it is absolutely essential that we pay attention to this next stage.

Engage with it, look at it, think about it and comment on it. Defra want feedback by 15th November - that's a mere two weeks hence.

Please take a look and get comments back to Charlie Dewhirst. Please talk to your contacts about it and get their feedback.

Anyone else, if you want to review and comment on where we're at so far please contact your PIG representative now!

Please, please, please - let's not let this opportunity, indeed responsibility, pass by. Don't just leave it to others.

Hugh Crabtree, October 20, 2023 

NPA’s elections come round again in early 2024. The association is seeking candidates to stand for 8 producer and 4 allied member seats on the Pig Industry Group.

The PIG is the policy body of the association and is responsible for appointing the main board directors. It’s really important that the NPA finds the best possible people to serve on this vital committee which is a lively forum of topical debate – right at the heart of the industry.

Some long serving members are standing down this time around, so if you’re the next generation in the sector please consider getting involved.

The full and revised rules for the elections will be published soon which explain how the process will work and how a good balance of producer and allied members will be achieved.

Get involved – your industry needs you!

Tom Allen, September 14, 2023 

We are holding an online auction of pig equipment and farm machinery from one of our units. It starts on September 20 and lasts for a week. 

The full details are HERE

Richard Longthorp, September 12, 2023

Here are the details to celebrate the life of Mick/Mike Varley (see Sep 4 entry, below).

Funeral service at Stonefall Crematorium Wetherby Road Harrogate HG31DE

11.40am, Wednesday October 4 

Followed by the Albion Pub Chapel Lane Clifford LS236HU

There is plenty of parking at both venues.

No flowers - donations if desired to Dementia UK HERE

Mark Boyd-Otter, September 5, 2023

To introduce myself, I am currently based in Australia and employed by Sunpork farms. My role is General Manager for Northern farms, overseeing 20,000 sows based on 16 different business' units in Queensland.

I originate from Lincoln and started my career at Grange de-lings pigs. I am due back in the UK on September 17 for three weeks, and was hoping I could see a few different operations and compare production methods and particularly housing and ventilation options.

Unfortunately, I have lost touch with the British pig industry after spending time as head of national production of PICNZ, and then into roles in Australia. I am Kkeen to understand the welfare requirements you have to operate with – it’s certainly front and centre for the buyers here. 

I can supply references and will, of course, adhere to any bio-security requirements.

If you can help, please contact me at: mark.boydotter@sunporkfarms.com.au

Richard Longthorp, September 4, 2023

Mike Varley 

I am sorry to have to report that Mike Varley, pig industry consultant, died on Friday. He was 74.

I have known Mike, who lived in Clifford, near Wetherby, since our days at Sutton Bonington together, where anybody who has been to 'SB' will know that (through ale and rugby!) friendships formed at SB are friendships for life.

But beyond our friendship I had the utmost regard and respect for his scientific knowledge and intellect but more importantly his remarkable ability to distil down complex science into something that even I could understand.

Having spent the first part of his career in academia, he then moved into the commercial world working in the feed industry, went on to head up the BPEX technical team and ultimately on to become a leading international pig consultant operating predominantly in China and the Far East

Our thoughts go out to Caroline and his boys Michael and Peter.

Andrea Tranter, July 24, 2023

Ladies in Pigs is recruiting for a new treasurer!

The role is a great way to support the work of LIPS and can be undertaken on an ad hoc basis to fit around other commitments, although some of the work is time sensitive so the treasurer would need to be available for processing requests as and when required.

The renumeration is a fixed monthly amount. The role does not have to be undertaken by an existing member of Ladies in Pigs, but would suit someone with bookkeeping experience, good attention to detail to enter correct data into financial records and recognise errors.

You can find out more about the role by emailing

David Owers, July 14, 2023

Last couple of days left to apply for the Position of Pig Manager for a 700-sow unit, as advertised in June edition of Pig World.

Fantastic opportunity for someone to take the next step in their careers. 

Drop me an email for an informal chat before making your application: davidowers2003@yahoo.co.uk 

Neil James, May 12, 2023

We are an independent abattoir, wholesaler and retail establishment, based in Raglan, Monmouthshire, and are looking to broaden our base of pig famers.

If anyone is interested in selling then please get in touch with a contact number - .

Thank you.

Vicky Morgan, March 28, 2023

Experienced Pig Stockperson required with potential for progression

Looking for a dedicated, conscientious, hard working and motivated individual with great attention to detail and a passion for pigs.

Experience preferred but not essential if you have all of the above! We are looking for a hardworking member to join our existing team on a progressive 1700 sow pig breeding unit in East Yorkshire.  

You must be prepared to muck in with all day to day pig duties and have a real enthusiasm for the pig industry.  Accommodation available for the right person. 

Vicky Scott – 07968 980239 vmorgan27@hotmail.com  

David Turton, March 7, 2023 

I read this with horror.

Thankfully I am retired and will not be subjected to this proposed financial treachery. In the not too distant past the UK had a Sow herd population of circa 800,000.

Ian Broumpton, January 31, 2023

Totally agree john and surely this needs bringing up with trading standards or some such organisation... can i ask the NPA if they are taking this subject up with trading standards?

John Richardson, January 27, 2023 

When Bacon is not Bacon?

The succinct definition of bacon – cured, dried or pickled meat from the back or sides of a pig.

Tesco's product promotion for Richmond meat free streaky bacon rashers, the packaging states 8 Meat Free Streaky Bacon Rashers - priced at £18/kg.

Tesco Finest smoked dry cured bacon - British outdoor bred sells for £13.75/kg, so the 'real thing' is selling for less than the product 'piggy-backing' on the image/name of bacon. So how is it that Tesco and Richmond can simply 'borrow' the word bacon and use it completely out of context to promote these products?

Similarly, Tesco's promotion of Linda McCartney 2 vegetarian BBQ Pulled Pork 1/4 lb Burgers -priced at £11.10 / kg features the wording Pulled Pork - and yet the product doesn't contain any pig meat whatsoever.

I wonder how Tesco would respond if someone started promoting bacon under the brand name of Tisco Finest! (Spelling mistake intended), I am sure that the response would be swift and emphatic.

Simon Guise, December 23

We've just arrived in Auckland to spend Christmas with our daughter.

I thought after a long time working in the industry that I knew about biosecurity but I've just been fined 400 NZ dollars for one apple that I inadvertently left in my backpack.

UK Border Force have got a long way to go to protect UK farmers against ASF!

Hugh Crabtree, November 7, 2022

Apologies for the delay in responding to earlier posts directed to me. The cuts in question are shoulder, sausages and mince most of which will be British in origin as a result of the current campaign. As is always the case, evidence will be gathered and reported back.

Of course an uplift in the sales of British sourced pork is anticipated but time will tell. Marketing of pork in the domestic market; growth in export opportunities for British pork; and the protection of the reputation of the UK industry.

These were the top priorities of levy payers who responded to the recent AHDB Pork survey. For those that want more information and indeed the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing debate, register for the forthcoming Delivering the Future of Farming Event this Thursday November 10.

Meanwhile, all comments with respect to the constraints that are still imposed on the sector by law are duly noted. I couldn't agree more that we need to get this matter sorted and I for one will be playing my part within both the NPA and the AHDB Pork Sector Council.

Ian Broumpton, November 5, 2022

AHDB statement - the lengthy statement from AHDB will do nothing to convince us passionate British pig farmers that our levy money is being used the right way to promote and protect our great industry over the long term at all.

Stuart Bosworth, November 5, 2022

If AHDB 'cannot blatantly push British', I hope nobody choked on the AHDB funded 'British Meat Dinner' for almost 300 people at SIAL Paris recently!

Come on NPA, AHDB, DEFRA, sort this out right now and end the nonsense of using British producers' statutory levies to fund generic pork promotion!

Meryl Ward, November 4, 2022

Hugh, could you provide some information on the cuts that are being promoted and how much of this is likely to be British?

Hugh Crabtree, November 2, 2022

Firstly, calling all levy payer, please register to attend the forthcoming Delivering the Future of Farming event being put on by AHDB to present and discuss the sector plans that have resulted from the recent survey of levy payers.

Details can be found on the AHDB Pork website. The pork slot is at 4pm Friday 10th November 2022.

When we were in the EU and constrained by State Aid rules we considered television and other advertising delivered value to levy payers. The evidence collected at the time showed uplift in sales of British product. The current campaign is primarily directed at cuts that are almost exclusively supplied by British producers. Despite still being constrained by State Aid rules, we’d expect to see similar evidence with respect to sales and value to levy payers.

I agree we must make loud and clear representations to government about the nonsense of not being able to promote home produce post Brexit. There’s a load of other stuff that gives a lie to the promises made by advocates of Brexit but that’s another story perhaps.

AHDB will definitely play their part in moving towards clear promotion of British but it is the role of our excellent trade association the NPA to use their well-established influence in Westminster to lobby government for change. In both camps, I will do my best to help with this lobbying.

Ian Broumpton, November 1, 2022

Regarding Hugh's response to my comments, firstly I did know all that clap trap and mentioned such things at the time of Brexit stating we would be no better off out of the EU as I'd already seen the light of being sent down the river, with border checks and being unable to advertise British etc.

As regards AHDB(spokesperson )comment about supporting British with the type of cuts being advertised, well that is a real government type of non committal response. This falls down with the next set of adverts supporting pork medallions (loins) as that's what we import most of.

Hopefully the NPA are hammering government regarding advertising too.

Meryl Ward, October 31, 2022

In response to Hugh's post, I can't imagine that anyone who voted to continue the domestic marketing campaign in the recent levy survey expected that we were still held to the 'parafiscal tax' rules of not being allowed to promote British.  

Until that is sorted, I suggest the levy money is spent with the retailers that do support British? The independent sector is still more than 50% of the industry and the board need to answer how this campaign will benefit those producers?  

Trickle-down economics has recently been discredited!

David Owers, October 25, 2022

Nice to see the Forum burst into life- Ian and Stuart you are both absolutely right our levy money should be spent on Promoting British Pork and not ASDAS foreign pork !

Hugh - AHDB should demand DEFRA change this,  it has always been my major gripe with AHDB that we pay their wages and DEFRA tell them how to spend our hard earned losses. 

If DEFRA don't act on this stupidity then the entire AHDB pork sector board should resign  DEFRA don't want any bad press at the moment. I would like to see British Pork plastered with Union Jacks and Bite into British Pork logos in every Supermarket.

AHDB Spokesperson - Can you tell me why Northern Ireland's and Scotland's pig farmers received substantial financial assistance to help them through the hard times were all experiencing. 

I know you will say their Devolved Governments passed this and ours wouldn't but I believe it's more likely the fact that AHDB don't represent Scottish and Northern Irish Pig Farmers and you obviously don't shout loud enough on behalf of English/ Welsh Pig Farmers?

AHDB spokesperson, October 25, 2022

In response to Ian Broumpton's comment (October 18), we would like to highlight the comments by AHDB’s Head of Marketing, Carrie McDermid when we launched the campaign. 

She said: “We know marketing is important to our levy payers and our job is to showcase how their food products provide a great meal choice for consumers. We focused on British cuts such as pork shoulder, sausages and mince to support British farmers.”

Stuart Wood, October 26, 2022

How utterly ridiculous that our own levy money cannot be used to promote BRITSH pork.

Hugh Crabtree, October 25, 2022

In answer to Ian Broumpton's post: the Brexit that Boris got done was not really the Brexit that some thought they were voting for. Large parts of existing EU regulation of which we were a part, were simply cut and pasted into UK regulation.

To save time perhaps? In amongst all this was the provision to control State Aid. Given the AHDB's funding mechanism - a statutory levy - despite 'brexit', we still can't use levy funds to directly promote British. Incredible I know but that's how it is.

The market research data does not support the view that the advertising spend is wasted. It's a lot of money for our sector, true; and our levy revenue is falling as the sector contracts.

Furthermore, we compete with an ever-expanding landscape of food alternatives for the shopper's pound. But the evidence is we get a return in sales volume for our advertising buck. It should not come as any surprise that I think the benefit of this sales uplift is rather inequitably shared down the chain.

The recent detailed survey of levy payers' priorities yielded a very clear steer to the Sector Council: focus on home market promotion, exports and protecting the reputation of the sector.

Lizzie Wilson, October 21, 2022

We are incredibly grateful for this show of support from South West members and Robin's kind words. 

We always do our best to support members and in these challenging times, we know our work is more important than ever, so it means a lot to us to be appreciated. 

While this sort of action will undoubtedly help us in our varied work, our message to other members is that we appreciate, of course, that everybody's situation differs, and it must be entirely your decision as to whether you follow this example.

Robin Bright, October 21, 2022

There has been a move amongst South West pig producers to pay our NPA subs early and + 50%.

I think the value the NPA provide is exceptional and should be rewarded, and I would like to encourage others to do likewise.

Ian Broumpton October 18, 2022

Whilst any pork adverts may help the industry, I want to know if there will be any reference to buying BRITISH pork in these adverts. If there is no reference to british product then you are wasting our money AHDB.

Comments please.

Hugh Crabtree, October 13, 2022

I was at the NPA's South Central Regional meeting last night and word on the street was that Defra are really pleased with the response to their supply chain review  from the pig sector.

Exact numbers are not yet published, no doubt while they sort through them all, but it's clear industry stakeholders - particularly producers - have responded during the last couple of weeks.

Bloody well done people and thanks very much indeed for your time and effort.

I don't suppose anything is going to change in a hurry (if the dairy sector is anything to go by) but I'm sure change will take place.

Ian Broumpton, October 11, 2022

Dont you just love the new social media updated logo for TESCO. Just by removing the first and last letters, it completely transforms their statement and also shows the truth as far as pig farmers are concerned.

For those of you who havent seen it, it simply reads VERY LITTLE HELP. How apt.

Richard Longthorp, October 5, 2022

One point to reinforce the messages below and one which we should be massively concerned about is this…

The Legacy of a poor response to the Defra consultation.

If, after all the complaining about the way producers have been treated, and Defra responding with a consultation into the Pork supply chain, the industry does not respond in big numbers then I am afraid that any current or future Chair/CEO of NPA will have absolutely ZERO currency with government. They will have about as much leverage and potency as a V Boar.

All that effort over the past 23 years in building that currency/credibility/mandate with government will have been wasted.

Don’t we owe it to the Godfreys, the Houstons, the Blacks, the Davies, the Listers, the Mutimers et al who invested in and built that currency?

And apart from anything else - wtf is the downside of completing the survey anyway?

A couple of hours.

What is upside?

A fighting chance of a future. 

Hugh Crabtree, October 5, 2022


Producers in particular please get to it now. Allied trades, your voice can and must be heard as well. You can use all the "further comments" boxes to tell Defra how you see the supply chain working for your customers.

These comments allow you to indicate how failure at prime producer level means a reducing support industry with all its diversity and employment.


Nick White, October 5, 2022

Further to Phil Woodall's response to my original post, at least it provoked a response, albeit the personal vitriol aimed at me was a bit unnecessary, but I've got broad shoulders!  

I am delighted that TVC have been encouraging and assisting their members to respond and if others are doing the same then perhaps NPA's concerns about the general lack of producer responses to the survey proves to be unfounded.  

I was just frustrated that it appeared that an opportunity to attempt to secure a better future for independent producers through better transparency in the supply chain and meaningful sale contracts was not being taken up.  

Time will tell of course, and it's sadly too late for many.  Oh, and just for the record, although I am now retired after more years than I care to remember working in this once great industry, I have submitted a response to the survey, and if I occasionally put my head above the parapet don't expect to be told to wind my neck in.

Phil Woodall, TVC, October 5, 2022

Rarely do I make comments to posts that are on this forum but I felt I had to respond to Nick White's comments (Sept 29) (after I’d calmed down).

The problem with sites such as this is it gives a platform for people who are totally ignorant or misinformed to comment on matters they no actually nothing about!

To make the comment “It seems to me that the marketing groups are conspicuous by their absence in all of this” is completely out of order.

I can’t speak for other marketing groups, I would hope they will make their own comment but I know this Marketing group, TVC, has encouraged its 120+ members to complete the supply chain review this has been done through a significant amount of dialogue and by writing to each and everyone of them. We have offered help and support if it’s needed to complete the questionnaire. We have also, in places furnished them with a copy of our submission as an example and to give ideas.

The communication to our members was also run past the NPA to ensure we were completely on message. 
In addition to this we attended in person both the meetings held by Victoria Prentis in London and have submitted a significant amount of information to her team to assist their process of understanding exactly the issues.

Now, I don’t know what Nick White has contributed to this process and therefore I won’t be so ignorant or arrogant to cast aspersions! 

So I would respectfully request he winds his neck in on matters he obviously doesn’t know anything about. If people wish to criticise other businesses then at least have the decency to investigate and ascertain the facts before posting such inaccurate drivel!!

Hugh Crabtree, October 1, 2022

Very well said Nick White and very well said indeed Richard Knox.

The point you make about your future clear conscience is so well made. "What did you do in the war Daddy?" springs to mind with Nick's mention of Churchill, Winnie and all those determined producers and allied trades that manned the stump in 2000.

Please take Richard's example and go to it this weekend - you know it makes sense!

Richard Knox September 29, 2022

I have just submitted my response to the government consultation - not bragging that I've done it, but just pleased that I have.

It has allowed me to vent my many frustrations about the industry whilst knowing that by doing so, there may be a faint chance that I could have made a slight difference to my future.

All I know is that if I hadn't done it, I wouldn't have been able to continue shouting from the sideline with a clear conscience.

The thought of doing the survey filled me with a little dread , but once I got into it, I actually felt that my responses could genuinely make a difference to all of our futures.

So I guess all I'm trying to say is , if any of you haven't managed to get around to doing it , please try and find the time , as the more of us who respond , the louder our voices will be, and maybe, just maybe , we could improve our fortunes in the future.

Nick White, September 29, 2022

My post yesterday had to be cut back to comply with the size limit, so another thought on the supply chain issue.

It seems to me that the marketing groups are conspicuous by their absence in all of this - there are 5 listed as NPA Allied Industry members. 

I do hope that at the very least they are making every effort to encourage and help their members (aka customers?!) by offering to assist with responding, as after all their future is also at risk here.

Nick White, September 28, 2022

Further to Hugh's excellent post I am prompted to contribute my two-penn'th by quoting that well known phrase by simply saying "I don't believe it".

For many years the industry has quite rightly grumbled about the lack of transparency in the supply chain and the need for contracts that actually mean something, so why oh why aren't producers taking this unique opportunity to try and progress matters?

Whenever I see images of Parliament Square on TV, and of course we have seen a lot recently, I immediately think of that great man next to who's statue so many of us kept vigil with his namesake Winnie, and his often quoted famous and inspiring words to fight on.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the result of the huge reduction in the sow herd will inevitably be yet more imports of pigmeat produced to significantly lower standards of welfare, thus wasting all the time and effort that so many have expended.

Oh dear - will the last one to leave please turn out the lights!

Hugh Crabtree, September 27, 2022

Pig producers of Britain! You have 9 days left to respond to the supply chain review. I have it on the very best of authorities that the response by producers to the online review has been dismal.

Given our vocal demands for greater transparency and fairness in the chain that's just embarrassing. Apparently, we're not that bothered.

Yes, I know it's a long review with many questions and the need for careful thought, consideration and comment (it took me three sessions and I think 90 minutes in total) but for goodness sake folks, it's our bloody industry's survival we're talking about here!

Can I ask you to please make the effort to respond? Please do it now. Please.

All you allied trades - you can respond, too, or perhaps better still, encourage your customers to do so - go and help them if necessary!



Richard Lister, September 27, 2022

Well done to everyone who appeared on Countryfile and put the message over so well regarding the future of the UK pig farmer.

For once Tom Heap empathised with the farmer.

Richard Longthorp, August 23, 2022

Can I add my congratulations to those of Hugh Crabtree to Lizzie on being appointed CEO of the Association

I worked closely with Lizzie when I was chairman when she took on the role of 'Super Sub' CEO whilst Zoe was on maternity leave – or 'up the duff' as Zoe put it

I and the then Board had absolutely no hesitation in making that decision then and I have no doubt neither did the Board now

Well done Lizzie – now get them thar sleeves rolled up gal!

Hugh Crabtree, August 22, 2022

Congratulations to Lizzie Wilson on her appointment as the new Chief Executive of the NPA! Very well done to her as I happen to know there was some pretty stiff competition for the job.

She's absolutely right that there's a future for the sector if we can stick together.

On that note... please join in with the association's response to the DEFRA review of the supply chain and following my last entreaty, please respond individually as well.

It's vital the department hears from us now.

Hugh Crabtree, August 16, 2022

I fully support Richard Longthorp's call to action for producers to take the opportunity to respond to the current DEFRA Pork Supply Chain Review.

Independent responses will complement the NPA's formal aggregated response based on talking to members in general and in focus groups specifically. There's absolutely no problem with an independent response as well as making a contribution to the NPA response.

My message seeks to encourage other NPA members and industry stakeholders into taking part in the review by making your own submission. I have done it myself and although a number of questions had to be answered "not applicable" I was able to offer my perspective and understanding of the situation in response to many questions.

You can save and return to the job very easily and perhaps you should reckon on doing this as it took me three sessions and about an hour and a half in total. I know this is a long time and a particular effort is needed; but just how many chances do you get to go directly to the heart of policy formation in a matter so crucial to all our future livelihoods?

Those who have been campaigning in a more direct manner in recent months came to the conclusion maximising the response to this review was an excellent campaign in its own right - so expect to see and hear more encouragement between now and October 7.

Please, please, help NPA make their usual excellent and professional response but more than that, please, please respond directly and get your particular and personal voice heard!

Richard Longthorp, August 15, 2022

From the start of this crisis right the way through to the present day, one facet has continued to confound. And that is that the very understandable and apparent level of angst and anger amongst producers has surely been matched only by the lack of any real quantity of “noise” – mainly, I have had it suggested, down to fear of reprisal.

Well, we all now have opportunity to make some “noise” – without fear of reprisal. It may not involve banners, placards and chanting but it is an opportunity to perhaps make even more “virtual” noise than the former did physical noise.

Just think what noise will be generated and potential impact made if every pig producer in the country completed the review questionnaire.

But, conversely, just think also what the effect will be and impression (not) made on Defra if only NPA and a handful of independent producers complete it.

So …..Will we be a generation of pig producers who went the extra mile, made our voices heard and made a difference in securing a future for an independent pig production sector or will we meekly, by default, simply let the opportunity pass us by?

The Pig Industry I know would surely eat veggie burgers rather than allow the latter

So come on – take a deep breath, clench the teeth and hit that keyboard.

Thank-you and good luck, Zoe! July 26, 2022

Richard Longthorp 

If Carlsberg made Chief Executives! 

Professional, Knowledgeable, Clarity of thought, Decisive, Empathetic, Totally Dedicated.

Zoe Davies.

Above all else you can always know and be mightily proud of the fact that you made a difference for both the industry and its individuals

A massive, massive Thank you - from a former Chairman whose role you made not just easy but an absolute pleasure.

Hugh Crabtree 

Wishing our Chief the very best of luck with her new position and future career. It has been a real pleasure to see how Zoe has grown and developed over the years I've known her. From researcher to very savvy operator in membership representative politics.

A real grafter with massive empathy with front line prime producers in our sector. But more than that, an intellect to get right inside the critical issues of the day, see the important points of challenge and come up with a strategy to deal with them.

The UK pig industry has been very fortunate to have retained her services for so long and she leaves very big boots to fill. She also leaves a team behind which she has nutured to become individually very capable indeed and together a real force to be reckoned with.

The good Dr Davies can leave the NPA very proud indeed of all her many achievements and the very significant legacy of a strong and respected association.

Sam Godfrey 

Zoe has been an exceptional chief executive of NPA. I can think of no parallel in what she has achieved over the last 14 years.  

Universally respected and admired through the industry and beyond, she will be missed like nobody else.  

Best of luck in your new role Zoe – if you have half as much success in that role as you did for the pig industry, you will be a star.”

Lizzie Wilson 

And here we are, waving farewell to the absolute force of nature that is Dr Zoe Davies; fiercely intelligent, a phenomenal work rate and unwavering commitment to the pig industry and the best boss and work colleague I could ever ask for, always providing encouragement and support, inspiring and pushing us all to be better.

Eleven years of battles fought together, tears shed and laughter shared, and many, many glasses of wine and late night gossips at various industry occasions. But although I’m going to feel like I’ve lost a limb for a little while, it’s not really going to be goodbye as she hasn’t gone far and I know we’ll be in contact again very soon.

NFU will be acutely aware of the hugely valuable asset they now have in Zoe, those arable farmers in East Anglia won’t know what’s hit them and I can’t wait to see it! Thank you so much for all you’ve done both for your members, and your team over the years as without your incredible legacy, we’d surely be in a much poorer place.

Andrea Tranter

I never thought I’d be writing a good luck in your new job card for you Zoe, of all the people who’ve made up the NPA team since I joined in 2015, I never thought you’d go, you are like a piece of Blackpool Rock with NPA written through you!  

You’ve been an amazing, supportive and inspiring person to work for and I’m grateful every day that I got the opportunity to work for you.  

You are one of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met whose work ethic, compassion and commitment are second to none, you also know how to let your hair down and have fun, nights at the Pig awards have been some of my best nights out even if you are usually the first to bed and definitely the first one up calling for breakfast at 7am!

You’ve supported me through some of my darkest days, with kind words, hugs, cups of tea, and love. Knowing you were there in those times was a huge comfort and one of the reasons I got through it all. Its going to feel strange without you at the helm guiding us, but I know that your new team have gained a super star and they are all very lucky to have you.  

I just want to finish with a thank you for all you’ve done professionally and personally for me, I’ll miss you, but also look forward to watching you grow as you embark on your next adventure. Love Andrea. 

Georgina McDowell

It was an absolute pleasure to work for Zoe as part of the NPA team and I’ll be forever grateful, as I’m sure the rest of the pig industry will be, for her support and guidance both professionally and personally.

She has a knack of making people feel at ease, whilst simultaneously asking just the right questions to illicit the desired information or response! – a talent I’m sure NFU will appreciate as she takes up her new role. Good luck and best wishes Zoe!

Joe Dew