Guy King - 2023 Farmers Weekly Pig Farmer of the Year
9th Oct 2023 / By Alistair Driver
Congratulations to Guy King, of GSK Pigs, Norfolk, who won the 2023 Farmers Weekly Pig Farmer of the Year Award on Thursday night.
Guy, who also won the 2022 Outdoor Pig Producer of the Year Award, received his award at a ceremony in London on Thursday night.
He has 8,600 sows across nine outdoor units in Norfolk and Suffolk and 59 staff. Three of these units are run in partnership and two, one organic and one with rare breeds, are breeder-finisher units.
GSK provides the land, staff, machinery and equipment, while BQP supplies pigs, feed and veterinary support for seven of the units.
Pigs are weaned at five weeks before moving to BQP grower units. New BQP contracts reflect a focus on quality as well as quantity, says Guy, with payment a pig now based on weaner weights, rather than just numbers. Target weaning weight across the units is 9kg.
In addition, Greenlane Organics, a 400-sow farrow-to-finish setup, is run on behalf of the Organic Pig Company.
Finished pigs are mainly sold under the Waitrose Duchy Organic brand, along with some independent customers.
Guy has developed good working relationships with his landlords that make the most of outdoor pigs in arable rotations. At the same time, he has worked with Catchment Sensitive Farming and Anglian Water for many years to reduce diffuse pollution and run-off, so soil and nutrients do not end up in watercourses.
The introduction of grass leys has dramatically improved soil condition and cut the risk of soil erosion while pigs are on the land.
Each unit has a dedicated team who know the farm, the pigs, the kit and the best way to get jobs done.
There is a clear staffing structure with a manager, assistant manager, lead stockman and trainee or lower-grade stockman at each unit. And there are opportunities for progression.
There are also openings for high-flying staff to run units in partnership with Guy – three units are now run in this way.
NPA senior policy adviser Charlie Dewhirst was an independent judge in this category.
He said: “Guy impressed us with his passion for developing his business and commitment to the environment. His unit was very well run by a team of dedicated staff who are achieving impressive health and welfare outcomes.”
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