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Home > News > Lizzie: New PIG starts with a bang, with ASF, contracts and farrowing systems on the table!

Lizzie: New PIG starts with a bang, with ASF, contracts and farrowing systems on the table!

1st Apr 2024 / By Lizzie Wilson

Lizzie Wilson 22In the latest issue of Pig World, NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson gave an update on the association's recent activity on some key industry issues, including productive discussions at the first meeting of the new Pig Industry Group. 

It’s been a busy few weeks at the NPA with elections, the inaugural 2024 Pig Industry Group (PIG) meeting and dinner, as well as lots going on around African swine fever (ASF) and farrowing systems.

Our first PIG meeting was really positive, with lots of challenge and discussion from all those present, including the new voices, covering all the pertinent topics. Just what we wanted!

ASF/Dover update

The NPA team provided an update on ASF and a recent ‘walk the supply chain’ visit we’d helped facilitate for the Defra Exotic and Endemic Disease Control team, the objective of which was to help them understand every stage of production and processing throughout the pig sector and how a delay at any point can have an enormously negatively impact.

They did also confirm that, sadly, the introduction of the amendments to the control measures we’ve been waiting for since the end of last year, including changes to how disease control zones will work, is going to take longer than anticipated, so nothing until the autumn now at least.

We are, however, making progress, albeit slow, with how we can all be better prepared in the event of an outbreak (Defra, APHA and industry), something we’ll be focusing more on at our forthcoming regional meetings. We’re also still pushing on border controls and our request that all non-commercial meat should be banned. Watch this space!

PIG mar 24

Flexible farrowing

PIG also got a sneaky peak at the first half of NPA’s commercial review of adaptive/flexible farrowing systems, which includes management observations and producer experience. The second part will analyse production data.

These two reports, in conjunction with work from the Buildings Supplier Forum, AHDB and Leeds University, will help to form a wider comprehensive body of evidence that we hope will not only help producers wanting to reinvest in farrowing systems make a more informed decision, but will form the basis for pragmatic policy discussions going forward.

There’s still lots more to do, but I’m delighted at how well this policy area is progressing, so far, and I am confident we’re in a far more robust position for when negotiations begin.

Pig Contracts

We’re now waiting for the promised second draft of the contractual practice policy document, which Defra wants to informally consult the pig sector on.

It sounds like changes have been made following the responses received to the last draft and they want to crack on with formulating the nitty gritty of the actual legislation that will underpin it all. NPA will again have to facilitate this informal consultation, and as we had very few producers submit comments last time, we might try a slightly different approach this time by organising working groups.

This legislation needs to be fit for purpose, so your feedback is going to be vital in ensuring it actually delivers what we want it to. Keep an eye on the website for more details, as soon as we can get our hands on it.

We’ve also been doing our regular rounds with retailers over the past month or so to discuss all of the above.

Regional meetings

All of the above and more will be discussed at the NPA’s regional meetings return in April, with new venues and dates.

  • Eastern – April 16, Wymondham RFC
  • Northern – April 23, Driffield RFC
  • South Central/South West – May 1, Salisbury RFC Arrive from 6pm, for 6.30pm start.

All meetings start at 6pm, with presentations from 6.30pm.