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NPA Election: Never a more important time for the whole industry to support the NPA

9th Dec 2020 / By Alistair Driver

With the pig sector facing challenges on numerous fronts, there has never been a more important time to support the NPA, according to allied industry chair Hugh Crabtree.

Hugh Crabtree electionAhead of the imminent NPA Election, he has called for unified and solid support for the NPA from all sectors, including commercial producers, breeding companies, suppliers, integrators and processors, in order to keep the pig industry competitive. They all need to work for a common cause at a time of significant change, he said.

Hugh, managing director of Farmex, said: “The upcoming NPA elections are vitally important as the industry faces serious challenges.

“These include possible trade deals following Brexit, African Swine Fever, action by activists, increasing health and welfare regulation, reduction in antibiotic use and stricter standards and compliance. In addition, there is a need to grow pork consumption in the face of a rise inv eganism and food competition in the retail sector,” said Hugh.

“We have 67 million consumers on our doorstep, but still import 60% of our pigmeat, much the same as 10 years ago. Per capita consumption also remains pretty much the same at around 24 kg, while poultry consumption has surged ahead, in 2019 amounting to 37.2 kg.”

With a reputation for punching above its weight, the NPA has had considerable influence on political decisions, he added.

However, the structure of the industry has changed a great deal with more vertical and horizontal integration. In 2018 there were 10,976 holdings with pigs, compared with 10,729 in 2010, but, with the rise in bed-and-breakfast pig-keeping and the growth of hobby pig-keepers, NPA membership has been falling.

“While the independent commercial pig farmer of old is a dying breed the number of people responsible for the husbandry of pigs hasn’t changed much,” said Hugh. “We will be exposed to the cold winds of international trade, so it is in everyone’s interest to join the NPA and help ensure a vibrant UK industry.”

Nominations for the election to the NPA Pig Industry Group (PIG) are open until January 11, with voting commencing on January 25 and closing on February 26.

Unusually, the NPA represents the entire industry and the PIG combines the old NPA Producer Group and the Allied Industry Group in order to improve communication and to represent all sectors more fully. The new group will be made up of 10 producer members and seven allied industry members.

“It is therefore very important for all sectors to support this organisation, and particularly, to both nominate members and then to vote,” said Hugh.

  • For more information on the NPA elections, including how to nominate, election rules, the timetable, the new NPA structure and updates on who is standing and their manifestos, CLICK HERE