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NPA Elections 24: 'You learn a huge amount and meet great people on PIG!'

7th Nov 2023 / By Alistair Driver

Some of the NPA Pig Industry Group's (PIG) longest-serving members will be standing down after the forthcoming elections early next year.

NPA Election 2021 logoWhile this will remove a great deal of knowledge and experience from group, it also opens up opportunities for others to step into their shoes and bring their own energy and vision.

Hugh Crabtree has been involved with the NPA since its inception in the late-1990s, serving for a long time as Allied Industry Group (AIG) chair and, more recently, as NPA vice-chair on the amalgamated PIG.

After more than two decades of unstinting service, he is keen to highlight just what you can get out of PIG to those thinking of standing.

“The truth is that being in the front line of policy making in a small and almost club-like industry sector like pigs is actually good fun. You’re working with the professional staff – and we have the best – and with peers on both sides of the farm gate,” he said.

Hugh Crabtree dec 21“This contact provides a clear insight into the sector and what makes it tick. A better understanding of the industry is always going to be helpful whatever your chosen occupation. I have certainly found it so.

“Better than that, it turns out we’ve got some really good people in this sector who are good to be with and are dedicated, hard-working folk – salt of the earth!”

“The travel can sometimes be a bit of a pain but these days quite a lot of it is done online. “It’s a real privilege though to be in the thick of policy discussions that affect all of our businesses; have your say and pass on words of wisdom from your own network of contacts.”

Understanding the wider sector

Howard Revell 2Howard Revell, Pilgrim’s UK’s pig production director, has spent 15 out the past 18 years on PIG and its predecessor.

“Before I joined Producer Group, I was probably quite naïve about some industry issues. I was really nervous that I was going show myself up. But it has really helped me to understand the wider sector and to talk about the industry.

“It is a really valuable thing to do and you get to feed into policy discussions that very often affect your business directly.

“And almost without exception, you get really good sorts on PIG, interesting people who you can learn from and pick up the phone to, if you need to know something.”

He stressed that the time commitment is manageable, with only four meetings a year, two of which are online. “Most of the people on PIG are pretty busy people, but they find the time, as they it see it as being really valuable,” he said.

Hugely rewarding

Sally Stockings PIG 2021Sally Stockings is another long-serving PIG member who is stepping down.

“I have been very privileged over the last 12 years to work with extremely motivated professionals who support the whole pig sector.

"It is vitally important that the NPA staff receive the backing of pig producers, and being on PIG is hugely rewarding too,” she said.

“It’s so important to understand all the implications of the different government, environment and legislative aspects that affect the industry.

“Farming can be a very insular and introspective occupation. The NPA allows you to see the much wider picture and to meet up with farmers and allied industry people from all over the country.”

Election timetable

  • January 8 – nominations close
  • January 23 – email voting opens
  • February 5 – postal ballots sent out to those who have not voted online.
  • February 22 – voting closes.

Electing a streamlined PIG

  • The NPA is seeking candidates for eight producer and four allied member seats on PIG.
  • Producers will be elected on the basis of the most votes received, rather than a regional basis. Efforts will be made to ensure a balance between indoor and outdoor production and independent and corporate producers.
  • Allied members will be elected via most votes in four categories – buildings/equipment, health, marketing/processing and nutrition.
  • Producers will only vote for producers and allied industry members for allied industry candidates, with one vote per membership.
  • See the dedicated NPA Elections 24 section of the website for details on how to nominate yourself, and the latest on the candidates.