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NPA Election 2021 logo            Producer Manifestos 


The NPA is seeking candidates for eight producer seats on PIG. Producers will be elected on the basis of the most votes received, rather than on a regional basis.

Fred Allen 

Fred Allen Jan 24I am Fred Allen, a Director at Allen Farms (Coddington) Ltd. This unique company comprises 1200 acres of arable land alongside an 850-sow farrow-to-finish unit. There is a core aim to make the farm net-zero by 2030.

I run the Pig Unit. I won the Young Pig Farmer of the Year award at the 2022 National Pig Awards. In 2023, the Pig Unit won the Herd Productivity Award. It was a finalist in the Indoor Pig Unit of the Year Award in both 2022 and 2023. 

We are one of the few remaining independent pig producers in the region. The reason for the decline in independent farmers is clear – we are sadly being squeezed out of the market by large corporations.

That being said, there are still a significant number of independent producers remaining. We still collectively make a sizable contribution to the industry and so need to have a strong voice in the NPA; a voice to push for fairer trading agreements. I would like that voice to be me. 

The industry as a whole needs a clearer understanding of what the future holds, particularly with regards to disease-threats, the importance of food-security, and the perception of ‘welfare’. We need to make UK pig production more attractive again, particularly if we are going to encourage a new crop of pig producers to come through. I hope to aid the NPA in achieving this.

I am already a huge advocate of the work that the NPA does and would greatly value the opportunity to be a part of it. I hope to be a voice for the younger generation in steering future policies and an advocate for their involvement within the NPA itself.

Thank you for reading, and please vote!

Robin Lawson

Robin Lawson PIGI am a third generation farmer and started working in the pigs from school age. My current role is MD at Rattlerow Genetics, part of Lawson Partners Ltd (LPL) an independent pig producer and genetics company based in East Anglia. 

Rattlerow is involved in both indoor and outdoor production as well as supplying genetics to many of the country’s producers. As a result we appreciate the challenges facing both the indoor and outdoor pig industry. Throughout my career I have been involved in all areas of the supply chain and understand the challenges facing both small and larger producers also working closely with major pig processors involved in their supply chains with retailers. 

Following the supply chain crises, the UK pig industry has seen a significant restructuring over the past 18 months. The pace of consolidation has seen a large number of smaller producers exit the industry or change their business models. 

In an industry dominated by a smaller number of key players and government focus shifting away from food production and towards Green/Welfare initiatives it is more important than ever that we have a strong NPA. 

I believe that the NPA is one of the most proactive and effective lobbying groups within the agricultural sector. During these uncertain times it is vital that a well-supported NPA works closely with AHDB, DEFRA, BMPA and other organisations to represent the interests of its members. 

If elected I will ensure that all NPA members receive the excellent level of representation they currently get and that their views are reflected in NPA lobbying efforts. 

Sam Ward

Sam WardI live and work on the family farm in North Lincolnshire. We trade as Lincolnshire Pork Co Ltd with 1,500sows across two indoor breeding units and some finishing sites.

Our business and the industry has been through a very turbulent time and I am keen to represent the interests of the independent sector for the next 3years.

I am keen to ensure a fair result from Defra in the supply chain review to create a fair-trading environment for the independent sector; so we can contribute to the industry as a whole and make it a healthier, more competitive and better place to work, for both allied and producers alike.

We need the confidence to invest and strong relationships with processors. I am keen to make sure the supply chain review details and more joined up thinking, means backlogs are a thing of the past.

Adaptive farrowing systems will be high on the agenda and as an indoor producer that has made the switch, our experience should help support the NPA.

I am keen that all indoor producers’ interests are represented and to ensure any legislation changes do not damage our sector. I will challenge and support the NPA in all the other topics they are already working very hard on; ASF, labelling, animal rights, Defra!

Hopefully the above points will give you enough confidence to see I will represent producer interests and to give me a tick in the vote box! Happy pig keeping!

John Stockings

John StockingsMy grandfather had an outdoor sow herd in Norfolk, and many of you will have known my father, Andrew, who started Thames Valley Pigs in the 1970’s, and I suspect quite a few of you have come across my mother, Sally!

As a family, we are involved with breeding and finishing pigs in the South, Southwest and Welsh borders. We work with landowners, independent farmers, and the processors. I am acutely aware of the precarious nature of our industry, knowing how important it is to create good relationships and being very proactive in trying to encourage young people into the industry. I would be very proud to represent independent pig farmers throughout the country.

For the first ten years of my working life, I was employed within the construction industry and surveying. I think this gives me an important insight into other business sectors. In my late 20’s I returned to the business, and now I am involved in the day to day running of our two home farms finishing 40,000 pigs a year. 

Over many years I have heard about the importance of the NPA and the huge respect it is held in the pig sector and in government circles.

The conversations at breakfast often centre on their work. Recently, the holding back of very ill thought-out legislation proposed for welfare labeling, which was highlighted and challenged by the NPA team, was a great success.

The NPA were at the forefront of this work, so I realise the benefit of having such a proactive organisation within our industry and I am eager to support and assist in any way possible.

Matt Swaine

Matt SwaineI am the Monogastric Sector Manager at Harper Adams University in Newport, Shropshire. We farm a 230 sow indoor unit on a farrow to finish 3 week batch system. The monogastric sector runs alongside the ruminants sector, crops and operations and crops and environment trials.  

As a whole this is the Future Farm which has been created to facilitate Harper Adams University’s aim to provide research and teaching.  In addition to this our aim is to achieve net zero by 2030.

The focus of the pig unit is balanced between high performance commercial production, demonstrating best practice and teaching pig production and supporting applied research.  The aim is to attract people to and educate them about the pig industry.  

I have 30 years experience working within the pig industry, on both indoor and outdoor units.  Over this time there have been many challenges due to the significant changes over the years, with even more to face in the future.

Since starting this role at Harper Adams University, I believe that our research projects reflect the needs of the industry, with subjects including nutrition at all stages, genetics, behaviour and welfare, environment and meat quality.

I would appreciate this opportunity to become a member of the producer group so I can continue to support and facilitate the on going growth and development of the pig industry, an industry which I am extremely passionate about and wish to see thrive in the years to come.  

Adrian Russell

adrian russell PIG 24I am Pig Production Director for a family business based in Devon. We are an indoor breeder-finisher, finishing pigs both at home and for multiple contract B&B sites across the South West, using both wet and dry feed, home-mix and compound rations.

Having worked for 30-plus years in the pig industry, both here and abroad and on both indoor and outdoor units of every size, from 350 sows to 3,000 sows, and been lucky enough to be involved in building a brand-new 1,000 sow unit from scratch, I would now elcome the opportunity to serve on the Pig Industry Group. 

On more than one occasion, the NPA has been there to support our business with real help in times of real adversity.

So, I ask you now for this chance to get involved and give all the support I can to this outstanding organisation that does so well in serving the greater good of the pig industry.

Ash Gilman

Ash Gilman 23The agriculture and food sectors are facing into some huge challenges, and the pace of the change is getting ever quicker, which is creating a very challenging business environment to operate within across all sectors.

Whether it is legislation, the environment, NGOs, labour availability, processed foods or declining Government support, we need to collaborate more as an industry to meet these head on.

UK food security continues to decline, during a period of increasing global instability and financial uncertainty. UK agriculture should be in the driving seat and leading by example of what best practice looks like, and I would very much like to continue contributing into and supporting, the NPA in striving for the best for the UK Pig sector, by standing for a second term on the PIG.

 I have had extensive experience in managing and directing crop, produce and livestock agribusinesses, and supplying UK retail and food service directly, before I joined Cranswick plc. As Director Of Agricultural Strategy, I work closely alongside both our owned indoor and outdoor pig farming businesses, and independent producers supplying into our three primary processing sites.

I engage directly with all customer agriculture, responsible sourcing, nature & biodiversity divisions. Delivery of an aligned agriculture strategy in terms of H & W outcomes, supply chain compliance and carbon reduction are some of the key pillars with an increasing focus on producer customer contract alignment and carcass utilisation.

Agri R & D and its impact upon both production, performance and ultimately eating quality needs to be assessed and fast tracked into the supply chain to test its’ potential impact and I manage some key projects within Cranswick.

 I sit on the Red Tractor pigs board, Cam, Ely & Ouse soil & water stewardship board and, as with my position on the current NPA PIG, value the opportunity to engage with the wider sector, and challenge when appropriate, with a view to supporting and building a more resilient UK pig industry for the future.

I am passionate about UK agriculture and food production and recognise the urgent need for it to evolve quicker than it has done in the past thirty years to keep apace with the many, and often conflicting, demands placed upon it.

I have extensive and valuable experience, and a deep understanding within the sector and beyond, to support the NPA in steering a path through some sizable challenges over the next few years.

Rob Mutimer

Rob Mutimer 6I farm with my wife Helen in North Norfolk. We run 800 sows farrow to finish with outdoor breeding and indoor finishing, with the majority of progeny being sold to Pilgrims on the Waitrose supply chain.  

We also have a wholesale butcher business supplying around 150 pubs and other catering outlets in Norfolk and North Suffolk, as well as a small flock of sheep (labour of love), which does not make a lot of money but gives the kids a job in school holidays.

Looking back, I think I have enjoyed the past three years as NPA chair, which have been challenging!! I feel I still have the passion and experience to contribute to the next PIG if I am lucky enough to be re-elected.

NPA is a great organisation which has consistently punched above its weight with a fantastic network of contacts in the pig sector wider agriculture and Government. I think it does serve the industry very well on an incredibly tight budget.  

We currently have considerable challenges in dealing with supply chain review, adaptive farrowing and trade, and with an election next year there will be further political challenges that will immerge from the election manifestos.  

The NPA also has to react to the enormous structural changes that have occurred within the sector.

Representing producers and allied members both big and small does have its challenges but it is essential in my opinion that the NPA represent all parts of the sector even if this does lead to considerable challenges at times for both PIG and the team at NPA.  

That's what makes us different from NFU and other organisations and more effective, in my opinion.  

Tom Allen 

Tom Allen PIG 21I am part of a family farming business based in Dorset and Oxfordshire.  

We have a diverse business made up of arable, chickens, commercial and residential lettings, and various public-facing activities, but pig farming is and always has been the driving force of our business.  

We operate an indoor breed-to-finish business spanning both counties producing Red Tractor pigs, which are marketed through Thames Valley Cambac to several processors. We home mill and mix, and pigs are fed liquid co-product rations.

Much like the whole industry, the last few years have hit us extremely hard, and we have had to undergo a considerable restructure. We can’t allow the industry to face this again and the NPA is integral in helping lobby for improvements in contractual practice.  

As ever there are other considerable challenges looming. From crippling diseases on our doorstep, the worrying UK Soy Manifesto, the push from NGO’s and Government to implement adaptive farrowing systems and the ever-present environmental challenges, to name but a few.  

I have been involved in the NPA Producer group and PIG for many years and, more recently, I was honoured to be elected to the NPA Board of Directors.  

I hope I am lucky enough to be voted back onto the PIG to help support the team in the continuation of their crucial work.

Phil Stephenson 

Phil Stephenson 24We farm 700 sows indoors on a farrow to finish site near York. 2024 will be the 50th year anniversary since my father set the unit up on the greenfield site

I am currently vice chairman of NPA sit on the PIG board. I also represent NPA on the Red Tractor pigs board.

Still getting my hands dirty on a daily basis enables me to voice a grassroots opinion to help advise Lizzie and the rest of our fantastic NPA team.

There are many challenges our industry has to confront, and they will not stop coming.

If selected I will continue to give that full support for the good of all sections of our industry.

 Joe Dewhirst

Joe Dewhirst NPA 24I am Group Managing Director of our family farming business, based just outside Driffield in East Yorkshire.

Yorkwold Pigpro forms the largest part of our farming group, where we have 8,000 breeding sows housed across 12 indoor units and their progeny housed across 21 finishing units. Yorkwold Pigpro was set up by my father, Jim Dewhirst, in 1972.

The longer term development of our pig business has been my primary role over the past 15 years. As a business we have always taken a long term view and as such have looked to plan accordingly.

I was extremely honoured to be elected onto the NPA Producer Industry Group three years ago and I have thoroughly enjoyed being at the forefront of industry policies. It has been an unbelievably challenging period in our industry’s history and I have relished the opportunity of assisting the NPA during the very difficult times.

We’ve seen significant change in recent years, and we expect more to come with ever shifting environmental and welfare regulations. NPA must be at the forefront of these discussions if we are to get the best outcome for our industry. This means proactive negotiations with the policy makers, led by the NPA team, but ably supported by a knowledgeable producer group.

Confidence in the pig sector has taken a huge knock, but I believe there is a healthy and prosperous future for all of us, and an industry that we are all proud to be a part of.

This means profitable pig businesses investing for the future, happy and fulfilled people enjoying their careers and satisfied loyal customers. I have no doubt that a strong NPA can help achieve this.

Helen Webb

Helen WebbI am Technical and Customer Director within the Agriculture Department of Pilgrims UK.

Whilst not originally from a farming background, I have a great love of animals and have developed my career in the pig industry in a number of roles within the BQP business over the last 21 years.

Through building strong relationships with farmers, suppliers and customers, I have gained a thorough understanding of the industry, its opportunities and challenges and how they have changed over time.

I am a passionate advocate for all pig farmers in the UK and am keen to be able to give back to the industry which has supported my career to date through a producer role within the NPA PIG.

The pig industry has gone through much change over the last few years and will continue to have to rapidly and proactively evolve going forward to face the different types of challenges farmers in the UK now encounter. 

I believe that my experience of all areas of the supply chain, together with an open mind and pragmatic view to challenge make me an ideal representative for producers in these changing times.  

It would be a privilege to be elected onto the PIG producer group allowing me to positively represent the industry I love.