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We have one shot at this - let us know your thoughts on what should go into pig contracts

23rd Jun 2023 / By Rebecca Veale

NPA chief policy adviser Rebecca Veale explains why we want to hear from you about what should be included in pig contracts, under the Defra review.

Rebecca Veale 2The commitments government has made to change contractual practice in this country for the pig sector is potentially one of the biggest policy transformations to affect producers in a very long time.

It is important that we look ahead to what producer members need to avoid the issues experienced over the last two years, but also to provide an environment in which businesses can flourish.

It is the evidence that we as NPA, and you as producers, provided that has enacted this change. I know I have said it before, but thank you for being willing to share your experiences and ideas  – it really did make the difference.

Whilst there has been a precedent set by the dairy sector for contracts, Defra has committed to use the data powers within the Agriculture Bill, which we hope will also have an impact on transparency issues around price reporting.

What is very apparent to us as a team is that we have one shot at this, so we need to get it right.

As we’ve already shared, Defra is taking this policy seriously and has prioritised the work accordingly, even committing to bringing in extra resource to help deliver it. But what are we, as NPA doing in the meantime?

We have been looking at what should and shouldn’t be included within contracts. It is not NPA’s place to stipulate the terms in detail, but we’ve been considering all that members shared with us during the consultation process last year.

We’ve also started to consider unintended consequences and unusual scenarios which could arise. As our members this needs to work for you and so we’d really welcome your thoughts on these topics, or any others you’d like to discuss.

Therefore please either email or pick up the phone and share your ideas and experiences – they will be treated confidentially and will be very helpful to inform our discussions with Defra.

Contact the team by emailing or call us on 02476 858780

Once Defra has resource in place we will be meeting regularly to work on the policy document, which will underpin the legislation required. The policy document is written first and provides the basis for Defra’s legal teams to draw up the legislative text.

As you’ll all have seen I will be moving on from the NPA soon. This is policy work I am sad to be leaving, but don’t worry, you will be in very safe hands because I am really pleased to say that Charlie Dewhirst will be leading on this policy going forward.

We’ll be meeting with Defra soon to catch up and handover, but we want to keep you posted on progress so keep an eye out for regular updates from Charlie.