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Producer group CANDIDATES AND THEIR manifestos

NPA REGIONS

Regions

CANDIDATES

NORTH REGION
Richard Lister
Richard Longthorp
Phil Stephenson

Vicky Morgan

SOUTH-CENTRAL
Tom Allen
Sally Stockings

MIDLANDS REGION
David Owers
Sam Godfrey

EAST REGION
Rob Mutimer
Colin Stone
Simon Guise
Steve Hart

SOUTH-WEST
Sophie Hope
Andrew Freemantle

Robin Bright


Election rules


NPA Producer Group election

There are 12 seats on Producer Group. Members are elected from five regions:

  • North
  • Midlands
  • East
  • South-central
  • South-west

Each region has one guaranteed place on Producer Group, and a maximum of four places. This ensures each region is represented but no region is over-represented. It also gives producers the opportunity to vote not just for local candidates, but also for candidates who will best represent their production system.


Election timetable

January 22 2018 On-line voting opens.

February 5 2018 Postal ballot for members who have not voted on-line.

February 23 2018 Polls close.

March 2018
Results published on-line and in Pig World.


Producer manifestos

ListerRICHARD LISTER
North region

Farming in North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, with 3,300 sows spread across four breeding units with all progeny finished for a variety of outlets and markets, I have served five terms (15 years!) on Producer Group, and presently serve as chairman.

The pig industry continues to have an array of challenges which I believe the National Pig Association has met with skill, passion and intelligence.

Elected Producer Group members have an important job, ensuring the officer team is well-informed and well-supported. I believe passionately in the role of the National Pig Association and will continue to work on behalf of all the pig industry.

With over 30 years of practical experience, knowledge and commitment I hope you will endorse my nomination.


LongthorpRICHARD LONGTHORP
North region

During its formative years NPA and the British pig industry were faced with major challenges — a clearly unlevel playing field vis-a-vis welfare standards and cost of imports, a levy board that needed holding to account and three rapid incursions of exotic/novel disease. These challenges plus more are still relevant today.

For that, NPA will need a Producer Group and Executive that is able to continue to develop forward-looking strategy and execute prompt and effective action. It will need to challenge itself to be always looking one step ahead. It will also need to ensure the association remains financially sound and continues to have the resources of the calibre and quantity capable of delivering the first-class level of service members have come to expect.

And, notwithstanding my own emphasis on the importance and need for succession, that succession needs to be planned and it needs to be staged if it is to be effective.

Having been around "pig politics" during the lifetime of NPA and having chaired the association on two separate occasions and under two very different periods for our industry I think that I can use that experience to ensure that NPA:

  • Is on the front foot strategically
  • Acts decisively, promptly and effectively
  • And maintains its human and financial resource at a level that allows it to continue to be the leading organisation that it is today — irrespective of what may be round the corner.

Maybe I've mellowed a bit since the edgy era of BPISG — but still got fire in my belly and can still growl when needed.


AllenTOM ALLEN
South-central

I am a partner in a fifth-generation family farming business in the south, with a mix of combinable crops and 4,900 indoor and outdoor sows across several sites. The progeny is marketed through Thames Valley Cambac to several customers.

Since the start of my career I have taken an interest in industry politics, chairing Southern Young NPA and the AHDB South Regional Forum, and over the years I've sat on numerous committees and groups associated with both organisations, Defra, Red Tractor and others.

Brexit is leading the United Kingdom into unknown territory which will no doubt come with numerous challenges. Whether they relate to health and welfare, labour, the environment or something completely different, we need to be united and on the front foot, fighting for a sustainable industry regulated by fair, practical and science-based legislation.

It may also bring opportunities for our sector and with these we need to react quickly to ensure we meet the evolving needs of our existing and future customers.

I hope you will allow me to use my passion for this industry to help guide it over the next few years by voting for me as part of the Producer Group.


StephensonPHIL STEPHENSON
North

I farm a 700-sow indoor farrow-to-finish unit in Yorkshire. Having been day-to-day on the farm for the last 35 years I have seen most of the challenges our industry throws up (the good and the bad). I still manage to get my hands dirty on a daily basis.

A strong NPA is essential for the future of our industry to deal with all of the issues faced of which we know there are many. The list is ongoing and challenging.

But we have an excellent team at NPA who need supporting via the Producer Group for our industry to continue to stay ahead of the game.

I am currently chairman of Producer Group and am on the NPA Board and if voted in would represent all producers from a strong practical background and give all the help I can to Zoe and the team.


OwersDAVID OWERS
Midlands

I manage a 700-sow unit in Lincolnshire and have been involved in pig production all my working live. I can fully understand why many producers are reluctant to put their heads above the parapet in our industry and am not putting myself forward as a candidate because I am on any kind of an ego trip.

The small team we have working for us at NPA do a fantastic job in promoting and protecting our interests. They are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and punch well above their weight.

They deserve and need a strong Producer Group to back them and, when needed, challenge them. Anyone who knows me knows I am passionate and proud of our great industry and I hope you will give me the opportunity to represent you on the Producer Group.


MutimerROB MUTIMER
East

I farm with my wife Helen in North Norfolk. We have 700 outdoor sows and finish the progeny in straw-based sheds on five farms locally. We also run Swannington Farm to Fork, a wholesale and retail butchery business.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first term on Producer Group. It has been a challenging period for the NPA team dominated by Brexit and challenges from animal rights groups. I feel I have learned a great deal in my first term and this knowledge and experience will help in supporting the NPA team during a critical period towards the end of the Brexit negotiations, if I am lucky enough to be re-elected.

I also became a board member of AHDB Pork in April 2017 and hope this will help forge closer links between NPA and AHDB Pork. It is essential for the long-term success of the pig industry that these two organisations look after the ever-changing political and commercial demands put on the industry.

I passionately believe the NPA team has done an excellent job in looking after its members' interests since its formation and I would very much like to continue working on Producer Group, trying to ensure Brexit is a success for pig producers and the allied industries alike, whilst also ensuring the industry is protected from further regulatory burdens and animal rights groups.


Sophie HopeSOPHIE HOPE
South-west

I always marvel at the diversity and breadth of what NPA achieves. NPA is critical to safeguarding the future of our industry and I believe it is important for the next generation to step up to the plate to help drive the sector forwards, so guaranteeing we have a successful and sustainable industry indefinitely.

My family run a mixed farming business in Gloucestershire with a 380-sow farrow-to-finish unit, 81,000 broiler breeders and a few subsidiary enterprises. In the past I have had experience with both large integrators and small independent farms, outdoor and indoor, and supply chains from processor to retailer.

This will be my second term on the Producer Group should I be successful. I believe these experiences give me a well-rounded view of producers' needs, which is what the industry needs to deliver a strong and cohesive voice when fighting our cause.


FreemantleANDREW FREEMANTLE
South-west

I have farmed near Exeter for 25 years with a straw-based 350-sow unit and slatted finishing unit, selling pigs to Tulip via Thames Valley Cambac and local butchers, and around 35 a week are marketed as Kenniford Farm pigs which we process through our own farm butchery, which has given me a good insight into further processing and dealing with customers.

For NPA Producer Group to represent all the British pig industry properly, it needs to have a range of elected members from all types of farm businesses.

I like to think independent farmers like myself do that. My pig business is responsible for twenty five people's wages plus my family's income, so you can be sure I will be doing my best to keep it profitable and free of needless intervention.


GodfreySAM GODFREY
Midlands

I am a Lincolnshire producer. I have worked in my family farm for ten years, operating indoor units, from farrow to finishing, and manufacturing feed for ourselves and others.

It is important that the pig industry has a strong independent voice. For the last eight years I have been on Producer Group arguing for the industry.

If elected on to Producer Group I hope to ensure:

  • That producers' voices are heard by Government, to try to reduce burdensome regulation such as planning permission, IPPC and NVZs,

  • That our voices are given appropriate weight compared to pressure groups that are not involved in pig farming,

  • That NPA holds AHDB to account by interrogating on whether producers' levy money is spent wisely — such as arguing for a strong abattoir health scoring scheme.

  • I will be accessible to any member who wants an issue raised with the NPA.

StoneCOLIN STONE
East

I'm Breeding Farms Manager for Wayland Farms Ltd, responsible for both indoor and outdoor production. Wayland Farms is a division of Cranswick Plc, including Wold Farms based in Yorkshire, and finisher partners contracted nationwide.

  • During my first three years on Producer Group I have attended Real Welfare steering group meetings. We should ask whether the outcome has been effective, and whether it's delivered what was expected.

  • I'm able to provide practical experience and advice when dealing with farm incursions and animal activists.

  • I regularly attend regional pig discussion groups, communicate with producers and speak up on your issues.

  • I am one of two producers on the Red Tractor Pig Sector Board. I have provided clear guidance and views on the recent Red Tractor standards consultation. I have fought hard to retain the ability to ear-notch and to not over-regulate water quality when testing.

  • I'm a keen supporter and proactive member of East Anglia producers' PRRS eradication programme. Given the health benefits delivered, we should consider collaborating nationally.

  • Having worked for BPEX in the past I still question the value of AHDB to pig levy-payers. I will happily challenge AHDB to deliver what is required for the pig industry.

I am passionate to see the industry succeed in the future and not be over-regulated. If re-elected I would serve the NPA to the best of my ability.


GuiseSIMON GUISE
East

I work for Rattlerow Farms Ltd, managing farms and an AI stud, as well as involvement with breeding stock sales. During the 30 years I have been involved in the industry, NPA has developed into one of the strongest, most effective lobbying organisations in United Kingdom agriculture, and is recognised as such by Government and other agencies.

The association has been invaluable to producers during times of change and crisis, but it is the day-to-day challenges that demand the most input — animal rights incursions, food scares, misinformed anti-farming lobbyists, to name a few. All this is achieved by the small, but perfectly-formed, executive team lead by Zoe Davis, supported by Producer Group.

The United Kingdom industry is fortunate to have such an excellent team working on these issues, and I am very keen to continue to support them in their work. Added to these challenges, it is vital NPA works closely with AHDB, Defra and other organisations to ensure the best possible Brexit deal is done for the pig industry.

I have really enjoyed my first term on Producer Group and if elected, I am keen to ensure NPA members continue to receive excellent representation, also ensuring value for the AHDB levy, and involvement in Westminster decision-making are at the heart of this representation.

I will continue to do my best to ensure that communication between Producer Group and members is a two-way process and that the regional meetings are well attended and a valuable use of producers' time.


SallySALLY STOCKINGS
South-central

As the owner of the Fawley Farms and Stockcroft businesses, I have a great vested interest in the pig industry from farrow to finish and beyond. I also work with independent farmers who finish anything from 300 to 6,000 pigs on farm sites in the south of England, the west country and Wales.

I still enjoy working with the Berkshire College, Harper Adams and Cannington College, and have a student from France doing her industrial placement with us this year. I am passionate about trying to attract young people into the industry.

I could talk about many issues, by now, you may have read ten manifestos, so I will be brief! 2018 to 2021 is going to be a very important period for farming in the United Kingdom. I really have tried not to use the "B" word but it cannot be ignored. Brexit is going to throw up many questions, and hopefully answers. It will impose an extra workload on all of us in the farming industry.

Whatever the outcome, we are lucky to have the NPA, which lobbies Government tirelessly on our behalf. We are so fortunate to have excellent people running the NPA. Their political and environmental knowledge is exemplary. However, there are times when we must stand up as the farmers and give them our backing. Happily, I am in the situation where three sons are champing at the bit to look after the business and this gives me enough time to support Zoe and her team. I would like to be given the opportunity to do so.


Robin BrightROBIN BRIGHT
South-west

I farm at Honiton in Devon and have been in pigs for over 40 years, starting with outdoor sows. Today we run a two-site wean-to-finish unit, with the primary objective of the most cost efficient production, finishing 14,000 pigs a year, all wet fed and controlled environment.

There is no doubt there are plenty of challenges going forward, whether it be Brexit, antibiotics, welfare, environment, or gaining market share. We are very fortunate to have the NPA executive team fighting our corner and I believe it is the Producer Group's role to give them every support. It is imperative every pig farmer is aware of the work done by NPA and the exceptional value for money offered to all.

We have enjoyed a run of good prices and I see no reason why this shouldn't continue, if we were to marginally increase sales. But it won't just happen. We are going to have to spend our money to advertise. If we were to contribute 1p per kilo for the next year, that would generate £8 million on top of what is already spent. I would far rather be looking to that, than the falling market we are looking into at present.

If elected I will do my utmost to serve fellow producers and to achieve the best outcome in all aspects of the industry.


MorganVICKY MORGAN
North

Last-minute.com as usual but here in the nick of time! Some would say disorganised, I would say giving this whole process the full amount of consideration it deserves before putting pen to paper!

I am one of the 'Morgan sisters' and part of the family team running 1,700 indoor breeding sows in East Yorkshire and 1,500 outdoor sows in North Yorkshire. All of our progeny is weaned off site, mainly into third-party straw yard accommodation.

I am passionate about high-welfare systems of production and feel with experience in freedom farrowing, indoor and outdoor production, straw yard finishing and now some slatted finishing accommodation, I can see the positives and negatives of all.

I also fully understand that we need to produce a product that is demanded and having worked closely with retailers. It is essential that we educate the public to understand the great job we all do and value the products we produce. I think I could put up a good argument for all good systems of production done properly and help represent the whole industry!

NPA is a fantastic organisation doing an amazing job and I am always proud to say I am associated with it. Please vote for me!


HartSTEVE HART
East

I'm a first generation farmer who owes everything to the humble pig. The farm now includes 1,100 hectares of arable and 44, predominately outdoor, pig units. We employ more than 120 people and the everyday issues we all face affect their lives as well!

I feel through the experience I have gained over the last 40 years, I may be me able to make a difference.

Crystal-ball gazers claim pigs and poultry are better placed than the rest of agriculture, post Brexit, largely through currency and never having been reliant on subsidies. I think it is the hardship this has brought over the years that has made us resilient and better able to cope!

Whilst our business is fortunate to have the scale to deal with most everyday issues, it is through collaboration and co-operation that we are strongest. This mantra is the bedrock of everything we do. With this in mind I must pay tribute to the excellent work the NPA team does on our behalf and it would be an honour to serve the industry through this office.



ELECTION TIMETABLE
January 22, 2018: On-line voting opens
Early February 2018: Candidates published in Pig World
February 5, 2018: Postal ballot for members who have not already voted on-line
February 23, 2018: Polls close
March 2018: Results published on-line and in Pig World

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