Producers keen to make the best of their businesses and learn how to make their enterprises thrive still have time to sign up for fast track entry to the 2012 British Pig and Poultry Fair.
The free, two-day event atStoneleigh Park in Warwickshire on 15 and 16 May will offer a wealth of advice and information, making it an event producers won’t want to miss.
Organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of England and supported by Fair partner ABN, more than 300 exhibitors will be showcasing their latest products, services and developments all under one roof.
With an anticipated 9500 visitors, those attending the country’s biggest pig and poultry event will be treated to a packed timetable of forums and workshops to help them make their businesses more profitable.
Visitors will be able to be able to pick up tips on how to strengthen their existing markets through the launch of the Fair’s ‘Champion Pork and Poultry Initiative’.
Supported by Red Tractor, the NFU, BPEX and the NPA, the Initiative aims to boost sales of home-grown pork, poultry and eggs by encouraging producers to help tell consumers why they should choose British.
The Initiative suggests 10 ways to communicate with consumers about the high welfare, excellent quality produce British farmers have to offer. Whatever you feel comfortable with from school visits and media interviews to writing letters or displaying banners.
Backing the Initiative, NFU President Peter Kendall said it was important consumers knew what a great job British pig and poultry producers do.
“The best people to champion the industry and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding pig and poultry production are the farmers themselves,” he said.
“Educating and enthusing consumers so they make a conscious decision to choose British food and support its good production methods is vital if we are to ensure the pig and poultry sectors can grow to meet demand in the future.”
David Clarke, Red Tractor Assurance chief executive, added: “Red Tractor assured pork and poultry farmers are committed to good farming methods to ensure their livestock have healthy lives.
“This Initiative is a fantastic opportunity for farmers to help drive understanding amongst consumers about where their food comes from and the great job that Red Tractor assured farmers do to produce it.”
Somerset poultry farmer Nick Bragg, who hosts more than 1000 school children on his farm each year and is backing the Initiative, said a huge part of his job was championing British produce and helping people understand where food comes from.
“As well as helping show people how British poultry is produced, it gives me a real buzz to see people learning and enjoying my farm,” he added.
Producers can find out more about the Initiative by visiting stand 37 at the Fair or visiting the website for ideas and resources.
Other highlights of the Fair include a special look at the opportunities available to British producers through new markets, with the 2012 headline debate focusing on how pig, poultry and egg producers can benefit from supplying the food sector.
The second day will also see judging of the ABN Innovation Award, where finalists will present their ideas to tackle the challenges being faced by the pig and poultry supply chains.
Judges David Gardner, RASE chief executive, John Campbell of Glenrath Farms, Meryl Ward of Ermine Farms and Warden Farming Co and Paul Kelly of Kelly’s Turkeys will have the tough decision of picking which idea deserves the title and £1000 prize.
Mr Kelly said he was looking forward to seeing what the finalists had come up with - whether the ideas were around processing, labelling, transportation or any other part of the supply chain.
“The market is challenging so it’s important farmers innovate and look at production from start to finish, from breeding, butchering, product and recipe development to cooking instructions,” he said.
“Like consumers, innovation does not stand still. Like us with our Kelly Bronze turkeys, it is vital farmers continue to strive to make improvements.”