Optimism for the future of the British pig, poultry and egg sectors is strong among visitors and industry representatives at the 2012 British Pig and Poultry Fair.
Improving prices and fairer regulations across Europe mean more producers have greater confidence in their business than they have had in recent years. And while the industry still faces challenges in the face of rising input costs and uncertainty in exchange rates, the potential for greater innovation means producers and processors still have the opportunity to develop their enterprises.
“There is a real buzz amongst visitors and exhibitors and you get the sense people are positive about British production and investing in the long-term future of their businesses,” said RASE chief executive David Gardner.
Mr Gardner said visitors’ response to the launch of RASE’s ‘Champion Pork and Poultry Initiative’ at the two-day event at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire had shown people were also enthusiastic about showcasing the fantastic job Britain’s producers were doing.
“The Champion Pork and Poultry Initiative is about getting everyone in the industry to do a little bit to raise awareness about British produce,” he added. “More than a hundred producers have so far pledged to get involved – whether that’s putting up a banner on their farm, using social media to talk about what they’re doing, or hosting a school visit. If everyone does a little, together we can achieve a lot.”
The launch of the initiative was part of a packed programme of events and workshops open to the Fair’s more than 10,000 visitors. Other sessions included advice on renewable energy, managing market fluctuations, animal health and welfare.
Andrew Knowles, BPEX head of communications, said the event was an excellent opportunity to engage with a large number of producers.
“The BPEX stand has been very busy providing producers with a wide range of technical information and advice over the two days,” he said. Visitors also saw pig farmer’s son Jack Bosworth awarded the ABN Innovation Award for his idea to promote the pig industry via social media.
His enterprise, Hog in the Limelight, offers farmers a low-cost way to produce videos to tell consumers, retailers and customers about the high welfare systems Red Tractor farms employ.
Presenting Jack with his £1000 prize, Nigel Lee, business development manager of Fair partners ABN, said Hog the Limelight went to the heart of promoting the best of British production.
“The judges liked that not only were the videos aiming to counter negative publicity but also promoted farmers generally in terms of quality and the Red Tractor standard. “It’s exciting to see young people coming forward with lots of enthusiasm and ideas and we hope he will succeed.”
Simon Heath, ABN sales and marketing director, said the company was proud to encourage innovation within the pig and poultry sector. “The British Pig and Poultry Fair continues to be an important opportunity for the industry to discuss how we can promote British producers and products,” he added.
***The next British Pig and Poultry Fair will be 13 and 14 May 2014.