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'Pig people's' pig man wins industry's top accolade

by 5m Editor
31 October 2007, at 10:58am

UK - Yorkshire pig farmer and tireless industry campaigner Richard Longthorp has been named this year's David Black Award winner.

Richard was presented with the UK pig industry's most prestigious accolade by food and farming minister Lord Rooker at ceremony at the House of Lords, this morning.

The award is much deserved - and for many reasons - the main one, being Richard's huge committment to the pig industry training strategy.
He has been the driving force and under his capable stewardship the industry has gained a new and highly effective training group in East Anglia, and greater awareness that if we want a bright future for the industry we must attract good young people, develop their skills, and give them worthwhile careers.

Richard Longthorp has won this year's David Black Award

Richard is particularly proud of the Pig Industry Professional Register, which recognises the professionalism involved in pig husbandry and encourages participants to continue developing their skills.

"We need retailers, instead of ‘investing in price cuts’ — their own wonderful euphemism — to invest in their supply chains. Some have made modest moves, but will these prove to be mere crumbs of comfort when we need cartloads of commitment to enable us to continue to deliver value, quality, provenance and sustainability to their customers," he said.

"We need government to be more concerned about food security and price volatility and less about short term modest food price inflation per se. This will mean paying somewhat more attention to the needs of primary producers during the latest competition inquiry."

Political Embarassment
Richard also used the awards ceremony to tell Lord Rooker, that ‘the ‘Pirbright Drain’ would be a source of some embarrassment to the government.

"Minister, you will never know just how severely industry confidence has been undermined at such a critical time by that lapse. Government should now invest some ‘moral’ capital into the industry to help restore confidence," he said.

Richard and his wife Diana farm 2,000 acres in East Yorkshire and run 1,300 sows in Nottinghamshire. Their son Jonathan manages the arable operation, while Richard keeps a particularly close eye on the pigs. In addition to farming, Richard is also involved in a property development business.

He is a founder member of Agskills and a former chairman of NPA. In 1998-99 he was a BPISG leader and he continues to believe that there are times when BPISG-type action is necessary in the drive towards achieving a sustainable supply chain.

To find out more about this year's award ceremony visit the www.NPA-uk

5m Editor