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Pig & Poultry Forums go online for 2021

This year the British Pig & Poultry Fair Forums will be going online, enabling producers to get all of the latest information and advice on Wednesday 12th May. With a top line up of 28 speakers across nine forums – from market outlooks to technical updates – there will be something for everyone.

The Pig and Poultry Forum will be held online due to ongoing Covid-19 measures. Image ©Tim Scrivener. 

Topping the bill at the free event will be the ever popular Outlook forums, enabling producers to hear from industry experts from across the supply chain. For poultry meat the panel will include Sophie Throup from Morrisons, David Neilson from Avara Foods and Jonty Hay, an independent producer. Each will outline what they see as the challenges and opportunities ahead, followed by a panel discussion.

Danny Johnson from ABN will be chairing the outlook, and believes that after a difficult year, there is room for cautious optimism. Discussions are likely to revolve around sustainability and changing welfare demands, predicts Mr Johnson. “We need to strike a balance in terms of setting targets and what the industry can realistically achieve.” New Red Tractor standards might include compulsory windows in poultry sheds and lower stocking rates, while retailers will likely be looking at net zero and replacements for soya in poultry diets.

Technical forums for poultry will also include success with the slower growing bird and on farm hatching for welfare and performance.

The Egg Outlook Forum will provide producers with an update from all parts of the supply chain. Chaired by the NFU’s Aimee Mahony the panel includes Tom Willings from Stonegate, Rebecca Tonks from St Ewe Eggs and Mark Williams from the British Egg Industry Council.

The looming colony cage ban by retailers will create significant disruption in the egg market – but there are also some longer-term trends ahead which producers will have to navigate. “Although the ban has been on the cards for the past five years, the industry still isn’t ready for it,” warns Tom Willings, supply chain director at Stonegate. “The sector also needs to be prepared for some other challenges coming down the track, including a potential ban on beak trimming, slaughter of day-old male chicks, and transport and slaughter of end-of-lay hens,” he adds.

In the technical forums for eggs, producers can hear from poultry vet Ian Lowery about the importance of water quality on laying hen performance. BFREPA will also be presenting the results of a recent project looking at what Net Zero means for free range producers, including practical tips on how to reduce your unit’s carbon footprint.

In the Pig Outlook, producers will get the heads up from the processor perspective from Andrew Saunders of Tulip, the retailer perspective from Sophie Throup at Morrisons and the producer point of view from NPA Chairman Rob Mutimer. AHDB’s Mike Sheldon will be chairing and he encourages all pig producers to make sure they don’t miss out: “The organisers have put together a great programme of really important subjects for anyone involved in the pork sector, and time spent taking part will certainly not be wasted.”

In the pig technical forums pig producers can hear from Dutch expert Chris Opschoor on how focusing on sow nutrition can help you optimise piglet survival and pre-weaning performance. Producers concerned about pig ammonia emission limits with the forthcoming changes to the Environmental Permitting Regulations, will not want to miss hearing Catchment Sensitive Farming’s Philippa Mansfield detail what producers will have to comply with.

The online forums are free to attend and open to everyone in pig, poultry and egg supply chains. To register go to: https://hopin.com/events/online-pig-poultry-forums – or to find out more visit www.pigandpoultry.org.uk/forums

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