Pig industry recognises Philip Richardson

This year's David Black Award, which acknowledges those judged to have made a significant contribution to the British pig industry, has gone to farmer Philip Richardson.

The announcement was made yesterday (1st November) at an Awards breakfast at the House of Lords, where Mick Sloyan, BPEX chief executive, told an audience of peers and industry personalities that Philip, who was picked from a total of 14 nominated people, had demonstrated 'an unstinting commitment to British pig farmers over many years, often in areas that are complex and unfashionable yet vital to the future operation of the industry'.

Philip, who farms at Wymondham just south of Norwich believes it is vital to maintain good relations with Defra and, more importantly, its agencies. He also believes the supermarkets are not 'necessarily the ogres they have been painted and bring good as well as bad'.

Commenting Philip said: "I am not going to blame the supermarkets for everything, though they are a factor in making us as an industry think a about the market and improve quality. I think they do take a bit more margin than they should - it's a two-edged sword because they also make the industry think carefully about the market and the quality of the product."

Looking at the future Philip said that the fundamental issues facing the industry were the environment and climate change. "These are issues which will probably affect our children and there is no sense denying them. We must address them," he said.

"The way in which we address them will also be critical to our industry. Both government and its agencies must take a pragmatic view or we will lose out to our competitors."