Pig industry mourns the loss of respected figure
Published:  02 December, 2015

John A C Godfrey CBE, a popular figure within the pig industry, passed in the early hours of Tuesday morning.  

Born into a North Lincolnshire farming family, Godfrey qualified as a chartered accountant in 1971 before returning to work on the family farming business.

Alongside his brother Jim and two nephews, he managed an arable and pig enterprise in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire .

During his prestigious career he chaired the British Pig Association, which saw him negotiate the merging of the association’s commercial pig industry representation with the National Farmers’ Union pig industry representation. Out of this collaboration merged the National Pig Association in 2000, of which he was the first chairman.

Other activities undertaken by Godfrey during his career included being the first chairman of the country’s first integrated farm assurance scheme, FABpigs – now known as Assured British Pigs. The organisation covers not only on-farm production, but also feed, transport and processing.

In 2002, he was appointed to the board of the University of Lincoln and was chair for five years, having in the past been on the board of Lincolnshire Agricultural College at Riseholme and received an honorary doctorate at University of Lincoln in March 2009.

Alongside these recognitions, Godfrey was a fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies, president of Scunthorpe United Football, a freeman of the City of London, a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers and a trustee of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society.

He was also the recipient of the pig industry’s David Black award in 1997 and received his CBE in 1998 for services to agriculture.

Between May 2011 and March 2014, he served as chair of the agricultural levy board, AHDB.

Current chairman Peter Kendall expressed his grievances at the loss from the industry: “This is very sad news. John was a passionate leading light in the UK pig industry for many decades and was the driver for whole chain assurance for British pork, helping to differentiate it from imported product and add value.

“His last major industry role was as chairman of AHDB, where he oversaw the levy board’s early development.”