LIPs begins search for new leader to take it in a new direction

Ladies in Pigs (LIPs) is on the look out for a new chairperson to take it in a new direction after Sue Woodall announced she was stepping down following 10 years in the role.

LIPs was founded in 1991 by a group of women who came together to promote the British pig industry. Twenty-six years later, it is still going strong, with around 250 members nationwide, sponsored mainly by AHDB Pork and allied industry companies.

But Sue (pictured above, flanked by Judy Simpson and Jill Piercy) its chairwoman since 2007, Sue Woodall, has now decided ‘the time is right to step aside and let someone else take over’.

But she fears LIPs could be ‘facing a crisis’ unless it can find the right person to move it forward in the world of social media and the dominance of the internet.

“We need someone who has a different skills set to mine and can take the organisation in a different direction,” Sue said.

LIPs’ aims to provide innovative ideas about cooking pork to consumers and educate them about the merits of Red Tractor pork. The ladies currently attend more than 60 events throughout the year from Devon to Northumberland, with the help of their fully-branded mobile kitchen, ‘Rosie’, and have also extended their promotional campaigns to schools and colleges.

Different ideas

Sue said: “Up to now we’ve found this is a great way to promote pork products directly to customers, but maybe the new chair might have different ideas.

“We need a very special person to take the role. If we could find someone who enjoyed vlogging or who would upload cooking videos onto the internet, that could be a new innovative way for us to reach out to potential customers.”

“I still want to volunteer with LIPs and will help the new chair settle in in any way I can.”

The varied role ‘can be challenging but is hugely rewarding’, Sue added. It includes admin, coordinating staff for events, attending executive meetings twice a year and representing LIPS at other industry meetings, such as NPA Producer Group.

Sue said: “It is a very busy job but it is also completely flexible as long as the work gets done – you decide when you want to work so it would suit someone whose children had recently gone to senior school or left home, or even someone with younger children.

“No-one wants LIPS to disappear. We need people to come forward – not just a chairperson but we also need new members who are keen and enthusiastic about coming along to help us at events.”

“We need members who like to talk, who have pig industry knowledge and most importantly, who are passionate about promoting British Pork.”

As well playing a vital promotional role, working with LIPS is a lot of fun, she added.

“I’ve met James Martin, Rosemary Shrager and Adam Henson. I always say that at LIPs: “We work hard, but we play hard. We have such a great time both working in the kitchen and spending time as a team in the evenings when away.”

Great work

NPA chairman Richard Lister said: “LIPs continues to do great work in promoting British pork and I would like to pay tribute to Sue for the fantastic work she has done and the leadership she has shown over the past 10 years.

“It is important that LIPs continues to fulfil this important role and we urge anyone who thinks they have the drive and right set of skills to put themselves forward. The pig industry will be right behind you!”

The role

  • The paid, part-time, homebased chairperson’s position is currently being advertised and is expected to start from March 2018.
  • New members are also much needed. Memberships costs £10 a year with the opportunity to help at events and get paid, plus expenses and a meal allowance.
  • For more information about the position and job specification, or to join LIPS visit www.ladiesinpigs.co.uk

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.