AHDB Pork’s former head of technical, Andrew Knowles, has been named the recipient of the 2015 David Black Award.
He was presented with the accolade by environment secretary Elizabeth Truss at an industry breakfast at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday morning (November 4).
Mr Knowles left the AHDB for a European marketing role with ForFarmers earlier this year.
Andrew Knowles receives the 2015 David Black Award from Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss as AHDB Pork chairman Meryl Ward looks on
The judges citation read:
Andrew Knowles has spent his working life serving the pig industry. He started working at an early age on outdoor pig breeding units in Oxfordshire and, after university, worked for agricultural consultants Laurence Gould. Andrew joined BPEX in 2001, just before the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease and proved very quickly that he had an ability to help farmers.
He developed and expanded his career becoming head of technical at AHDB Pork, before moving to his current role of Head of Market Development at ForFarmers, an international animal Feed business based in The Netherlands.
Despite the challenges that the pig industry faced, Andrew has taken an innovative approach. He devised and developed a number of ground-breaking services for the industry including the Two Tonne Sow programme and the British Pig Health Scheme. He was also responsible for the introduction of the world-leading electronic Animal Movements Licensing System, where pig producers record online the movements of their pigs to and from farms, abattoirs and other locations.
Not only has this saved time and money for farmers, hauliers and processors, but the almost instantaneous access to movement data will enable the industry to manage disease outbreaks more effectively. This initiative is also acting as the platform on which other innovative services are being developed.
Andrew has proved himself to be the right man for a difficult job during a troubled period for pig producers, and the industry became a better place as a result. His passion, insight, determination and unswerving customer focus has made a significant contribution to the British pig industry.