Let’s show them how good we are, rather than worry about how bad they are

In the latest issue of Pig World, Flavian Obiero, a 30-year-old pig farmer from Kenya, now based in Upton Grey, Hampshire, and a Young NPA member, wrote about why the pig industry needs to do more to promote what it does to consumers.

The past couple of years have been eventful to say the least; Ag bill, Brexit, Covid, Defra, ELMs, feed prices…the list goes on! And yet we’ve still been expected to produce pigs on farm like normal. As if none of these things affected us.

One thing this depicts quite clearly is our resilience. Now I know resilience doesn’t pay the bills, but it certainly helps us keep our heads above water. With all our energy being expended in many other issues as well as farming, we need to be more astute about how we carry on into 2022 and beyond.

Firstly, let’s show the consumers why they should be supporting us by buying and biting into British pork. It is all well and good us having banners and slogans that support us.

But why should Mr Omondi pick a pack of pork off the shelf with a British flag instead of an imported product? Our low antibiotic usage, varied product choice, high welfare standards are a few of our unique selling points.

A vast majority of consumers have no clue about these, so it is our duty to tell our story. I can assure you, no one else will. We’ve not had many rush to our aid during the current pig crisis.

However we choose to tell our story, let’s make sure we’re doing it as the norm instead of when our backs are against the wall. Let’s utilise social media, which seems to be getting close to oxygen on the ‘things needed for humans to survive’ list.

Flavian ObieroConsumers seem to be making their decisions on what they’ve seen online more often these days. So why can we not tap into this and do our industry the justice it deserves?

Secondly, there’s always strength in numbers. We need to somehow learn to work together all the time, not just when things are going pear shaped.

Whether you’re small or large scale, commercial or rare breed, independent or integrator, we all have one thing in common…we all go home smelling the same!

During tough times such as these and what’s to come, let’s help each other out (this includes transparency throughout the supply chain). There’s no point of talking about mental health awareness when we’re pretending not to be aware of what affects our mental health in the first place.

And finally, can we please stay in our lane and stop focusing on those overtaking or undertaking? Whatever a fellow Homo sapiens deems fit to eat, leave them be!

If it hurts them that you eat what you eat, then that’s their problem quite frankly. The constant referencing and comparisons of certain dietary choices is getting tedious. We’ve got plenty on our plates as it is – let’s not waste our energy on issues that aren’t going to change our situation.

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