Having urged its members to pay greater attention to succession planning, the NPA is putting its own house in order by promoting general manager Dr Zoe Davies to the post of chief executive.
The organisation’s chairman, Richard Longthorp, said that since Zoe Davies had joined NPA from Defra six years years ago, the NPA board had been increasingly impressed by her contribution to the betterment of the British pig industry, operating at a national and international level with a deft confidence based on her profound knowledge of pig production and pig industry politics.
In addition to being well deserved, the new appointment would take some pressure off future NPA chairmen, he said.
“In the past, the elected chairman of the NPA has tended also to take on the chief executive role, but this made it almost a full-time job, and that’s not sustainable in today’s highly competitive environment when pig producers need to devote the lion’s share of their energies to their own business,” Mr Longthorp added.
Dr Davies said it would be hard to find a more dedicated and passionate team to support British pig producers than the National Pig Association.
“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to guide it through future challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities,” she added. “Our focus is, and always will be, to provide excellent value for our members.”
Dr Davies was a senior scientific officer at Defra before joining NPA, and before that she was farm and trials manager at BQP. For her PhD, she studied welfare in outdoor sow systems at Cambac JMA Research.
She was a Nuffield Scholar in 2012 when her subject was Movers and shakers in global pig production – an investigation into ways that small lobbying organisations, such as the NPA, can match the performance of larger, much better-resourced organisations, such as Compassion in World Farming and the Soil Association.