UK - The National Pig Association has awarded its first Lifetime Fellowship, in recognition of exceptional service to the British pig industry.
The association’s Board and Producer Group have unanimously voted to bestow the Fellowship on North Lincolnshire producer John Godfrey CBE, who together with the late Sir Ben Gill, was responsible for bringing together the NFU pig committee and the commercial arm of the British Pig Association to form the National Pig Association in 1999.
“Pig producers had been calling for a single voice for the country’s commercial pig sector for many years but it took two exceptionally talented men, both respected and trusted by farmers, to overcome the obstacles and make it happen,” said North Yorkshire producer Richard Lister, chairman of NPA.
East Yorkshire producer Phil Stephenson, chairman of NPA Producer Group, said, “I am delighted we are recognising John Godfrey in this way. NPA has proved itself to be an exceptional trade association which consistently punches above its weight — and without John’s wisdom and foresight, none of it would have happened.”
Hugh Crabtree, chairman of NPA Allied Industry Group, said, “I was involved alongside John at the foundation of the NPA and his clear vision was to retain and develop the allied industry members of the BPA which I was chairing at the time. He knew it was vital to have an organisation that represented the whole sector. That's what makes us different and more relevant, and provides producers with specialist knowledge across many disciplines. Wise man that John Godfrey!”
Dr Zoe Davies, chief executive of NPA, said, “John Godfrey is a giant figure in the British pig industry and has been a great support to me personally over the years. Many of us rely on him for his knowledge of pig production economics and his wisdom in helping us plot a way forward in a cyclical and sometimes volatile sector that doesn’t benefit from a subsidised safety net.”
The National Pig Association is the representative trade association for British commercial pig producers. It is allied to the NFU and represents the pig interests of NFU members. John Godfrey was its first chairman and the family link remains today with his nephew Sam Godfrey being recently elected as vice-chairman of NPA Producer Group, which drives association policy-making.
John Godfrey, who was awarded the CBE in 1998 for services to the British pig industry, is a former chairman of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
He was High Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 2010-11. He is a former president of Lincolnshire Agricultural Society and is its current treasurer. He is a former chairman of the board of governors of Lincoln University and was awarded a doctorate by the university in 2009. He is the founding chairman of Assured British Pigs, which is now part of Assured Food Standards.
John Godfrey is a director of R. J. and A. E. Godfrey, which has farming enterprises extending from Holbeach in the south of Lincolnshire, to Brigg in the north, and produces potatoes, peas, wheat, sugar beet and oilseed rape. He is also a director of Elsham Linc Ltd, which has its own feed mill near Elsham and is a large-scale pig producer.
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