Your chance to have your say on research strategy

by 5m Editor
31 December 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Following on from its controversial research and development draft report last year, BPEX has issued a new discussion paper, which modifies some of the original proposals and invites producers to contribute their views.


National Pig Association

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

It makes clear that BPEX has decided it does not want to build and run a development centre itself.

It does still propose a large increase in research and development spending and it still envisages several new appointments in the shape of a research executive director who would lead a team of “high calibre market-focussed individuals“.

The new document “The Strategy for the Development of a Sustainable Pig Industry in Great Britain“ seeks to engage levy-payers in debate over the future of research and development in the British pig industry.

All producers are urged to download a copy (PDF) – it is only 18 pages and it very readable – and to make their views known to BPEX. Deadline for responses is January 31.

Key to BPEX’s vision for the future of research and development in Britain over the next five to 15 years would be the creation of an Industry Development Council, which would be made up of levy-payers, scientists, government representatives, and others.

Producers who respond to the BPEX discussion document will be able to offer their views on how the council should be made up. Should the members be elected or appointed? Should levy-payers – the only people who will be paying for research ‘out of their own pockets’ so to speak - have a controlling vote?

The new BPEX discussion paper proposes a research, development and communication budget of 366m over ten years, funded by levy-payers and government. It says the industry needs development work but BPEX doesn’t want to own a bricks and mortar site. It poses the question, could such work be done by research centres (universities etc) with trials on commercial farms?

Funding will be key to the debate on future research spending. An increase in spending of around 80 percent has been mentioned – equivalent to 83p a kilo. BPEX could find extra money by spending less in other areas, or it could raise the money by increasing the levy. What is your view? Those who don’t have their say now, can hardly complain about increased deductions later.

All views expressed will be considered by BPEX in March, with a view to a full consultation in spring.

If you would rather have a copy posted to you, email BPEX at [email protected] or fax BPEX at 01908 844289.

Source: Digby Scott - National Pig Association - 31st December 2004

5m Editor