11 May 2001
Ex-Whitehall man to head pig push

By FWi staff

A FORMER civil servant has been given the difficult task of spearheading the revival of the pig industry.

The National Pig Association has appointed former Cabinet Office official Stuart Royston as its new chief executive.

He was finally appointed on Thursday (10 May) after a long search by the association.

Its previous chief executive, Mike Sheldon, left at the end of last year.

Mr Royston, who lives in Hampshire, will take up the post on 11 June.

He faces a massive task helping to revitalise an industry on its knees after a series of crises.

This years foot-and-mouth epidemic followed hot on the heels of a swine-fever outbreak that devastated East Anglias pig farms last year.

That followed two years of cripplingly low prices that hit everyone involved in the industry with heavy losses.

One of Mr Roystons first tasks will be to boost the membership of the NPA, which has struggled to attract new blood since its formation in 1999.

It needs new subscription funds from non-NFU members to reduce its financial dependence on the union.

Mr Royston has acknowledged that a healthy NPA is vital to restore the health of the pig industry.

“The NPA is a much needed voice for the UK pig industry, representing both producers and allied industries,” he told the NPA website.

“I am looking forward to working for the association and helping to further the aims and ambitions of its members, especially after the industry has suffered so much in the first few months of this year.”

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