What makes people buy one product over another? Why do we struggle to get consumers to buy British? Is GM really a no-go for your average shopper?

These are just some of the questions which will be tackled in the headline debate at this year’s Pig & Poultry Live event on 11 May at Stoneleigh Park. Chaired by the BBC’s Adam Henson and with an influential panel, the debate will explore consumer perceptions relating to two key industry issues, namely GM and Processed Animal Protein.

Following on from the previous work with shoppers at the Pig & Poultry Fair in May 2010, event organisers have carried out focus group work with consumers testing their attitudes to these two key issues. The result of this work – and filming from the sessions – will form part of this innovative debate.

“Understanding consumer perceptions, motivations and behaviour is crucial to creating an efficient and profitable poultry supply chain,” says Angela Booth from feed company and event partner ABN. “If consumers can be positively influenced to buy more British poultry product then the ‘pull through’ via retailers will have a significant impact on the major challenges our industry faces.”

But what consumers say and what makes them pick a particular product off the supermarket shelves can be two very different things.

“While the industry undoubtedly recognises the importance of influencing consumer buying decisions, the reality of the industry’s knowledge about how to do this is in its infancy,” continues Ms Booth. “We must be prepared to challenge our own perceptions and look outside agriculture – so we are delighted to be welcoming consumer behaviour consultant Philip Graves to Pig & Poultry Live.”

“Philip is one of the world’s leading experts on consumer behaviour and works with a wide range of clients, from multinational companies to small businesses. He is set to challenge our industry’s thinking by looking at what happens at the moment of purchase; how we can break consumers’ habits; what negative and positive associations mean and how we can influence how consumers think and behave when purchasing poultrymeat or egg products.”

The panel will be made up of key industry figures including NFU president Peter Kendall, JSR Farming Group chairman and chief executive Tim Rymer, Moy Park director of agriculture David Gibson and Waitrose consultant and food writer Rosemary Moon.

The headline debate will be followed in the afternoon by a comprehensive workshop programme that will cover technical pig, poultry and business issues. Delegates can tailor their day by choosing which sessions to attend when they book their places online at www.pigandpoultry.org.uk

The day will conclude with a final session to draw conclusions and set actions for producers and the wider industry.

“It is set to be a fascinating and informative day,” says Ms Booth. “Delegates will have the opportunity to get involved, posing questions to the panel and taking part in the audience vote. I urge producers to book their places now.”


Exhibitors’ space

Limited trade stand space is still available for companies wishing to engage with producers and others in the supply chain at Pig & Poultry Live 2011.

The stand package is designed to help raise your company profile and includes two delegate places, one for a member of staff and one for a key customer or client who can be invited to the event as your guest.

“Stands do not have to be manned all day. However, we do recommend your stand is manned during the busy refreshment and networking times,” says the RASE‘s Kate Rider.


• Pig & Poultry Live 2011 is a Royal Agricultural Society of England and ABN event, in association with Poultry World. It will be held on 11 May 2011 at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. For more details about the event, or to book your place, visit www.pigandpoultry.org.uk. Full details of the conference programme and timetable, and profiles of the speakers, will appear in the April issue of Poultry World.