25 October 2000
Pig chief warns that NPA may fold
By Alistair Driver
THE outgoing head of the National Pig Association has warned that the organisation will be forced to close if it does not attract more members.
The association is short of money and has been forced to cut down on meetings, reduce its number of publications and review staff levels.
Chief executive Mike Sheldon, who announced his resignation last month and leaves in December, said the NPA has not attracted enough new members.
The group, which was formed last year, has 1300 producer members from a pool of around 3000 pig farmers.
But most of these gained automatic membership when the organisation was formed from the NFU and the British Pig Association, Mr Sheldon said.
“We can get by in the short term, but if we do not attract more members, we will not be able to continue. But I dont think it will come to this,” he said.
Mr Sheldon blames this on the crisis in the industry and the NPAs unpopular stance in failing to support the court case brought by pig farmers against MAFF.
“I dont blame pig farmers and understand their reasons. But they need to know we cannot continue to represent the industry if they dont join,” he said.
Voting to elect new members of the NPAs producer group closes on Friday (27 October). The results are due to be announced next Friday (03 November).