Get ready for change at the British Pig & Poultry Fair

The British Pig & Poultry Fair is fast approaching and has brought together a top programme of speakers covering the hot topics of today.

The biennial leading event for the UK pig, poultry and egg sectors, and will be held on 15-16 May 2018 at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. Partnered by ABN the Fair is free to attend and guests can register and plan their visit via

“While nobody knows precisely what Brexit will bring, there are a number of key trends and changes which industry leaders are already using to benefit their own businesses,” said fair organiser Alice Bell. “By sharing those predictions, advice and ideas, our forum speakers can help visitors to the Fair to make their own adjustments and stay ahead of the game.”

Forum topics include market outlooks for eggs, poultry meat and pigs, measuring to improve performance, and how to reduce antibiotic use without compromising welfare and performance.

ABN is partnering the Fair once again, and will be running a forum on using data to boost performance. “We strongly believe that innovation and collaboration are key to the future of the British pig and poultry industry, and encourage everyone to attend,” said Danny Johnson, head of commercial at ABN.

Here are some of the key trends that will be covered in the forum programme. More details about the forums and speakers can be found at

Poultry meat outlook

Demand for British chicken – particularly fresh chicken – is strong and will continue to be so, according to Patrick Hook, director at PD Hook. However, there is a big push from EU NGOs for more chickens to be slow grown, which will challenge the supply chain, he said. “As an industry, instead of fighting these people we should have an offer for them to demonstrate responsible production.”

The Brexit backdrop provides a lot of uncertainty, he said. “Imported US chicken is a credible threat – we need to protect our supply base and sell the benefits of eating Red Tractor chicken.”

John Kirkpatrick, agricultural manager for poultry and eggs at Tesco, reckons the coming year is likely to see continued improvements in welfare standards, with increased use of data to measure the outcome. “We want to adopt sustainable practices that are really delivering positive outcomes.”

Egg outlook

Egg sales continue to increase, reaching 197 eggs/capita last year – and that trend looks set to remain, said Mark Williams, chief executive of the British Egg Industry Council. However, prices are likely to remain under pressure, so how can producers increase production while facing lower prices?

“There is a big drive to keeping hens in lay for longer, and keeping the shell quality up in later lay,” said Richard Pearson, head of agriculture at Chippindale Foods. “It’s about maximising every egg that comes off the farm.”

In the immediate term, producers with flat decks will have to comply with new perching regulations from this August, while in the longer-term, there is the cage-free drive to consider from 2025, said Pearson. “That will mean future investment in free range egg production.”

BPPF 2018 Forums – Advice and ideas to stay ahead

Forums take place in the main forum theatre at the same times on both days.


Time Title Description Speakers  
10:00 Egg outlook – helping you plan ahead Get the low down from industry experts on their predictions for the challenges and opportunities ahead for eggs. Mark Williams, BEIC

Richard Pearson, Chippindale Foods

Chair: Duncan Priestner, NFU Poultry Board

11:00 Pig outlook – preparing for the road ahead Hear from two industry specialists on the outlook for the pig sector and the challenges and opportunities you need to be ready for. Andrew Saunders , Tulip

Ed Barker, NPA

Chair – Alistair Driver, Pig World Editor

12:00 Poultry meat outlook – predictions for the year ahead What should you be planning for? Two industry experts share their outlooks for poultry meat for the year ahead. John Kirkpatrick, Tesco

Patrick Hook, PD Hook Hatcheries

Chair – Gary Ford, NFU Poultry Advisor

13:00 Measuring your poultry business to improve performance In this forum, we will talk about how to collect data that is most valuable to you and use it to your advantage. We will look at examples of good practice where improved performance, increased profitability and an enhanced operation have all come as a result of collecting and using the right data. John McCurdy, ABN

Ian Lowery, Crowshall Veterinary Services

14:00 End2End Traceability – Unlock the power of data for pigs




For the first time, farmers can follow every step that each pig takes from birth to slaughter, with health, growth and carcase data, plus DNA details to help them make production decisions and for end consumers to feel completely confident. Mick Sloyan, AHDB, Strategy Director – Pork Strategy (Tues)

Lauren Turner , Pork Processing Projects Manager Pork Health, AHDB (Weds)


15:00 Profiting from pigs without antibiotics Hear how to keep reducing antibiotic use while maintaining high pig health and performance. Joshua Onyango, Livestock Health Consultant, Innovation for Agriculture

Paul Thompson Garth Pig Practice




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