Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
Farmers face 15% increase in pig subscriptions ‘We will continue to deliver outstanding value for money’

The National Pig Association says it will continue to deliver outstanding value after announcing an increase in annual subscription rates.

The NPA board agreed to a 15% increase in subs for 2024 with the fee increasing by annual inflation in subsequent years. Subscriptions are based on breeding and finishing pig numbers, with NFU members receiving a 50% discount.

Rising costs and the loss of members are being the increase. But NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson said the association would continue to deliver tremendous value for money to members as its tight-knit team grappled with the big issues of the day.

In another significant change, agisters and contracted pig finishers will have to become NPA members in their own right from 2025 if the owner of the pigs they manage is also a member. Primary producers will need to register their contracted sites for a nominal fee per site.

Tough time

“This will enable us to have direct contact with the primary producer, which will really help when it comes to integrating membership data and getting a better picture of just who we represent,” said Ms Wilson.

Crisis within the pig sector over the past two years has seen many producers leave the industry. Ms Wilson said: “We know there’s never a right time to increase subs and that our members have just been through an incredibly tough period financially.

“But we haven’t raised our fees for a very long time and, over the past year, we have lost a significant amount of subscription income due to producers exiting the sector and sows being absorbed elsewhere, where we don’t recuperate the same fee.

With a General Election due before January 2025, the next 18 months are seen as a crucial lobbying time for the pig sector. Ms Wilson added: “We need to increase our subscriptions in order to maintain the same service to members.

“There is going to be a lot more coming down the line, especially as the political parties gear up for the next General Election. I can give my absolute assurance to members that the team will step up and continue to deliver outstanding value.”

NPA chairman and Norfolk farmer Rob Mutimer said the board had increased subscriptions because  inflation had pushed up costs. At the same time, the decline in the sow herd meant the association had lost lots of members.

“We try to run the association as fleet-footedly as possible, but there comes a time where we have to invest or the association won’t be able to do the work we do,” said Mr Mutimer.

“There are more challenges coming down the road from all government departments on top of the really important work we are doing on the contractual practice review, and we need the resource in place to deal with it.”