The Government has made £90 million available for UK centres for innovation as part of its strategy to make UK farming more competitive, productive, resilient and sustainable. The British Pig & Poultry Fair will be discussing if pigs and poultry want their share for a monogastric centre of innovation, and if so, we must act quickly or miss out.
The UK pig and poultry sectors can be proud of the role they have played in leading many industry developments over the years, however without securing future funding they run a real risk of falling behind other countries in terms of new innovations and developments.
“To allow the pig and poultry sectors to be at the forefront of the UK agricultural industry in terms of technological advancements, a centre of excellence, for the monogastric sector is essential,” says Angela Booth of ABN. “We need the whole industry, from producers right through to commercial companies, to come together and show enthusiasm for such a dedicated resource to be able to secure a portion of the £90 million fund.”
“We have some of the very best genetics in the world, but without new innovations for production we are going to struggle to compete in the global market,” warns David Gardner of RASE. “Where in the past we may have seen numerous key research people, across several research centres, we now only have a hand full at most, due to a real lack of funding.”
In the past, the success of this research has led to major industry developments such as the work into egg shell quality conducted by Professor Sally Solomon who headed up the Poultry Research Unit at Glasgow, and also the research by Dr. Cole at Nottingham University, who pioneered the concept of the ‘ideal protein’ that is now universally applied in pig nutrition.
“The UK agricultural industry as a whole is extremely diverse and there will be high demand for funding from the £90 million on offer,” says Angela. “ABN and RASE are extremely passionate that the pig and poultry sectors come together at the Fair and act now to secure their share, and gain investment for facilities and more importantly, people for the future.”
“It is vital that producers are involved in shaping the priorities for a centre of innovation within the sector and there is no better place to have the discussion than at the Pig & Poultry Fair,” adds David Gardner of the RASE. “We would like to invite anyone interested in getting involved in the discussion to come along and join us at 3.30pm on Tuesday 13 May.”
Leading the discussion will be Martin Douglas OBE, Managing Director of Cargill Provimi, a member of the Leadership Council, along with Paul Toplis, Technical Director of Primary Diets. Martin and Paul will be taking questions on how to set up such a centre and what it could do for British producers.