Pig sector leader awarded OBE in King's Honours List

Dr Zoe Leach was seen as an influential figure across the pig sector and beyond (Photo: NPA)
Dr Zoe Leach was seen as an influential figure across the pig sector and beyond (Photo: NPA)

The former chief executive of the National Pig Association (NPA) has been awarded an OBE in the first King’s Honours list.

Dr Zoe Leach, better known to many in the pig industry by her maiden name of Davies, was granted the honour in recognition of her services to the industry.

Initially joining the group in 2008, she became its first chief executive in 2014, a role she held until she joined the NFU as its Eastern regional director last summer.

During her time at the NPA, she was seen as an influential figure across the pig sector and beyond.

She lobbied government on behalf of farmers for fairer regulations, making producers’ case throughout the supply chain.

Dr Leach said the award was 'a massive honour': "This really reflects on the fantastic work of the NPA over all my years there and well before that.

“Although this OBE is being awarded to me, I couldn’t have achieved anything without the amazing team at the NPA.

“The pig industry is unique – it’s full of wonderful people who have faced and come through some tough challenges over the years.

"I have just tried to do my best to support them”

The NPA's current chief executive, Lizzie Wilson, she Dr Leach had given "blood, sweat and tears" for the industry over the last few years.

“Not only has she won countless battles on behalf of the industry at government and supply chain level, but she has formed a unique bond with members, often going above and beyond in supporting them on an individual level."

Prior to joining NPA, Dr Leach worked in Defra as a senior scientific officer for five years, having come from BQP where she ran a pig farm in Suffolk for three years.

Between 1995 and 1998 she completed a PhD in pig welfare at the University of Reading, studying the welfare implications of outdoor pig breeding systems.

She won the 2020 Chris Brant Award (CBA) in recognition of her ‘massive contribution’ to the British pig industry and the prestigious David Black Award in 2022.

NPA chairman Rob Mutimer said of the OBE: "She really has battled so hard for the pig sector, never more so than during the recent crisis, when she showed tremendous leadership.

“As a producer, I can safely say the industry is in a much better position to continue producing great British pork than it would have been without Zoe. This honour is just reward for that."