Chief scientific adviser keynote speaker at pig industry summit

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PIG business leaders JSR Genetics have booked Sir John Beddington, the government’s chief scientific adviser, as keynote speaker for their 22nd technical conference.

The conference, entitled The Next Agricultural Revolution, will take place on Tuesday, September 13 at Nottingham University’s Sutton Bonnington Campus.

JSR chairman Tim Rymer said: “Having Sir John Beddington present his views on the future of the pig industry, and take questions, is a real honour. His opinions on the importance of genetic development, sustainable intensification and environmental responsibility, are pertinent to the future of all livestock producers. They will provide an excellent focus for the conference.”

Sir John Beddington commissioned the Foresight Report, the review of food security issues which warned that population growth and climate change could endanger food supplies in the future and said all possible technologies had to be recruited to avoid a crisis.

At the Nottingham conference, he will speak on The Future of Food and Farming: Challenges and Opportunities.

Magnus Westerkamp, managing director of German company Big Dutchman Pig Equipment, will ask ‘how consumer demand affects the development of pig equipment’ and Mick Hazzledine, pig nutritionist at Premier Nutrition, will talk about the challenges of feeding pigs in a changing market place.

Giving the producer’s view is Rob Mercer, owner of Packington Pork, a 3000-sow Staffordshire business that combines indoor, outdoor and free-range pigs, from breeding to finishing, and distributes to 120 butcher shops around England.

Grant Walling, managing director of JSR, will speak on the theme Revolutionising Global Pork Production.

Dr Walling said this week: “We are at a point where significant new technologies, with the potential to deliver the increased output we need to see in the pig industry, are not being used. We need to carefully scrutinise these technologies – whether they be breakthroughs in reproductive technology, cloning or GM – to make the next Herculean step forward.”

He said the conference would also be an opportunity to review JSR performance.

“Substantial worldwide growth has seen an increasing focus for JSR on the South American market and large scale projects in Russia and Eastern Europe as well as China and South East Asia. Our successes in Asia have been a particular highlight: notably the sale of nearly 800 animals to the Guangzhou Animal Husbandry Company of Bejing; a contract to establish a 900-sow nucleus herd in Hubei province; and a £1m contract with the China Animal Husbandry Group. Looking to the future, we are in advanced trials with an exciting new sire line which is showing very promising results, with the potential to be launched in 2012.”

His chairman, Mr Rymer, son of the founder of the Driffield-based JSR Farming Group, said: “I look forward to welcoming visitors to what will undoubtedly be one of our most stimulating conferences yet.”

The conference is registered by the Pig Industry Professional Register and attendance carries eight Continuing Professional Development points. For all enquiries call Natalie Cliff on 01377 227799.