Richard Mellor, a BQP pig farmer, has been awarded “Pig Farmer of the Year 2021” during the Farmers Weekly Awards, which recognizes hard-working and innovative farmers across the U.K.
BQP, a Pilgrim’s UK subsidiary and the UK’s leading pig farming operation, represented two out of three finalists, also including Ryan Dyer of Hall Farm, Norfolk. Pig Farmer of the Year is a highly competitive category, requiring pig producers to meet top standards, such as high levels of output, top technical performance, commitment to staff management and a drive to improve production and welfare.
“We are all very happy for Richard, who adds an extra award to his growing list of achievements. To have a BQP farmer recognized as ‘Pig Farmer of the Year’ proves how well the model is working and what can be achieved by this unique partnership,” said Andrew Saunders, Pilgrim’s UK Agriculture Director.
Since taking on the 346-acre county council Grange Farm seven years ago, Mellor has made great strides to improve production and make the business as self-sufficient as possible. The farm houses a 990-sow outdoor breeding unit on a two-week batch production system, with weaned piglets transferred at five weeks old into the BQP Pilgrim’s supply chain.
“I am thrilled that Richard has won. His attitude and willingness are why we see him as the benchmark of success within the BQP family,” said Simon Barber, BQP Breeding Farms Fields Person. “He is always eager to try new ideas and has amazing attention to detail. But even better is his willingness to share best practice and open his farm to visitors so they can see and understand his success – the very reason he is consistently one of BQPs highest performing farms over the past four years.”
“I also want to congratulate Ryan as a finalist thank the BQP team who work closely with our farmers like Richard and many more. Thanks to this award and others, we can shine a light on our BQP partnership,” Saunders added. “These awards are also a way of encouraging others, who are thinking of joining the BQP family, to see what can be achieved through our support and guidance.”