Mark Jagger, BQP Assistant Grower Farms Manager, and five Pilgrims Outdoor bred supply chain farmers have bene shortlisted across three categories in this year’s RSPCA Pig Awards.

The RSPCA Assured awards are designed to recognise and reward pig farmers. The honours focus on excellence in higher farm animal welfare. Rewarding those going above and beyond the standards and expectations to help improve animal welfare, excellence in the education of farm animal welfare and being proactive in educating others about higher welfare.

The shortlist includes:

Outstanding Contribution to Pig Welfare
Mark Jagger – BQP
Kirsty Rose – Stockcroft Co-op/ODB supply chain

Excellence in Higher Farm Pig Welfare
Hristo Petkov – Mutimer Waitrose /ODB supply chain
Ben Thompsett – Waitrose / ODB supply chain
Cameron Naughton – ODB supply chain

Excellence in Pig Sustainability and Higher Farm Welfare
Cameron Naughton – ODB supply chain

Mark Jagger, who has been working with BQP farmers for over 26 years, explained: “To be nominated in three different categories and to have more than one nomination across two of those categories just proves how valued our pig welfare is and our growing reputation. I have spent a large chunk of my working life to assure Pig Welfare is at the top of our agenda and I am extremely proud that the RSPCA has recognised that. However, this has and will always be a team effort which requires a strong bond between us and our farming partners – working together to become the best and most respected in our sector.”

Forty-three nominations were made by RSPCA Assured assessors, who carry out member assessments and monitoring visits respectively, to ensure standards are met.

Howard Revell, Pig Production Director, added: “I want to congratulate all five of our associate farmers on being shortlisted and have high hopes for them to walk away with a gong or two – and of course Mark for his nomination. Mark is well respected and well known across the industry and those that know him know his passion for pig welfare is second to none. I would like to personally congratulate him and will have my fingers crossed for him as well as Kirsty Rose.

“The BQP model means farmers not only get our expert advice but also our guidance and support to assure they meet the high welfare standards we expect from everyone across the business. These standards are the result of years of hard work and dedication – work which is constantly reviewed and checked. I will be holding our breath on 20 September and look forward to hearing the results.”

The winners will be decided by an independent panel made up of David Main, professor of animal health at the Royal Agriculture University at Cirencester, Dr Zoe Davies, chief executive of the National Pig Association, and Andrew Joret, chair of BEIC and the Lion Technical Committee.

The winners of this year’s awards will now be announced during the week commencing 20 September. To learn more about the awards, visit their website.