Longthorp, a pig producer from the East Riding of Yorkshire, is the chairman of the Pig Industry Training Strategy Implementation Group, the AgriSkills Strategy Group, and a Bpex board member. He was previously a chairman of the NPA and a member of the NPA Producers Group. A former David Black Award winner, was awarded an OBE for services to the farming industry in January 2011.
Houston, who as been chairman of the organisation for nine years, remains on the main board as well as the NPA Producer Group. However he did not seek re-election in deference to concerns voiced by the NFU about his dual role as chairman of both the NPA and Bpex. He is a member of COPA COGECA EU committee of agricultural trade associations and a non-executive director of the SAC (Scottish Agricultural Colleges). In November he was appointed as the first non-executive directors of the new Animal Health and Welfare Board for England.
Longthorp paid tribute to the exceptional contribution Houston has made to the pig industry, which Houston said had “mostly” been a pleasure, adding that his task now was to introduce the new chairman to key contacts at Defra and other organisations and for the Board to continue with its succession planning.
Zoe Davies, general manager of the NPA said: “We are absolutely delighted that Richard has become the new NPA chairman. He has long been a great supporter of the association, including having already held the position of Chairman once before. We are very lucky that someone with such experience is able to take over the helm from Stewart and we are really looking forward to working with him.”
Longthorp and East Yorkshire producer Phil Stephenson joined the board, replacing John Rowbottom and Charlie Allen, while Peter Rollings was re-elected as vice-chairman. Marcus Bates, Meurig Raymond (NFU deputy president) and BQP production manager Howard Revell were also re-elected to the board by the NPA Producer Group.
Revell was re-elected as chairman of the NPA Producer Group for a second term, with Stephenson becoming vice-chairman. Other new members included Sally Stockings, Andrew Freemantle and Richard Longthorp, while James Hart, Chris Fogden and Martin Barker retired from the board.
Richard Longthorp said: “We need an element of continuity but we also need new people coming onto the Producer Group, and that is what has been achieved in this election.”