Day 1 Speakers, The International Outlook Conference (Tuesday 14th May)

Angela Christison, Sector Strategy Director for Pork, AHDB

Angela has experience in the dairy, beef and pork livestock sectors. She has lived and worked internationally and spent 17 years with Genus PLC. In 2002 she was appointed as their Global Business Development Director based in Wisconsin USA and was instrumental in the Genus purchase of the Pig Improvement Company in 2005.

After gaining her BSc Honours Degree in Agriculture in 1989 from Seale-Hayne Agricultural College she joined Genus as a Cattle Breeding Specialist based in Yorkshire, buying bulls for the stud and supporting farmers to get the most from their dairy and beef enterprises.

She lead a series of globally dispersed teams including those responsible for production, sales, marketing, purchasing and R&D.

Following her career with Genus, Angela set up her own training business and has designed and delivered hundreds of training programmes over the past seven years for both the public and private sector. This included international agricultural businesses, the banking sector and construction industries.

Angela is passionate about the UK Agricultural Industry and optimising its strength as we move forward in challenging times.

Jack Keane, General Manager PIC Russia, PIC 

After leaving Writtle in 1977 my agricultural career started on Romney Marsh, Kent, where in 1979 I started  work on what was then an Accredicross Nucleus Unit. Following this I moved into commercial pig production and in 1984 I was in Oxfordshire managing a 1,000 sow outdoor unit using PIC breeding stock.

In 1986 I joined PIC where I became Contract Production manager and in 1992 Production manager UK. These were exciting times in PIC and I spent 2 years in Scotland working with some large operations which eventually led to me being invited to work in the US for PIC.

I moved to America at the end of 1994 and in 1995 moved to Oklahoma where I was responsible for the construction and operation of a 25,000 sow, multi-site operation. The operation consisted of a 5,000 sow multiplier and two 10,000 sow units with eight Nurseries and sixteen Finishers to facilitate all in all out by site by week.

In 2000 I was approached by Smithfield Foods and as a result moved to the east coast of America, Virginia, where I managed a Smithfield owned operation with 70,000 sows.

In 2007 the opportunity came to work in Russia with new start-ups. I worked for 2 large operations advising and managing and in 2011 PIC Russia invited me to join them as Business Development Manager, growing our Key Account business and establishing new contract production in Russia.

In 2016 I became General Manager of the PIC Russia business, which is primarily a Key Account business heavily focused on the largest producers in Russia. It has been an incredible time in the Russian pig industry and it has been a privilege to be part of it.

Jurgen Preugschas, President, Pigs R Us 

Living in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, Canada most of his life and has been a hog, grain and cattle farmer since 1970.  Originally produced breeding swine which was sold in Alberta and around the world.  In 1995 was founding member of Peak Swine Genetics Inc. and still a major shareholder and Director.  Experience on many Boards including ALMA Board of Directors, the International Meat Secretariat based in Paris, and a Part-time Commissioner on the Alberta Energy Regulator.

Past Board experience as Director and Chairman of the Board of Alberta Pork and of Canadian Pork Council and the Western Hog Exchange.  Also spent 7 years as Director of the public company Premium Brands Inc. (Fletchers Fine Foods) where he chaired the Governance Committee for a number of years.  Farmer Director on the Alberta Products Marketing Council serving time as Vice-Chair and chair of the Governance committee.

Son, Niko, has taken over the farm now and Jurgen enjoys helping with the management of the operation.  They market close to 40,000 finisher hogs per year.

Tom Hind, Chief Strategy Officer, AHDB 

Tom Hind is Chief Strategy Officer at the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB). Funded by farmer levies, AHDB inspires, farmers, growers and the food industry to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Tom leads the organisation’s work on strategy, covering the organisation’s 6 sectors in order to identify where AHDB can deliver the most value through its work. He leads a team of over 60 directors and experts who provide specialist sector knowledge as well as insight and evidence on markets and economics to farmers, growers and the wider industry.

Tom spent over 15 years at the NFU England & Wales, working in a range of roles including Chief Dairy Adviser, Head of Economics and Corporate Affairs Director. He also spent some time leading the UK NFU’s lobbying efforts in Brussels.

Before joining AHDB Tom held the position of Agriculture Director at Tesco, working closely with colleagues and suppliers to shape the business’ agriculture strategy.

Married to Sara, Tom was brought up on the outskirts of Sheffield working school holidays on his uncle’s livestock farm. He has also worked on a mixed dairy/ arable farm in Normandy, France. Outside of work, Tom enjoys cycling, fishing and walking. He holds an honours degree in politics and French from Warwick University.

Andrew Saunders, Director of Tulip Agriculture and Managing Director of Dalehead Foods


Andrew joined the Tulip Board in 2007 as Agriculture Director and became Managing Director of Dalehead Foods in December 2017. He began his career in practical pig production after studying at Agriculture College. He then joined Associated British Foods and established BQP, adding an abattoir/processing division before the business joined Dalehead Foods in 2000.

Andrew is responsible for BQP’s pig production business covering 500 farms in East Anglia, South West and Midlands covering all aspects from grain supply to the abattoir, through to customers. He is responsible for purchasing of all pigs from farms to meet Tulip requirements. Andrew is also a member of Danish Crown Pig Supply Group reviewing farm standards, key issues in the supply chains, sourcing strategy and purchasing options.

He was a member of the AHDB Pork board for 15 years. He is also chair of British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) Pigmeat Committee and a member of the BMPA Council.

He was the chair of a Group of 15 suppliers/processors covering all areas of Primary Protein (including beef, pork, lamb, milk, organic milk, duck, broiler chicken, turkey, eggs and fish) reviewing the opportunities for supply chain cooperation and adding value from on farm standards to marketing opportunities.

Andrew is a Director of QPL/QPP, a partnership operating an abattoir in Scotland as a collaborative business between Scottish pig farmers and Tulip.

Richard Brown, Director, Gira

Richard is a Director of Gira – the international food research & consultancy firm, since 1991.  He has overall responsibility for the meat sector projects in Gira’s two main business areas of management consultancy and strategic market & industrial research.  This includes a wide range of projects in the meat sector around the world.  Richard has an MBA (London Business School), and is a Director of IMS.  He previously worked as a food sector strategist for DZ (the German co-operative bank), and as a commodity trader. He has a livestock & arable farm in the UK.

Frans van Dongen, COV (Dutch Meat Industry Association)

Frans van Dongen (22-08-1957) is an agronomist by education (MSc). He finished his study Animal Husbandry (Zootechnics) at Wageningen University in 1984.

The first years of Mr. Van Dongen’s professional career (1984-1990), he was working as senior policy officer for the organisation for all Dutch farmers (Landbouwschap).

In 1990, Mr. Van Dongen started working for the Dutch Product Board for Livestock, Meat Eggs (PVE) as Director of the newly created European office of the PVE in Brussels. As Director International Affairs of the PVE, he represented the overall Dutch meat and egg sector (farmers, livestock traders, industry, retail) on a European and international level.

Mr. Van Dongen has been and still is involved in European legislative processes in the areas of market policy, trade, food safety, animal health, animal welfare and product quality.

Mr. Van Dongen was also active in promotional activities on a European level.

Since April 2014, Mr. Van Dongen works as Director International Affairs for COV, the Dutch association for the meat industry. For COV, Mr. Van Dongen is in charge of all its European Affairs activities, its international market access and export promotion activities, its market intelligence activities and its international relations.

Steven Evans, Consumer Insight Manager, AHDB

Steven works within the Consumer Insight team at AHDB and has over 15 years of experience looking at consumer behaviour and shopping habits. His current role at AHDB focuses on consumer attitudes and food consumption patterns. Looking at the impact consumer food choices has on the performance of AHDB food sector products. By picking out the key changes in the consumer landscape Steven will highlight current and predicted consumer trends, highlighting challenges and opportunity for the red meat industry.

Day 2 Speakers, The Innovation Conference (Wednesday 15th May)

Alistair Driver, Pig World 

Editor of Pig World since August 2016. Also editor of Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer, as well as National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire.

Ben Williams, AHDB 

Ben joined AHDB as Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager in May 2018 and is working on activity to help close the current production gap that exists between ourselves and other EU countries. Previously he worked in the education sector, having taught agriculture for the last ten years. During this time, Ben also ran and worked on a variety of pig and mixed livestock units, from day-to-day husbandry to site management, butchery and further processing.

Marc Cox, AgriSyst

After studying Animal Sciences at Wageningen University, Marc joined Hendrix feed (a Nutreco company) to work in the feed industry for 7 years in several junior and senior management roles. In 1998 he became General Manager of the dutch pig breeding company Dalland which later merged into Topigs. After a short period in Topigs as Service and Development Manager Marc joined PIC Europe to become a part of the European support team and fulfill a role as General Manager for PIC Portugal.

In 2008 Marc started the company AgriSyst.  AgriSyst delivers data solutions, data consultancy and software for all parts of the pork chain with a very strong position in production management. Through being focused on both customers demands and innovative solutions, AgriSyst wants to be and remain the preferred data solutions supplier for pig farmers in Northwestern Europe.

Professor Lisa Collins, University of Leeds

Prof Lisa Collins is Professor of Animal Science, N8 Agrifood Chair in Livestock Systems, and Director of the Smart Agri-Systems research initiative at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on the development and application of smarter agricultural systems through multi-discplinary approaches including technology development, systems modelling and data analytics. Lisa is PI on PIGSustain, a £2.1M Global Food Security programme grant. She serves on national and international advisory, funding and academic society councils and strategy groups, including BBSRC Committee A and previously on the BBSRC Animal Welfare Research Network coordination group, the Dog Advisory Council, ASAB council, and European Food Safety Authority groups. She is an experienced public communicator of science, regularly presenting invited public lectures including at the Royal Institution and in national theatres. Her work regularly features in national and international news media in all formats. In 2014, she received the British Science Association Charles Darwin Award for excellence in science communication, and in 2010, the UFAW Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year award.

Marco Terreni, Global Regional Director- Euram, MSD

Mark Hayward, Dingley Dell

I am a 3rd generation farmer from Suffolk farming in partnership with my brother Paul we set up our brand Dingley Dell Pork with the ethos of taste, welfare and sustainability. We run 900 sows outdoors farrow to finish and have our own Red Duroc Nucleus and multiplication, our breeding programme majors on intramuscular fat ( marbling ) and we are using software from the US allowing us to scan live animals for imf and then at nucleus level we can breed most marbled thus ensuring we increase the amount of imf in our breeding lines year on year. The programme is overseen by meat scientist Caroline Kealey of JSR and encompasses the whole of our supply chain. Sustainability, we are very interested in the concept of improving and measuring the ecosystem around our farming business so the pigs are on a constant rotation system that allows us around the pigs and across our arable to grow 83 football fields worth of nectar rich flowers to support our native bumblebees we also run a smaller project for wild birds involving bird seed mixes. With our meat partners Direct Meats we supply restaurants and hotels in the UK and export to around 10 different countries our clients include British Airways, Cathay Pacific Asia, Gordon Ramsay Group , Jamie Oliver Group, Raffles, Four seasons etc we supply both cuts and processed products and have recently built a charcuterie factory.

Taneli Tirkkonen, Atria Plc. Finland


Doctroral Thesis

Porcine mycobacteriosis caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis, 17th of June, 2017, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, , ISBN 978-951-51-3507-0 (paperback)

Scientific Articles

Oksanen A, Oivanen L, Eloranta E, Tirkkonen T, and Asbakk K, 2000: Experimental trichinellosis in reindeer. J Parasitol. 86: 763-7.

Pakarinen J, Nieminen T, Tirkkonen T, Tsitko I, Ali-Vehmas T, and Salkinoja-Salonen M, 2007: Proliferation of mycobacteria in a piggery environment revealed by Mycobacterium-specific real-time quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA sandwich hybridization.  Vet. Microbiol. 120 (1-2): 105-12.

Tirkkonen T, Pakarinen J, Moisander A-M, Mäkinen J, Soini H, and Ali-Vehmas T, 2007: High genetic relatedness among Mycobacterium avium strains isolated from pigs and humans revealed by comparative IS1245 RFLP analysis. Vet. Microbiol. Nov 15; 125 (1-2):175-81.

Tirkkonen T, Pakarinen J, Rintala E, Ali-Vehmas T, Marttila H, Peltoniemi OA, Mäkinen J, 2010: Comparison of variable-number tandem-repeat markers typing and IS1245 restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting of Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis from human and porcine origins. Acta Vet Scand. Mar 10;52:21.

Tirkkonen T, Nieminen T, Ali-Vehmas T, Peltoniemi OA, Wellenberg GJ, Pakarinen J, 2013: Quantification of Mycobacterium avium subspecies in pig tissues by real-time quantitative PCR. Acta Vet Scand. Mar 22;55:26.

Peiponen, K.S., Tirkkonen, B.T, Junnila J.J.T, Heinonen, M.L, 2018: Effect of a live attenuated vaccine against Lawsonia intracellularis in weaned and finishing pig settings in Finland. Acta Vet Scand. Mar 23, 60:18

Dr Emma Fàbrega-Romans, IRTA (Catalan Agricultural Research Institute)

Dr. Emma FÀBREGA (Ph.D) holds a Veterinarian Sciences degree (1995), Master (2000) and PhD (2002) in Animal Production and a Msc degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare (Welfare 1997-1998). From 2011 she is Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Medicine. She has worked with the Animal Welfare group since 2003 and has been involved in EU projects (Welfare Quality®, Q-PorkChains, SABRE, Alcasde, IMPRO, ALL-SMART-PIGS, ECO-FCE, FEED-a-GENE, EU PIG) and EFSA’s “Development of Animal Welfare Risk Assessment Guidelines on Transport and on housing”. She has coordinated three national funded projects on animal welfare, one on alternatives to piglet castration, one on welfare implications of livestock precision farming and welfare implications of livestock precision farming and one on new strategies to improve welfare (free farrowing and environmental enrichment for pigs). She has gained experience in project coordination from this participation in national and international projects. Research topics include assessment of animal welfare on farm, use of precision farming to improve animal welfare, animal welfare in sustainable production systems and alternatives to painful procedures. She is member of IRTA’s Ethical Committee and is the Mediterranean Secretary of the International Society of Applied Ethology (ISAE). She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed papers in the field of farm animal welfare and presented more than 55 communications in national and international conferences.

Kate Mellor, AHDB Pork

After studying agriculture at college, Kate then did some work with Quality Assurance. She comes from a farming background and before joining AHDB Pork was running the family farm which included a 1,000 sow outdoor breeding unit.

Claire Barber, AHDB

Studied animal science at agricultural college and university, specialising in pig and poultry behaviour and welfare. Has been working at AHDB in the Pork Health and Welfare Team since 2016.

Nigel Penlington, Director, AgEngEnv Nigel Penlington Consulting  

Qualified from Harper Adams as an Agricultural Engineer and later went on to gain an MSc from Silsoe. Spent time in Saudia Arabia managing a farm growing wheat and potatoes. In the UK worked for a land drainage contractor before spending 13 years with ADAS as a consultant. Joined MLC to help the pig industry with permitting, then subsequently went on to develop the AHDB Buildings and Environment Team. Left to go freelance providing consultancy around environmental permits and impacts from farming, manures and slurries, livestock buildings in March 2019.

Sam Godfrey, Director, Elsham Linc Limited

MSc Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.  Qualified as a chartered accountant prior to joining the family farm in Lincolnshire in 2008.  Mixed Arable and Pig Business.  Farming 6,500 sows and their progeny across 11 sites in Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire.  National Pig Association Producer Group Member since 2009.

Martin Eccles, Trade Marketing Executive, AHDB

Nick MacIvor, Consultant, AM Warkup

An Architect by training I, in company with Prince Charles, decided that the monstrous edifices being built in the 1960’s were not for me.

We had a pig unit at home and a request from my brother for a piggery design led to a career long interest in housing for pigs. Following stints with Remark (PiggyBox), Northern Pig Development (Lamcatec) and CES Potters I joined A M Warkup in 1986 to design and sell piggeries and am still at it, but now on a consultancy basis. I am still excited by the unfolding developments in all aspects of pig husbandry and the solving of problems by adoption of and use of technology.


MSD Animal Health


Ceva Boehringer Ingelheim ECO Animal Health Zoetis IDT HIPRA ConverMax®