Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: BPA BREED SURVEY RESULTS  (Read 8661 times)


  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 07:13:49 pm »
Does the BPA have an action plan?

Increase fees to make up for lost income !!!

Or, put their members on 60/month direct debit instead of per year.  Although they promise me they are fixing it!


  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2014, 08:03:05 am »

So basically it's up to all of us to promote locally, educate (children in particular), inform and generate demand.

That is absolutely spot on. And it's not easy. There is interest in locally produced and rare breed meat the difficulty is actually connecting with those potential customers in your local area and matching your supply to their demand.

Small Plot Big Ideas

  • Joined May 2012
  • North Pennines, UK
    • Small Plot Big Ideas
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2014, 09:30:38 am »
It seems that no one has a good word for the BPA - do they actually perform any useful function for pig breeders? I was thinking of having a go with rare breed pigs in a small way soon but I'm not impressed with what I'm hearing about the BPA.

There seems little choice available for people though, either improve the existing organisation or come up with a better one!


  • Joined May 2011
  • Hampshire, near Portsmouth
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2014, 09:53:45 am »
My 5 years of dealing with them was entirely negative and extremely expensive.   Constantly got things wrong, website wouldn't work, transfers to new owners failed, and loads of extra payments silently taken each year, without any warning or explanation, over and above the annual 60.  And I only ever had two breeding sows.  A complete rip off.


  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2014, 12:47:41 pm »
When the BPA came about it was to support small scale farmers (The NPA being for the big boys).

In those days, everything was on paper, and nothing was outsourced.  So many clubs devolved responsibility for their herd books to the BPA, never thinking that here would be any problem in getting them back, the "book" would just be handed back over, and in nay case why would you ever want to do it yourself.

Now we have a BPA with an outsourced digital herd book contract, and no club can get the digital records back to take a herd book back in house.  So option would be either some "screen scrapping" - jargon for getting a computer program to one by one bring up each record and then copy it - V. expensive to set up, or simply start a herd book again.  Then of course there is the problem of who would run it in hosue?  Many clubs struggle to find anyone to perform basic services such as membership and websites, or people willing to serve ion committees, let alone someone with computer skills to run an on-line registration service.

So in essence we are stuck with a BPA that has no cost pressures on it - it simply recharges what it costs, and has outsourced with no way to bring it back in house (no hardware, software or staff with experience).  So outsourcer has BPA over a barrel, and BPA just bills us.

The website is from the nineties, and has no useable structure to it.

And I have no idea what any of the committees do other than meet, minutes are of course confidential !

Sad  :(

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Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2014, 02:49:00 pm »
You need also to remember that even within the breeds with higher numbers some bloodlines may be rare.  If you consider genetic diversity important then it's something to bear in mind.  We keep only the GOS Princess Freda female line, for instance.  It's now up to 40 registered breeding females, 9 of which were bred by us.  Can't see why it became rare in the first place - excellent conformation and a fine bacon pig - but once something has the word "rare" attached to it the temptation is to breed from everything, no matter what.  We've tried to resist that and have been moving steadily towards an all-round farmer's pig - good conformation, fertility, prolificacy, mothering ability and temperament.  Everything that hasn't fitted the bill has been culled and we now have 9 young birth-registered females coming into the herd.  They may not win prizes at the shows but they'll hopefully go on to produce upwards of ten good litters in their lifetime, which is where the difference with "commercial" breeds comes in for they have a very short reproductive life spent mostly indoors.


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2014, 04:11:44 pm »
The BPA do support both the Gathering and the Festival, and do contribute to the costs of the RBST stand at the Royal Highland Show. That's almost exclusively due to the hard work and doggedness of Caron Stewart, the Scottish rep.

It does not seem to be an organisation fit for purpose. Maybe time for a revolution?


  • Joined May 2013
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2014, 04:47:06 pm »
i never had any problems with them except its price, which is only hindering the breeders.
I found their website much easier to master than the cattle one - which takes me ages just to find my passwords etc so I end up  using the fone, which they aren't keen on.


  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2014, 06:16:35 pm »
I've never had any problems with the BPA either. If you want a service that does all that stuff you can't expect to get it for nothing.

Berkshire Boy

  • Joined May 2011
  • Presteigne, Powys
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2014, 07:50:03 pm »
Can't say I have ever had any problems with them. They were very helpfull when I bought a couple of sows that had been killed off in the survey and a query about the previous owner. I think they could do more to promote rare breeds but all this costs money.
Everyone makes mistakes as the Dalek said climbing off the dustbin.


  • Joined Apr 2013
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2014, 09:12:07 am »

Liam, Glad you're thinking like that, but make sure you work out how to sell the litters - rare breed pig keeping will only work if we encourage people to buy and eat pigs !  You'll need to spend more time creating demand for your weaners and meat than you'll spend breeding !

We never struggle to shift what we have had so far, so fiongers crossed that wouldnt be an issue  :fc:


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