The British Pig & Poultry Fair (BPPF) has been provisionally rescheduled for May 2021 after this year’s event was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
In a message to exhibitors, Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) CEO Andrew Lazenby said the organisers will be rearranging the Fair for May 25 and 26, 2021. This date is provisional and will be confirmed once it is finalised with the event partners, he said.
RASE trustees made the decision to cancel the event, due to take place on May 12 and 13 at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, on March 16 after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said mass gatherings should not take place.
After initially informing exhibitors they would not be receiving refunds as the Government’s stance left RASE ‘exposed to the full costs of the event’, prompting a backlash, Mr Lazenby sought to clarify the position in his latest communication on Friday. He told exhibitors:
- 2020 exhibitors who have paid in full will receive a 25% refund or roll over on rebooking for the next running of the event.
- They will, additionally receive a 25% discount on rebooking for next year’s event.
- RASE will refund 50% of all advertising that has been booked.
However, Mr Lazenby added that, at this stage, RASE cannot provide any further details for the Grassland and Muck event, which was due to take place the week after the BPPF in Warwickshire. He said: “We will continue to work with Grandstand Stoneleigh Events, the team at Ragley Estate, and you, our exhibitors to consider options for the next event.”
Mr Lazenby thanked exhibitors for their patience over the last week. “Although it was a monumentally difficult and disappointing decision to cancel both of these valued events, I feel uplifted to know that we all share the same passion and appreciation for the role that they play within our sector,” he said.
He said RASE was making all efforts to ensure that the society can ‘sustainably continue to serve the sector by developing and running these and other events in the future’.
“The unprecedented series of events surrounding Covid-19 have been far beyond anybody’s control or anticipation, and I am sure you will understand that this has therefore made resulting decisions challenging to make with incomplete information. Particularly challenging is trying to predict the end point of the current crisis.”
He added that the society will be working hard to hold the government to their assurances of support.
National Pig Association (NPA) Allied Industry Group (AIG) chairman Hugh Crabtree said he would be seeking further clarification in response to the latest statement, which he said was ‘rather confusing’.
He has distributed a survey to allied industry members, many of which are exhibitors, to gauge views on the way forward. “The intention is to share the findings with the organisers to help them move forward with event planning,” he said.
“The most important thing right now is to do all we can to ensure this popular and valued event continues with its well-established professional and collaborative atmosphere.”