‘Good humoured’ Jimmy scoops industry gong for going extra mile

Blythburgh Free Range Pork' s
Stuart Butler, Jimmy Butler and Alastair Butler

Blythburgh Free Range Pork' s Stuart Butler, Jimmy Butler and Alastair Butler - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s “larger than life” pig producer Jimmy Butler has scooped a national accolade.

Blythburgh Free Range Pork' s
Jimmy Butler and Free Range growers.

Blythburgh Free Range Pork' s Jimmy Butler and Free Range growers. - Credit: Archant

Jimmy, of Blythburgh Free Range Pork, is the winner of the Chris Brant Award, which is presented every year to someone who goes the extra mile for the British pig industry .

“He is exactly what the award is all about,” said chairman of judges Richard Longthorp, vice-chairman of the National Pig Association (NPA). “Jimmy Butler is always ready to go the extra mile for the industry and has served it with good humour and distinction for many years.”

Jimmy, who runs a 2,000-sow pig herd with wife Pauline and two sons Stuart and Alastair at St Margaret’s Farm, Mells, near Halesworth, produces high-welfare free-range pork for the family’s successful Blythburgh Free Range Pork brand, which was described as “an outstanding advert for the British pig industry”. In 1998 he was a driving force behind the British Pig Industry Support Group in East Anglia and in 2011 he suggested pig farmers use their roadside fields to advertise British pork, an idea that was picked up by NPA and led to the industry’s successful “Banners Blitz” campaign which saw over a thousand banners promoting British pork appearing next to busy main roads and motorways across the country.

He is a prominent supporter of the industry, and served on the NPA Producer Group, worked with Ladies in Pigs to educate schoolchildren about UK farming, and put the industry’s point of view in the media. In 2008, he added his voice to the industry single, Stand By Your Ham.

Pig farmer Jimmy Butler, of Blythburgh Free Range Pork, pictured left receiving his Chris Brant Awar

Pig farmer Jimmy Butler, of Blythburgh Free Range Pork, pictured left receiving his Chris Brant Award - Credit: Archant


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He was active in a successful campaign against a straw-burning plant proposed at Mendlesham, putting his hand in his pocket to support the campaign financially, and persuading other producers to do the same, the NPA said. He is also a past Young Farmers county president, former local rugby club president and former Conservative Association chairman. The award is named after pig industry activist Chris Brant, who died in 2009.

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