Producers in Crisis and Consumers Misled

IRELAND - Irish pig produucers are being beaten down further by escalating feed prices - up 50 per cent in recent months due to world grain shortages - and an influx of cheaper imports, channelled through the processing sector.
calendar icon 20 February 2008
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The European umbrella bodies for farmers and co-ops - COPA-COGECA - said this increase has not been offset by a corresponding increase in the price of the meat. Instead, this has fallen by 8 per cent year-on-year. Producers are losing up to €35 per pig produced.

Reports in the Irish Examiner say that respective presidents Jean-Michel Lemetayer and Ger Van Dijk believe it is necessary to increase refund amounts and extend the eligibility list to new products.

Mr Lemetayer said that if nothing is done, up to 20 per cent of producers are expected to go out of business in the next six to 10 months.

The warning by the European farm and co-op leaders came as the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) continued to highlight the plight of the industry in Ireland.

Consumers Misled

IFA Pigs Committee chairman Michael Maguire said the failure to properly identify pigmeat imports was misleading consumers and damaging Irish pig production.

“Secondary processors are by-passing Irish pigmeat produced to the highest standards, and replacing it with imported pigmeat,” he said.

Mr Maguire said these processors sell the imported product for further processing, or to retail, and traceability can be lost in this chain.

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