Signs of Recovery in NI

by 5m Editor
26 March 2008, at 10:06am

NORTHERN IRELAND - The green shoots of recovery are starting to appear in Northern Ireland pig sector, says industry leader and respected pig breeder Robert Overend.

Robert Overend Chairman of Ulster's Pork and Bcon Forum

"Pig prices are slowly starting to improve," said Robert Overend, speaking to NI journal Farming Life.

Mr Overend, Chairman of the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum and owner of NI's renowned Deer Park herd, said the pig industry has been hardest hit by the crisis in agriculture seen in recent months.

"The continuing fall in pig numbers throughout Europe is, at long last, starting to have a beneficial impact on producer returns. But we still have a long way to go yet," he explained.

Mr Overend said that local pig farmers needed to receive £1.26 per kilo for their pigs to break even and there were now some indications of price rises - although prices will need to stay buoyant if the provinces producers are to recover.

"At least there is now some light at the end of the tunnel. Those producers who have remained committed to the industry now need a reasonable price for their pigs for a sustained period of time," he stressed.

He believes the only way of achieving this is for local consumers to buy more Ulster pork and bacon products. They need to support the industry on all fronts and food security was another important issue.

"We are an island nation and local consumers must never lose sight of the fact that they need a vibrant pig industry on their doorsteps," he added.

View the Farming Life story by clicking here.

5m Editor