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IFA: Pig Price Fall Causing Devastation

by 5m Editor
21 November 2008, at 12:35pm

IRELAND - IFA Pigs Committee Chairman Michael Maguire said that the latest fall in pig prices is devastating for the sector. Prices in the south have fallen to by 4c/kg, with 6c/kg taken off the value of pigs being sold into Northern factories.


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"Until the Irish government take measures to effectively and clearly demonstrate to the consumer the origin of their food, the consumer will continue to be misled in both the retail and food service sectors."
Michael Maguire, IFA Pigs Committee Chairman

Mr Maguire said, “Pig farmers are now losing over €6/pig, which in broad terms means that Irish pigmeat producers are losing almost €300,000 per week - this situation is completely unsustainable.“

“We know that the market has been very difficult on the continent over the last number of weeks with weekly price falls recorded. However a recovery has been seen this week with prices beginning to rise once more. Despite this, Irish prices fell again (4c/kg) which means that Irish producers have seen a drop of up to 26c/kg (€18 per pig) since the end of August.“

Michael Maguire agreed that the soaring euro price will have made the export market more difficult for Irish export processors who will feel this pain especially when selling into the biggest export market, the UK. “The home market is not affected by exchange rate fluctuations and remains our most important market, the message of the value of Irish pigmeat must be driven home to consumers,“ he said.

Mr Maguire commented that this should be a severe wake up call for the National Food promotion Board, Bord Bia. “Pigmeat is a high quality, cost effective, efficient meat and should be the product that people turn to times of economic hardship. However despite the best efforts of producers to raise awareness of the benefits of the product and of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme, Bord Bia are failing to get the message home to consumers.“

Mr Maguire said “The consensus from all our recent IFA regional pig member meetings is that the Irish pigmeat producers must once again pick up the campaign to reclaim the home market. This must be achieved through a revamped marketing strategy by Bord Bia, increased surveying of the retailers and processors and a name and shame campaign revealing those who are not supporting the Irish pigmeat sector.“

Mr Maguire reiterated his view about the Government failure to safeguard the industry through the introduction of compulsory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL). “Until the Irish government take measures to effectively and clearly demonstrate to the consumer the origin of their food, the consumer will continue to be misled in both the retail and food service sectors,“ he concluded.