Producers' Frustration Grows as Prices Stick

by 5m Editor
25 October 2011, at 10:12am

IRELAND - Farmers at an emergency meeting expressed their fury that the pig price drop has not reversed.

Irish Farmers Association (IFA) National Pigs and Pigmeat Committee Chairman, Tim Cullinan, called an emergency meeting of pig producers to discuss the crisis the situation on Irish farms. The meeting was attended by a large crowd of pig producers, who voiced their anger strongly against the processors and retailers who are profiting at a time when producers are losing money on every pig sold.

"Producers in both Denmark and France have seen prices rise this week, which is adding to the frustration of producers here," he said.

Mr Cullinan outlined the campaigns that the IFA have undertaken over the last two years.

He explained: "These campaigns have raised consumer awareness and also gained considerable market share for Irish factories on the retail shelves that was previously filled with imports. Coupled with extraordinary growth in exports this year, processors are in profit while producers are still suffering huge losses. The gains must be shared if the industry is to grow."

IFA Deputy President, Eddie Downey, called on producers to work together to achieve a decent return from the market place.

He said: "Pig meat retail volume and value year on year has increased but producers are not seeing any return from these positive moves in the market. This situation cannot continue."

Following on from the meeting, Rosderra management agreed to meet a delegation from IFA. A number of suppliers attended the meeting but the outcome was disappointing in that a guarantee to reverse the price drop was not given.

"There are now concerns that the processing industry in Ireland is not able to deliver a return to producers. IFA have run a number of campaigns to drive volume and value in the pig meat market. It was always anticipated this would lead to a margin of profit being achieved for pig producers. It now appears that although the home market has been won for Irish meat, and processors are gaining from export sales, pig producers are not benefiting. There is no system that clearly shows where the market is standing on a weekly basis; prices can move on a week-to-week basis and farmers cannot operate a business on this basis."

The IFA Pigs Committee Chairman called on the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, to put in place some mechanism to show transparency in terms of what is paid for food. Producers simply cannot continue to produce quality assured meat of the highest quality standards for less than the cost of production.