Irish Pig Sector Faces Another Crisis

IRELAND - Irish Farmers Association (IFA) President Eddie Downey has said the Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney need to push for the introduction of market measures in the EU that will effectively remove the excess product from the EU that is depressing pig prices.
calendar icon 9 January 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

Speaking from outside the headquarters of the Irish Association of Pig Meat Processors (IAPP), Mr Downey said: "Pig farmers have gathered here to protest against the 42 Euro-cents per kg drop in pig prices suffered by farmers in the last six months. This price drop of €34 has left every producer in the country in a loss-making situation, with many farms facing ruin unless prices rise."

IFA National Pigs and Pig meat Committee Chairman, Pat O’Flaherty, said: "The majority of our EU neighbours held pig prices stable over the Christmas period and spot prices in our largest market, the UK, actually increased in the first week of the new-year. Despite this, some Irish factories dropped prices by eight cents per kilo over the Christmas period, leaving farmers in a completely uneconomic position.

"Pig farmers were on their knees before Christmas and this latest drop is unacceptable as it will force farmers out of business. Irish pig prices are just keeping in line with the EU average but today’s price is 20 cents per kilo below the cost of production, a position that is obviously completely unsustainable.

"There are two sides to this, the political level and at the Irish processors level. We accept that pig prices have come under pressure in the EU due to the Russian ban but our continental neighbours have been protected from the real pain of this ban by lower feed prices.

"Irish feed prices have not dropped in line with the EU leaving us in a production cost squeeze that is destroying farm viability. He said the feed input sector as to take more costs out of the supply system and reduce prices further.

"The latest pig price drops were completely unwarranted, as it is clear to see that our export market and our home market continue to perform really solidly. The factories cannot continue to simply blame Russia, there is opportunism evident here and this is absolutely unacceptable, pig prices must rise immediately," Mr O’Flaherty concluded.

Charlotte Rowney

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