Pig Farmers protest outside The Square over ‘income crisis’
PIG FARMERS protested at The Square Shopping Centre on Monday to highlight cost increases, stating that they are losing “over €35 on every pig produced” and are demanding a price rise from retailers.
Members of the IFA Pig Committee led the protest on Monday, January 17, in an effort to highlight the “income crisis” the sector is enduring and to secure its survival.
According to the IFA, pig farmers that produce Bord Bia Quality Assured pigmeat have seen their production costs increase at an “unprecedented” rate over the last year. IFA Pig Chairman Roy Gallie said pig farmers are currently losing over €35 on every pig produced, stating it is “completely unsustainable” and warned about the future supply of pig meat.
“Retailers will not have a supply of Irish pigmeat in the not-too-distant future unless pig farmers secure some sort of immediate price increase,” he said.
“Over the last 12 months, we have seen our margin completely disappear due to a combination of a massive increase in input costs, in particular feed, and falling output prices. As a result, the average Irish pig farmer is losing about €10,000 a week at the moment.”
Brexit and Covid have had a severe impact on the pig sector, with the value of pigmeat exports to the UK collapsing since Brexit and Covid has impacted on the processing and supply chain, further exacerbating market issues.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said farmers are very concerned about their future.
“We need all stakeholders, including retailers, Bord Bia, and our Minister to take immediate steps to stem the losses on pig farms,” he said. “Pig farmers are suffering and cannot sustain the current losses for much longer. Without a co-ordinated response from all the relevant stakeholders, the entire sector is in jeopardy.”