Irish Farmers’ Association Pigs Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty has called on Irish Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to take immediate action to address the current income crisis in the Irish pig industry.
“Irish pig producers are currently making losses of up to EUR10 (US$11) on every pig they sell,” said O’Flaherty. “This is simply not sustainable and prices must rise to a level that provides a margin for the producer.”
“Export markets play a vital role in the industry as we export approximately 50 percent of our pig meat. Processors are claiming that it is proving more difficult to sell product into these export markets. We have failed to secure new markets following the Russian ban and famers’ profitability is suffering as a result. The minister must ensure that Bord Bia works harder to promote Irish pig meat on international markets.”
There is also a growing concern that processing capacity is not keeping pace with output, O’Flaherty added. Irish pig producers have achieved and surpassed the production targets set out in the Food Harvest 2020 strategy despite considerable economic constraints over this period, and now farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to get pigs slaughtered at the weights being demanded by processors.
“This issue must be immediately addressed as output continues to grow as a result of production efficiencies,” said O’Flaherty.