IFA’s emergency pig meeting looks set to be a lively affair

An emergency meeting of the IFA pig committee is taking place on Thursday in Portlaoise as pressure grows on its Chairman.

The last week has seen significant unrest develop among pig producers as poor returns continued over the summer.

However, an underlying unhappiness among some pig producers with the IFA Pig Committee Chairman is expected to surface at the meeting.

It comes as the EU announced further details of its €500m package aimed to alleviate ongoing issues for dairy and pig farmers across Europe.

Under the proposals, put forward by the European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, the pigmeat sector receive part of the €13.73m package Ireland will receive. The pigmeat sector across Europe has been hit by the continuing Russian ban on EU food and drink.

According to IFA Pig Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty, export refunds and the re-opening of the Russian market are necessary to address the long term viability of the Irish pig industry. Ireland is currently 101% of the European average price.

Meanwhile, a number of pig producers are calling for the IFA Pig Committee Chairman to resign.

Co. Limerick pig farmer Tom Horan said IFA National Pigs Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty has to step down from his position, following the recent launch of O’Flaherty’s new branded pork business.

“My understanding is that the new company has a supply contract with an Irish supermarket,” said Horan.

“This leaves Pat O’Flaherty in a position where he cannot represent the Irish pig sector with total impartiality. He now has a total conflict of interest. And, given these circumstances, he should resign immediately from his position as pigs’ committee chairman.”

Responding to these comments O’Flaherty said that he has no intention of resigning from his position as pigs’ committee chairman.

O’Flaherty pointed out that it would be almost impossible to get anyone without a secondary commercial interest to act as chair of any IFA committee and that Tom Horan is a shareholder in the Truly Irish pork business.

Truly Irish did not respond when contacted for a comment.

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