The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that Bord Bia will launch a promotional campaign for pigmeat.

IFA president Tim Cullinan said he welcomed the move by Bord Bia, adding that the campaign would run across television, social media and other channels.

“We met Bord Bia this morning [Thursday, January 13] to discuss the crisis in the sector,” Cullinan said.

“50% of our pigmeat is consumed on the home market, so it’s important that our product is promoted and that Irish consumers support Irish pig farmers at this challenging time.

“It is vital that consumers look for the Bord Bia QA [quality assurance] mark to ensure that the pig meat products they are buying are Irish,” the IFA president added.

Also speaking after the meeting with Bord Bia, IFA pigs chairperson Roy Gallie said he was “concerned that food service outlets were not using Irish pigmeat.

“As regards food service, it is vital that our hotels, restaurants and canteens insist on Irish pigmeat from their suppliers,” he said.

“IFA has a DNA testing system in place and we can verify if any piece of meat comes from the Irish pig herd.”

“We are actively taking samples all over the country and we will call out any food service outlet which is not using Irish pigmeat,” Gallie warned.

Yesterday, the IFA called for a “coordinated response” to the income crisis in the pig sector.

It followed an emergency meeting of the IFA Pigs Committee which was held on Monday.

Speaking after that meeting, Cullinan – who is a pig farmer – said all stakeholders “need to respond to the current financial crisis in the industry”.

He added that pig farmers cannot carry the cost of this crisis alone.

“The latest drop in pig price of 4c/kg, and the rise in feed cost by €35/t, means every pig produced on Irish farms is losing over €35. A farmer with 500 sows is racking up losses of €10,000 a week,” Cullinan noted.