Meeting for every ‘serious’ pig farmer on prices ‘crisis’ tonight

All pig farmers around the country are urged to attend a farmer meeting in Co. Offaly tonight on the issue of pig prices – which are still below the break-even price, according to producers.

The event is being organised by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) but is open to all producers. It will be held in the Barack Obama Plaza, Moneygall, Co. Offaly from 8:00pm.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, IFA Pig Committee chairman Thomas Hogan said: “We would be hoping that as many people as possible will attend.

“It’s a general meeting for all pig farmers; there will be refreshments at 7:30pm for anyone who comes early.

Obviously we have got a price rise of the last couple of weeks but it generally fails with where pig prices are in Europe – and we’re still below the break-even.

As well as Hogan, IFA treasurer Tim Cullinane will be present, while it is hoped that IFA president Joe Healy and director general Damian McDonald will also make an appearance.

“All the representatives from the pig factories have been invited and Peter Duggan from Bord Bia will be in attendance also,” Hogan added.

‘We’re still below break-even’

Monaghan IFA chairman and pig farmer Frank Brady also commented ahead of the event, noting: “We’re still below break-even and unless something changes a lot of pig farmers are going to be in serious trouble.

“We can’t wait for the factories to get the increases. They all say they have done contracts – but they never have contracts when things are going down; they only seem to have them when things are going up.”

Describing it as a “crisis statement and a realisation that pig farmers don’t want to be in”, Brady added:

“They’d rather be back trading their pigs but they want to get back into a profitable position – and they’re not there yet.

It’s important that every single pig farmer that has an interest in pig farming puts aside whatever excuse they have tonight to attend. If they’re serious about the pig industry, every pig farmer in Ireland will be there – and if they’re not there, it just says that they’re getting a better price than everybody else and they’re not concerned.

“It’s an important meeting for the whole pig industry,” Brady concluded.

“€1.54/kg is break-even by the Teagasc figures and most farmers are on between 1.48 and 1.52/kg.

“The processors have to realise that the farmers are not doing this with any joy; they’re only doing it out of necessity.”