A new report prepared by PwC highlights that the Irish pig sector is on the brink of collapse, the pigs chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Roy Gallie has said.

The report, The Pig Industry and Ireland’s Economy, estimates that 10% of pig farmers have already exited the sector in recent months, with a further 20% at risk of leaving the industry.

IFA pigs chair, Roy Gallie commented:

“The PwC analysis confirms just how dire the position of the pig sector is at the moment. The month of May showed no let-up with the average pig farmer losing €44 for every pig they sold.”

While pig farmers acknowledge that the government has provided some support, the IFA pigs chair said, it is very far from what is needed to stem the losses on farms.

Government support to date covers approximately 16% of the €127 million losses which are expected to be incurred by farmers in 2022, according to the PwC report.

The IFA chair said a minimum price of €2/kg is immediately needed to help reduce the pressure on pig farmers as they cannot continue to sustain these losses.

He added that the IFA is also asking the government to further consider the joint industry proposal of a €100 million pig stability fund, put together by the IFA, the Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA) and Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

PwC estimates that the pig industry contributes approximately €1.5 billion annually to the Irish economy while supporting over 8,000 jobs, and holding an export value of €932 million.

“It will take all stakeholders working together to ensure this vital sector survives.

“This report is a timely reminder of what exactly is at stake here if we don’t see progress on either front in the short term,” IFA pigs chair Roy Gallie said.