The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that egg producers are “facing closure”, while losses continue to mount for pig farmers.

As reported by Agriland this morning (Thursday, September 29) poultry and pig farmers have taken to the picket line at Aldi and Lidl stores in Cavan town today due to mounting concern for the future of the two sectors.

IFA Poultry Committee vice-chairperson Brendan Soden said the egg producers “face closure because of the failure of discounters to give a fair return to farmers”.

“It’s almost 12 months since we began our national campaign to secure a viable income for producers. The supply of eggs is in jeopardy if a further 2c/egg is not ringfenced for egg producers.

“Producers are strongly considering not restocking their farms at this stage. In 2012, half a dozen free-range eggs sold for €2.19. Today it is €1.89, a reduction of 15%. This year alone, agri-inputs are up 40.2%, consumer goods are up 9.1%, and food price inflation is up 6.8%,” Soden commented.

The IFA is warning retailers that if the current situation continues, consumers will not see Irish eggs on store shelves in the near future.

Pig and chicken producers have also joined the protest to highlight losses on their own farms.

Image source: Agriland Cavan pig poultry protest

IFA pig chairperson Roy Gallie said: “The average sized [pig] family farm, even having received government aid, has an accumulated debt of €380,000. Primary producers receive only 15% of the retail price of ham, so I am calling on all retailers to pass back a larger percentage to producers immediately.”

Chicken producers, meanwhile, are calling for a further 15c/chicken to be passed back to producers.

“It’s a scandal that an initial requirement of 15c/chicken has not been delivered to all chicken farmers,” IFA poultry chairperson Nigel Sweetnam said.

He added: “Farmer frustration is at boiling point following several unsatisfactory engagements with retailers. Action must be taken immediately, or supplies cannot be guaranteed.”