Pig farmers are due to begin a protest at Agriculture House – the head offices of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) – at Kildare Street in Dublin city within the next hour, 11:00a.m (Tuesday, March 29).

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), which is organising the protest, has told members that “the time for action on Kildare Street is now”.

The association will raise the issue of the exit of pig farmers from the sector due to enormous financial losses. It is calling for a €100 million financial support package from the government.

Pig protest

IFA pig chair, Roy Gallie has previously said: “Every day that goes by means more farmers make that decision to exit the business.

“It is equally incumbent on the processors to raise the price of pigs for the same reasons.

“The days are numbered for all of us unless both [government and processors] take their responsibility to the sector as a matter of grave urgency,” the IFA pig chair argued.

Last week, the National Fodder and Feed Security Committee was told that the average pig farmer has lost €28,000 since the group has previously met 11 days prior.

Teagasc said that pig farmers had destocked by a further 2,000 sows.

Pigmeat storage

The European Commission recently confirmed details of a proposed private storage aid scheme for pigmeat.

Part of the announcement included €500 million support package for farmers, and temporary exemptions to some scheme regulations.

Operators are now able to apply for aid to cover part of the storage costs of pigmeat. Applications can be lodged until April 29.

There is a stipulation that the pigmeat is kept out of the market for a minimum of two months, and up to maximum five months.

Aid levels vary depending on the cuts put in storage.

The introduction of a private storage scheme for pigmeat aims to ease pressure on pigmeat markets in the EU, and provide EU funding to help cover the costs of storing certain pigmeat products for a given period of time.