Pig farms’ viability could be questioned by their banks – IFA

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has warned that without an increase in prices for pigmeat, the viability of family pig farms will be called into question by their bank managers.

According to Tom Hogan, the organisation’s Pig Committee chairman, pig factories must recognise the “devastating consequences” of paying below production costs.

Hogan highlighted the discrepancy between sale price and production price of pigmeat, which currently stands at €1.38/kg and €1.42/kg for selling, and €1.60/kg for producing.

Farmers are losing up to 20c/kg on factory pigs. This equates to a loss of over €16 on every pig produced. Costs are rising and the feed market is showing no signs of abating. Without a significant increase, the viability of many family pig farms will be called into question by their bank managers, and the outcome will not be a good one.

Hogan warned that “an immediate and substantial price rise is required to give pig farmers some glimmer of hope” that they will be able to break even in 2019.

According to the IFA, Hogan is seeking a meeting with Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, to discuss what measures can be put in place.

Hogan also outlined the increase in input prices of labour, energy, insurance and vet costs as another major issue for the pigmeat sector.

It is heartbreaking to walk into a local retailer and see imported pig meat on the shelf, displacing locally-produced pork and bacon. This not only displaces Irish pig meat, it jeopardises an entire industry which supports over 10,000 jobs.

Hogan concluded by calling on processors and retailers to support pig-farmers here by purchasing Irish-produced, quality assured pigmeat products.