Members of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) involved in pig, poultry and egg production have taken to the streets of Cavan town this morning (Thursday, September 29) for protest action.

The protesters have gathered at Lidl and Aldi in the town.

A message disseminated to these IFA members yesterday, understood to have been sent from the association’s pig chairperson Roy Gallie, said there would be “pig, poultry and egg industrial action tomorrow, Thursday, at discounters in Cavan”.

Members were told to assemble at Lidl and Aldi in Cavan town from 9:00a.m. The message said that protesters should expect “a long stay” and that shifts would be needed to relieve protesters later in the day.

“We must come out in large numbers with the message of 400 days [of] losing money. This must not stop,” the message to IFA members said.

It is understood that protesters are already on the ground there.

It also states that farmers’ percentage of retail prices “must increase to ensure continued supply to shop shelves”.

This protest follows on from a series of protests by pig and poultry members of the IFA earlier this year.

These protests targeted both retailers and secondary food producers.

The financial pressure on the pig sector this year resulted in two separate Pig Exceptional Payment Schemes (PEPS).

Earlier this month, payments began under the second of these, the €13 million PEPS2.

Eligible pig farmers who met the conditions of the scheme could have received payments of up to €100,000.

PEPS2 was open to commercial pig farmers who produced more than 200 pigs in the period January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, who are able to meet the eligibility conditions and commit to the conditionality.

Payment to each successful applicant was based on a graduated payment structure depending on the number of pigs slaughtered, exported or sold in the nominated herd during the reference period.