A group of pig farmers, who are members of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), remain on the picket line in Co. Louth this morning (Thursday, May 19).

Representatives from the IFA Pigs Committee are currently gathered at the site of Hilton Foods in Drogheda.

The IFA is calling on the secondary processor to pass back price increases coming from primary processors to struggling farmers.

This latest action follows four protests that took place simultaneously at different secondary processors around the country last week, as well as an earlier protest at Carroll Cuisine in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, prior to last week’s action.

Pig farmers

The protest at Hilton Foods began at 6:00a.m yesterday (Wednesday, May 18) with around a dozen pig farmers staying on the picket line overnight.

IFA president, Tim Cullinan, who is a pig farmer himself, visited the protest last night.

Speaking to Agriland this morning, IFA Pigs Committee chairperson Roy Gallie confirmed that the protest will remain in place, with more farmers expected to join the picket line today.

He stated that they are seeking support from farmers around the country.

In terms of the IFA’s interaction with Hilton Foods, Gallie said that “progress is slow but is being made, we hope”.

Last week, the IFA Pigs chair said that commitments were given by a number of secondary processors in relation to price increases.

The IFA campaign is looking for the price paid for pigs to reach €2/kg by June 1. However, no price increases have yet materialised.

“They [farmers] are absolutely frustrated and angry at the lack of progress to address the dire financial situation on farms.

“Despite highlighting this for the past number of months, it’s now our understanding that substantial price increases have been passed back from the retailer to primary processors,” Gallie said.

The IFA Pigs chair did not rule out further protests if the processors did not come forward with a price increase by the end of May.