Pig farmers demonstrate in The Square in Tallaght to highlight income crisis

IFA Pig Chairman Roy Gallie said pig farmers are currently losing over €35 on every pig produced, which is completely unsustainable.

“Retailers will not have a supply of Irish pigmeat in the not-too-distant future unless pig farmers secure some sort of immediate price increase,” he said.

Pig farmers that produce Bord Bia Quality Assured pigmeat have seen their costs of production increase at an unprecedented rate in the past year.

“Over the last 12 months, we have seen our margin completely disappear due to a combination of a massive increase in input costs, in particular feed, and falling output prices. As a result, the average Irish pig farmer is losing about €10,000 a week at the moment,” he said.

IFA President Tim Cullinan said farmers are very concerned about their future. “We need all stakeholders, including retailers, Bord Bia, and our Minister to take immediate steps to stem the losses on pig farms,” he said.

Brexit and Covid-related issues have had a severe impact on the pig sector. Since Brexit, the value of pigmeat exports to the United Kingdom has collapsed. Covid has also impacted on processing and supply chain, further exacerbating market issues.

“Pig farmers are suffering and cannot sustain the current losses for much longer.  Without a co-ordinated response from all the relevant stakeholders, the entire sector is in jeopardy,” he said.