The IFA Pigs Committee is undertaking a lobby of General Election candidates in the lead up to the election later this month, and is encouraging all pig farmers to get involved and discuss the issues with their candidates.
In meetings with candidates, the Committee is focussing on three key areas: pig prices, mislabelling and retailer dominance.
Irish pig farmers are in a serious loss making situation
- Margin over feed in the pig sector for 2015 was 37c/kg, and the average margin over feed for the past 5years (2010-2014) averaged 44c/kg.
- According to Teagasc, pig farmers need 50c/kg margin over feed to break even.
- This ongoing downward trend cannot continue if Ireland intends to produce pigmeat into the future. Actions must be taken to ensure primary food producers are receiving a fair, sustainable price for their produce.
- To remain viable it is crucial that Irish pigmeat retains the premium price that it currently holds over imported product on the home market.
- To protect this high standard of pigmeat product, legislation must be extended to both loose and processed pigmeat products to prevent imported product being sold as Irish.
- The Government must give primary food producers a fair opportunity to differentiate their products to the consumer through sufficient labeling legislation that is effectively enforced and regulated.
- The dominance of supermarkets in Ireland is forcing pig farmers to sell below the cost of production, which is not sustainable and is resulting in farmers exiting the industry.
- The Government must ensure the new grocery regulations recently signed into law are effectively enforced.