IFA National Pigs and Pigmeat Committee Chairman Tim Cullinan said ‘We are calling on Enterprise Ireland to relook at the structure of the pigmeat sector and we are seeking an urgent meeting with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton Minister as it appears that only for the campaigns run by IFA such as the DNA traceability, processors would be unable to secure or maintain markets at home. If they cannot make a profit when demand on the export markets is so strong, we, pig producers, have to be concerned about what the future holds for the industry.
“Pig prices have risen considerably since the start of October in almost all major pig producing countries except Ireland. German and Dutch prices increased by 10c/kg and Danish prices have increased by 7c/kg. These countries are exporting to the same markets as Irish factories but they are managing to return a price increase to their suppliers. While EU prices have been going up, Irish prices from some factories have dropped by 4c/kg”.
Tim Cullinan said ‘Producers are at a loss to understand why prices are not increasing considering the strong exports, falling EU supplies and the fact that pigmeat retail volume and value year on year has increased on the home market. The IFA National Pigs and Pigmeat Committee has worked tirelessly to secure market share for Irish Quality Assured Meat and this campaign has been very successful. Farmers have gone as far as introducing a DNA traceability programme to ensure that the consumer is not being misled as to the origin of their meat. Despite all this, pig producers continue to lose money”.
Mr. Cullinan said ‘50% of the processing is now in the hands of one company and this one company is holding all the cards with access to all the best markets. Processors have told us that they are passing back all that they can. If this is the case, the industry is in serious trouble and producers are questioning the ability of those in the processing sector to sufficiently capitalise on positive market conditions.
“Pig prices must rise this week to show producers that the factories are serious about protecting the industry” Cullinan concluded.