IFA Pigs Chairman Tim Cullinan has welcomed the 6c/kg increase that was passed back to pig producers this week, but cautioned that retailers should not look on this as getting producers out of the woods. “Feed prices have risen much further than prices being paid at this time and numbers are falling. Retailers supply of pig meat is running low and if action is not taken it will run out.”
IFA Pigs Committee Executive, Amii McKeever attended an emergency meeting of pig representatives from all the major EU producing countries in London recently. This meeting was pulled together as producers were frustrated at the lack of action being taken by the Commission or the Parliament to address the major crisis that is now viral across the entire pig sector.
Ms. McKeever said, “Those in attendance at the meeting spoke about costs of production of between €1.80 and €2.10 per kilogram and this means at current prices, the pig industry in Europe is hemorrhaging money”.
“Farmers have survived this crisis through increasing productivity and this drive stemmed the exodus of producers until now. At this point however, no amount of productivity gain can completely absorb the extraordinary increase in input costs and farmers across the EU are getting out of production.”
Ms. McKeever said, “Comments were made at the meeting that although there was little that the EU could do little to help the producer prices, there are issues such as asynchronous approvals of GM feedstuffs as well as legislation preventing the use of alternative protein sources that must be addressed as a matter of absolute urgency. It was accepted that increased productivity in the EU had seen increased pig numbers which had ultimately exacerbated the problem of supply in some countries. However, continued strong exports and much stronger domestic demand has seen availability of supply plummet over the last number of weeks driving EU prices higher”.
Tim Cullinan said “On the continent, pig prices have moved on considerably in the last number of weeks. Ireland is now at 90% of the EU average whereas in previous years we have been able to achieve up to 98% of the average. This is unsustainable”.