IFA National Pigs and Pig meat Committee Chairman Tim Cullinan said it was very infuriating that a number of the smaller pig meat processors used the Christmas period as an opportunity to drop pig prices. “This is particularly frustrating considering that as the end of the year was approaching, a large number of farmers were trying to complete the structural work required to comply with EU regulations on sow housing.” <span> </span>
Tim Cullinan said, “Farmers simply cannot afford prices to fall; the cost of the conversion to loose housing is very high and there is no monetary return to be gained from the conversion. This is an outlay of money by farmers which may never be recouped. It is vital for the factories that the farms are compliant and therefore this price drop is completely nonsensical”.
The IFA Pigs Chairman said, “EU consumers asked for the introduction of this legislation and now it is vital that they support these higher standards by purchasing home produced meat. Irish consumers must look for meat carrying the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Logo on all their pork, bacon and ham. Over the last number of years, farmers have pushed for retailers to increase support of Irish meat and now almost 100% of private label retailer products are Irish meat. Farmers also have put in place the DNA traceability programme which will secure traceability for consumers and producers. All of this benefits the processing sector”.
He said, “Processors must also play their part; the price drop must be reversed immediately or farmers will have to review what has been a very supportive position of the factories.”