IFA held a national pig farmers meeting in Portlaoise this week, at which over 100 pig farmers attended.
IFA National Pig Chairman Roy Gallie said, “the meeting has been called in the wake of seven price cuts in 10 weeks, slicing €25 off each pig. We need clarity on the future as we face into 2024”.
There were presentations from James Nolan of R&H Hall, Michael McKeon, Teagasc Pig Development Team, Joe Burke, Meat and Livestock Manager Bord Bia, and Sarah Hanley, IFA.
There was deep frustration as the key processors failed to send a representative, leaving the pig farming community feeling disrespected and taken for granted.
Roy Gallie said the meeting was arranged to allow a constructive cross sectoral dialogue, which would address issues ranging from pricing structures to market dynamics and the future outlook. When one key stakeholder is absent, it sent a disheartening message of indifference to pig farmers.
“The large turnout of farmers and associated industry representatives highlights the urgency of the situation, with attendees eager to engage in a meaningful discussion that would improve conditions. The lack of participation from processors has left farmers questioning their commitment to collaborate and find solutions for sustainable pig production that will also pave the way for young farmers continued involvement in the sector.”
The Chairman concluded that long periods of farming at or below break-even are no longer acceptable. Profitable pig farming is essential to pay back bank debt amassed over the last three years, and to invest on farms.