A report prepared by PwC on the Irish pig industry highlights a sector that is on the brink of collapse, according to IFA Pigs Chairman Roy Gallie.
The report estimates that 10% of pig farmers have already exited the sector in recent months, with a further 20% at risk of leaving.
“The PwC analysis confirms just how dire a position the pig sector is in at the moment. The month of May showed no let-up with the average pig farmer losing €44 for every pig they sold last month.”
The report, commissioned by Kiernan Milling, also outlines the importance of the sector to the Irish economy. PwC estimate the pig industry contributes c. €1.5bn annually to the Irish economy while supporting over 8,000 jobs. It also estimates that the pig sector has an export value of €932m.
The report also highlights that Government support to date only covers c. 16% of total losses of €127m expected to be incurred by farmers in 2022.
Roy Gallie said while pig farmers acknowledge that the Government has provided some support, it is very far short of what is needed to try to stem the losses on farms.
He said it will take all stakeholders working together to ensure this vital sector survives.
“Pig farmers cannot continue to sustain this level of losses. We need an immediate price increase to a minimum of €2/kg to help reduce the losses and we are also asking the Government to give further consideration to the joint industry €100m pig stability fund proposal put together by the IFA, IGFA and MII. This report is a timely reminder of what exactly is at stake here if we don’t see progress on either front in the short term,” concluded Roy Gallie.