Pig Sector Heading Towards Income Crisis

IFA National Pigs Committee Chairman, Tom Hogan said farmers are completely outraged at some processors’ decision to drop pig prices this week.

“Prices now being paid to farmers are simply not sustainable and are now well below the cost of production. At a price of €1.40c/kg and production costs at, or above, €1.50c/kg, how can farmers be expected to survive and produce pigmeat?” Tom Hogan said.

He said all stakeholders in the pig sector, and the pig factories in particular, need to be accountable for this looming income crisis in the Irish pig industry. “The number of viable pig farmers has reduced dramatically over the last 20 years, with price volatility and uneconomic returns leaving only the most efficient producers remaining in business today. At current pig prices, the industry, which increased exports by 14% to €712 million in 2017, is in danger of ceasing to exist.”

The Pigs Chairman said he, and other pig farmers are deeply frustrated that the pig price has fallen so dramatically, from a viable price in mid-2017, which if sustained would have allowed pig farmers to invest in their businesses and create future employment in rural Ireland.

Tom Hogan said the pig sector supports more than 8,000 jobs and is an integral part of Irish agriculture. He called directly on all pig processor to take account of the financial hardships prevalent on Irish pig production units today and to increase the pig price to above the cost of production levels.

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