Pigs Reports

Pig Council Report May 2024

  1. Policy proposals for approval by National Council 


  1. Market Report  

When the last council report was submitted in February prices were as follows:  

Rosderra €2.03 – 2.07c/kg 

Kepak €2.02 –2.06c/kg 

Dawn P&B €2.02 – 2.07c/kg 

Staunton’s €2.02 – 2.06c/kg 

Sows €1.50/kg 

Today, as we approach come into the early days of May our average price is circa €2.23/kg.   

Rosderra €2.22 – 2.28c/kg 

Kepak €2.22 –2.28c/kg 

Dawn P&B €2.21 – 2.28c/kg 

Staunton’s €2.21 – 2.28c/kg 

Sows €1.72/kg 

The Irish pig price has begun to rise again from the fast plumet farmers endured from the highs seen last summer of between €2.40/kg-€2.50/kg to an average of €2.03/kg in December to levels of circa €2.23/kg.  

Feed prices are also beginning to level off from the feed mills which will hopefully allow farmers to recover extended credit that they may have. These family farms have accumulated losses in the region of €585,000 over the period from August 2021 to May 2023 and unfortunately, the high prices of last summer did not remain so for long enough to allow that massive impact be recovered.  

The IFA Pigs Committee led by Chairman, Roy Gallie, are in engagements with factories, secondary processors, retailers, the foodservice sector and, also within the channels of government procurement in an effort to try and ensure pig prices remain strong for producers. There has been a reduction in breeding sow numbers in Ireland by 12% as a result of the global pig crisis of 2021 and 2022. The same reduction can be seen for the European sow herd. The official ‘average’ Irish price quoted by Bord Bia as of the 15th of April 2024 was €2.09 excluding VAT. The average European pig price for the Grade E carcass was quoted as €2.18/ kg dead weight for the same week excluding VAT. The total throughput for week ending 21/04/2024 was 59,915 as recorded by the Department of Agriculture, of which 1,780 were sows.  

Source: https://www.bordbia.ie/farmers-growers/prices-markets/pig-trade-prices/pigmeat-price-dashboard/ 

  1. Activity since last National Council 
  • IFA Pig Committee representatives are actively engaging with the Nitrates Division on the 4day export notification proposal from DAFM as this would be totally unworkable for pig farmers.  
  • IFA Pig Committee members have been engaging intensively with processors and secondary processors to ensure price increases are delivered to farm gate prices and in a timely manner.  
  • Contributing to IFA’s submission on the National Biomethane Strategy. 
  • Ongoing engagement with department, Animal Health Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency, Meat Industry Ireland and Bord Bia. 
  • Engagements with the newly appointed Food Regulator, Niamh Lenehan, who we will be working closely with over the coming year.  
  • Ongoing work with the DNA scheme and testing, in particular, the foodservice sector as we work toward ensuring as much Irish product as possible is utilised on home soil.  
  • Meeting with retailers on specific issues relating to price, changes in production systems, sustainability, and viability of the sector.  
  • Ongoing discussions with EPA on various issues technical amendments online and IED.  
  • Engagements including a submission to DETE on obtaining permits for work, in which we were successful in having pig farm managers and assistants removed from the ineligible list. 
  1. EU/COPA Developments 
  • We lobbied MEP’s hard via our Brussels office on proposed IED revised thresholds. The trialogue text resulted in a reduction of the thresholds for pigs and layers and left broilers at status quo and excluded bovines. We were successful in having 36 MEPs reject the text but unfortunately lost out on the Plenary vote by a small number of votes. We will now focus on ensuring at MS level that the transition is a workable one for all involved in pig farming and layer hens.  
  • Last year the European Food Safety Authority released its recommendations for the welfare of pigs on farm. We are actively engaging with Copa-Cogeca to ensure that a strong position is held among farm organizations to lobby on these recommendations.  
  • End of cages – presentation of study’s conclusions. Copa-Cogeca have conducted an impact assessment on the end of cages and the potential impact associated with the change for agriculture and associated transition periods. Should this come into immediate effect by 2025, its expected that circa 37% of pork meat would cease and 3% of EU egg production would cease.  
  • EU Horizon project – WelFarmers – IFA are partaking in an EU welfare project on pig welfare which is a 3-year project. We have secured funding from the EU to partake in this project and will be working closely with our Irish pig farmers and EU colleagues on this over the next 3 years.  
  1. Upcoming issues 
  • Engagement with DAFM on slurry exports – 4-day rule proposal by DAFM and establishment of an alternative method of reporting for pig farmers.  
  • A reduction in the use of imported pigmeat in the foodservice sector is something the committee is eager to work on and see improvements. 
  • Actively engaging and working to ensure fair price is being returned to producers. 
  • Engaging with Boar studs and Bord Bia on a Quality Assurance Scheme.   
  • Engaging with the EPA regarding various issues including emissions.  
  • Engaging with the Pig Health Check Implementation Group on the National Salmonella Control Programme and on the Biosecurity code of practice.

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