Pigs Reports

Pig Council Report November 2023

  1. Policy proposals for approval by National Council 


  1. Market Report  

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

Rosderra €2.35 – 2.40c/kg 

Kepak €2.35 –2.40c/kg 

Dawn P&B €2.35 – 2.40c/kg 

Staunton’s €2.34 – 2.38c/kg 

Sows €1.75/kg 

Today, as we approach the end of 2023, producer prices have declined a total of 20c/kg over the past couple of weeks which is equivalent to an average loss of €18/pig sold.  

Rosderra €2.16 – 2.23c/kg 

Kepak €2.16 –2.23c/kg 

Dawn P&B €2.18 – 2.24c/kg 

Staunton’s €2.15 – 2.23c/kg 

Sows €1.60 – 1.65/kg 

Irish pig farmers have received a 5th cut off their farm gate pig price, totalling 20 cents per kg to date, or a reduction of €18 per pig sold. 

For the average size family farm, this equates to over €6,000 per week drop in income. These family farms have accumulated losses in the region of €585,000 over the period from August 2021 to May 2023. With the overall cost of production remaining stubbornly high, it will take another 12 months at least before farms recover their losses.  

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 are not cut further.  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. Unless farmers can return a sustainable margin to their businesses, there will be further reductions in the national sow herd. The official ‘average’ Irish price quoted by Bord Bia as of the 22nd of October was €2.14 excluding VAT. The average European pig price for the Grade E carcass was quoted as €2.14/ kg dead weight for the same week. The total throughput for week ending 22/10/2023 was 65,432 as recorded by the Department of Agriculture, of which 1,513 were sows.  

  1. Activity since last National Council 
  • 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.  
  • Ongoing engagement with department, Animal Health Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency, Meat Industry Ireland and Bord Bia. 
  • 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 including pig odour, technical amendments online and IED.  
  • IFA have made a submission to the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment seeking an allocation of work permits due to the shortage of on farm labour in the sector.  
  1. EU/COPA developments 
  • 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.  
  • Ongoing engagement with Copa-Cogeca on proposed IED revised thresholds. On the 11th of July, The European Parliament voted as a large majority (367 votes in favour – 245 against) against any enlargement of scope of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) covering livestock farms. Nevertheless, MEPs have decided to retain certain provisions that could prove problematic in practice, including the aggregation rule. We will continue to lobby to retain our position as status quo.  
  1. Upcoming issues 
  • A reduction in the use of imported pigmeat in the foodservice sector is something the committee are 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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