Pigs Reports

Pigs Council Report February 2024

  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 €2.16 – 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 

Today, as we approach come into the early days of February our average price is circa €2.03/kg.   

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 

Irish pig price has come back significantly from the highs seen last summer of between €2.40/kg-€2.50/kg to an average of €2.03/kg today.  

For the average size family farm, this equates to over €6,500 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 6th of January 2024 was €1.98 excluding VAT. The average European pig price for the Grade E carcass was quoted as €2.09/ kg dead weight for the same week. The total throughput for week ending 28/01/2024 was 62,980 as recorded by the Department of Agriculture, of which 1,588 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. 
  • Engagements with the newly appointed Food Regulator, Niamh Lenahan, 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 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. Trialogue – text resulted in a reduction of the thresholds for pigs and layers and left broilers at status quo and excluded bovines. We are working to lobby MEPs to have this text rejected in Parliament so as to hold status quo for pigs and layers too.  
  • 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 
  • 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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