IFA Pigs Committee Chairman Roy Gallie said pig farmers are now in their 18th consecutive month of loss making.
According to Teagasc, the family size farm of 600 sows continues to lose money in January 2023, which is €14 for every pig sold today.
Teagasc estimates that for the 12 months of 2022, Irish pig farms lost a staggering €103m. “No industry can sustain this level of losses without either imploding or suffering serious permanent damage,” he said.
“The pig industry has shown immense strength and resilience to withstand what has been, and still is, a financial nightmare for the last year and a half. We are losing more money this week than we did last week,” he said.
“International markets have been slow to start off the New Year. We now have been met with a 4c/kg drop in the pig price from some of our main processors, while at the same time, feed price, which is 70% of the cost of producing a pig, has increased significantly. Irish producers are paying over 50% more today than what they paid in December 2020, with certain feed ingredients on the rise again,” he said.
Pig farmers need to return to profitability immediately and stay there for a considerable period of time to recover the losses they have incurred. The ever-increasing cost of compliance is not reflected in the pig price and leaves us even more exposed to market forces well beyond the industry’s control.
“In the meantime, it is vitally important for everyone to continue to support ‘local and Irish’, whether you are a retailer, wholesaler, government procurement, hospitality sector, butcher, or all those doing the weekly shop – please support Irish farmers.”
“We are calling on the industry not to impose any further price drops on the farmer. The next move must be up. If we want an industry to grow food for our customers, then a return to profitability is imperative and quickly,” the Chairman concluded.