Last week, the presidents of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) held a bilateral meeting online to discuss issues of mutual concern.

The meeting coincided with the debate in Plenary of the European Parliament about the future relationship between the UK and the EU post-Brexit and the vote by MEPs on the ratification of the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement.

“IFA supports the endorsement of the TCA between the EU and the UK, and we welcome the greater certainty in the market as a result of the agreement,” said IFA president Tim Cullinan.

The trade in commodities must not become a race to the bottom

Both organisations will continue to work together for the advancement of farmers on the island of Ireland and in the UK and will defend against any trade deals that could jeopardise the current market for products from vulnerable sectors.

NFU president Minette Batters said: “The trade in commodities must not become a race to the bottom.”

The strong links that exist between here and the UK will remain in place.

Tim Cullinan and Minette Batters re-affirmed their firm commitment to the adherence to world-class standards that underpin food production in the UK and Ireland.

The two presidents said any future trade deals between the UK and third countries have to provide a cast-iron guarantee that will recognise these standards fully.

The two delegations also discussed market developments across all sectors, where retail demand supported by strong levels of traceability for consumers ensured a strong performance.

Rosderra and Kepak falling behind the market leaves pig farmers out of pocket

IFA pigs committee chair Roy Gallie has called on pig processors Rosderra and Kepak to meet what others in the market are paying.

There is currently a price differential between the north of the country and the southern region of 8c/kg.

“This is totally unacceptable given that the trend in the majority of EU markets and in the UK is steadily upwards. It’s extremely important, not only for the pig farmer, but also for the trade, to move upwards. The momentum has to be maintained when it is justified,” he said.

It’s particularly galling when you read that yet another farm will be taken over this weekend by the processing industry

“Suppliers to both Dawn Pork & Bacon and Staunton’s, both pig factories based in the southern half of the country, who were already 4c/kg ahead of their northern counterparts, received a further 4c/kg increase this week. This was justified and is badly needed to cover sharply increasing feed costs,” he said.

Rosderra and Kepak did not increase their quoted pig price, and this has resulted in the discrepancy of €7.00 per pig.

“It’s particularly galling when you read that yet another farm will be taken over this weekend by the processing industry. It would be better for all if the processors stuck to processing and paying a better price to the farmer, rather than investing in pig production themselves on the back of withholding overdue price increases,” he said.

“They have to align themselves with the rest of the country and raise the pig price this Friday by a minimum of 8c/kg.”

Online employment seminar

The IFA is holding an employment seminar for farmer employers on Thursday 6 May at 7.30pm.

The event will take place over Microsoft Teams.

The seminar will include an expert panel to discuss the importance of compliance for farmer employers and an overview of its new employment service.

IFA has partnered with HR specialists HR Duo to offer members an expert employment service.

The IFA’s employment service enables members to become and remain compliant with employment law legislation.

To register for the event, visit