Farmers will continue protesting outside pigmeat processors until all four secondary processors commit to increasing farmer prices before June, IFA pig chair Roy Gallie has told the Irish Farmers Journal.

The comment comes after the IFA said its delegation protesting outside Oliver Carty meats in Athlone secured a commitment from the processor’s management that it would “co-operate with” factories to increasing farmer pig prices to €2/kg. The IFA reported having secured a similar commitment from Carroll's Cuisine last Thursday after a protest in Tullamore.

The Irish Farmers Journal was told by IFA members that they had been in touch with those attending the other protests, with these farmers saying that meetings were being held in Oakpark Foods, Co Tipperary and Connolly’s Pork and Bacon in Co Monaghan.

Farmers stated that they did not leave after the meeting, as they may need to travel to another protest site, should management there be unwilling to meet with IFA representatives or should they fail to commit to seeking the price rise.

Slow down the haemorrhaging

“We now have a commitment from Oliver Carty meats that they are going to co-operate with the factories and we also have a commitment from Carroll’s [Cuisine] from last week that they are going to co-operate with the factories to get pigs to €2/kg by 1 June,” pig farmer Willie Murphy said.

“We are looking get it to €2/kg to slow down the haemorrhaging, which will give farmers a lifeline to stay in the business for the next six months to try and let it recover.

“Farmers need cash to stay alive over the next six months,” he explained.

Protests are currently underway at the following four secondary processing units:

  • Oliver Carty Meats, Athlone.
  • Pilgrims, Shillelagh, Co Wicklow.
  • Oakpark Foods, Cahir, Co Tipperary.
  • and Connolly’s Pork and Bacon, Co Monaghan.
  • Commitment needed

    Speaking from the IFA’s protest at Pilgrims, Shillelagh, Co Wicklow, Gallie said that the processor’s management had shown a “complete understanding” of the situation facing pig farmers.

    The IFA will meet with a delegation from Pilgrims next week, but the management was unable to commit to seeking a price increase on Tuesday as the protest was underway, stated Gallie.

    “He [a general manager at Pilgrims] is absolutely understanding of where we are and although he can’t give commitment of guaranteeing 30c/kg, we will meet next week,” the pig chair said.

    Gallie said the IFA would organise further pig farmer protests next week, should the processors stall on price increases.

    "We can be back at any stage," he commented.