Pig farmers have said that they are expecting pig price increases from factories this Friday, following a series IFA protests outside secondary pigmeat processors this week..
IFA pig chair Roy Gallie stated that farmers are ready for a fresh round of protests, should processors fail to move on commitments given to the IFA that they would “co-operate” to deliver farmer price increases with the factories that supply them.
“We can be back at any stage,” he said.
Protesters outside four secondary processors on Tuesday were seeking a pig price of €2/kg before June in an effort to keep the sector afloat amid unprecedented sectoral losses.
The last price rise of 26c/kg, seen in the first week of April, was fully eroded by higher feeds costs within days. This increase took pig prices to approximately €1.68/kg where they have remained.
“The nightmare is dealing with the retail trade who are resisting price rises at every level, not only for pork,” Gallie said.
“But we do have the sledgehammer of cutting off supermarket supply as a tool of driving home the need for increases to them, should no rise be seen and seen soon,” he added.
Tuesday saw protests outside:
Secondary processors cannot look for supermarket price increases until primary processors raise pig prices first, according to IFA pig committee member Willie Murphy.
“There’s not a huge reluctance from [processors] to go the retailers and demand it for us, but a point that was made with both processors was that the ask has to come from the factories,” Murphy told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“We are looking to 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.
“The factories should make a start this Friday, putting up the price of pigs and again next Friday to get us to €2/kg by 1 June,” he said.
“We’re in dire straits and we are at a crossroads right now. We feel that we need to, we have to, get it to stay in business,” said another pig farmer, Patrick Kelly, from Co Roscommon.
“If we felt as if it was going in the right direction, it would give us a bit of positivity on the situation,” he explained.