The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) stood down its protest outside Hilton Foods in Drogheda around midnight on Thursday after protesters voted by a “narrow majority” to suspend the demonstration as they await news of possible price increases from factories.

IFA pig chair Roy Gallie stated that “no answer” had been definitively given by Tesco or Rosderra on a €2.00/kg pig price, but that the two did agree to examine the possibility of rising farmer prices, with the IFA expecting a response by Monday.

“We have been assured that Rosderra and Tesco are in co-operation to examine the mechanisms whereby farmers’ pig prices would increase,” Gallie told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“There was no affirmative on the €2.00/kg, but they said they would take a look at the numbers and get back to us by Monday.

“They will look at the cost and the timeframe to see how close they could get us to the €2.00/kg,” he said.

A 4c/kg pig price rise has also been announced, with farmers' prices to rise marginally to €1.74/kg next week.

Protest action

Both Tesco and Rosderra had met with a delegation from the IFA following a protest at Hilton Foods, where farmers had gathered from 6am Wednesday as part of the IFA’s €2.00/kg pig price campaign.

Hilton Foods is the secondary pigmeat processor that supplies Tesco and processes the pigs slaughtered in Rosderra.

Farmers had voted by a “narrow majority” to stand down the protest to “not adversely affect” Rosderra and Tesco’s examining of the IFA pig price rise proposal, Gallie said, adding that he saw the campaign as being "far from over".