The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) and Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue have had a constructive meeting on the crisis facing the pig sector, according to statements.

An IFA delegation led by president Tim Cullinan and pig committee chair Roy Gallie met with Minister McConalogue and Department officials on Tuesday.

The meeting followed the IFA’s protests on Monday which aimed to highlight the plight of Ireland’s pig farmers.

Scale of problem

IFA president Tim Cullinan described how “the Minister and his officials acknowledged the scale of the problem and the serious consequences for pig farmers”.

“A round-table meeting of stakeholders is due to take place next week, chaired by Minister [of state at the Department of Agriculture] Martin Heydon.

“The Department needs to come forward to this meeting next week with tangible measures to ease the crisis.

“Based on Teagasc data, farmers are losing €37.84 per pig due to the price drop, combined with an unprecedented increase in feed prices. They need an immediate solution.”

Severe challenges

In a post on social media following the meeting, Minister McConalogue said he is “acutely aware of the severe challenges facing farmers, their families and their businesses”.

He said that both himself and Minister Heydon “will continue to engage closely with farmers to help address the current pressures”.

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