'Pig farmers are losing €3,000 a week and some will go to the wall in the coming months'

Catherine Hurley

Catherine Hurley

Pig farmers will go to the wall in the coming months, according to the IFA Pigs Committee Chairman Tom Hogan, with some farmers currently losing €3,000 a week.

Hogan said the IFA is putting together a plan to meet with the banks about cashflow, which he warned will be an issue in the coming months.

However, he also warned that some pig farms will not survive the coming months. "Definitely there will be casualties. Last year was a pretty good year, but it was filling holes of the previous year."

Pig farmers are currently losing between €8 and €10 per finished pig leaving the gate, according to Cork pig farmer Tom Sherman.

He said that the price has dropped dramatically in the last 12 months and meal prices have rocketed in price up on average €70/t.

"We're losing on both sides, whats coming in the gate and whats leaving, if this keeps going we're gone.

"We're not getting paid for what we need to keep in production.

"The cost of production is €1.50/kg and we're getting about €1.38/kg, thats between 10-12c a loss kilo of meat going out the gate, multiply that by 85 kilos per pig. In a 500 sow unit, thats a loss of €2-3000 a week or €140,000 a year."

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Pig farmers, he said, have always stood on their own feet and get no grants or subsidies, but they do want a level playing field.

"The Irish supermarkets are investing so much money and time in making foreign meat look like Irish produce."

"This tells me the Irish consumer is willing to support Irish.

"We're asking for clarity, clear distinction between foreign meat and Irish meat," Tom Sherman said.

Hogan also said that the IFA has to confront the retailers about it and educate the consumer.

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