Farm Ireland

Saturday 18 November 2017

Pig farmers want 'multiple' talks

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Retail multiples have been accused by the IFA of building record profits off the backs of primary food producers.

The IFA's pigs committee chairman, Tim Cullinan, claimed that pig farmers were continuing to lose €10-15/hd at a time when supermarkets were continuing to increase both turnover and profits.

Mr Cullinan contrasted reports that Tesco will post an estimated €280m profit in the current fiscal year in its Irish division and achieve growth of almost 8pc with the ongoing struggle by pig producers to break even.


"The IFA pig committee is seeking meetings with all the major multiples immediately to highlight the losses being incurred by pig producers while they are posting massive profits," Mr Cullinan said.

However, a spokesman for Tesco said the issue of price paid to the producer was a matter between the farmer and the processor.

Mr Cullinan demanded that all factories processing Irish pigs clearly explain to producers why, at a time when EU prices have stabilised and the quantity of Irish Quality Assured pig meat products on shelf is at an all time high, they have cut returns to farmers.

"The take-home price of pig meat for producers must increase in line with increasing feed costs. All sections of the food chain must be able to make a profit not just the downstream processing and retail sales outlets," he added.

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Meanwhile, the release of 2m tonnes of intervention cereals stocks onto the market by the EU Commission has been welcomed by Mr Cullinan.

"This release, along with the suspension of the sorghum levy, was called for by the livestock sector in light of the devastating impact that the rising grain prices are having on the sector over the past number of months."

Irish Independent