Urgent pig price rise called for by farmers
Pig farmers have demanded an urgent increase in pig prices to protect producers from the sharp hike in feed costs.
At an emergency meeting of the IFA pig committee last week, committee chairman Tim Cullinan said it was vital that processors secure an increased margin from retail and food service sectors.
"The three pillars that affect pig meat's costs of production are currently under threat; pig prices, feed prices and manure management," Mr Cullinan said.
"Pig price movements since July have been negative in some plants and unchanged in the rest. However, since this time feed prices have risen rapidly, increasing the cost of production by over €10 per pig," he added.
"In the current financial climate, credit is not accessible and pig producers are counting on processors to ensure that supplies of Irish pig meat will be available in the future.
"Farmers do not know where the price increases in feed will stop but they are demanding that the pig price increases to recover the losses."
Mr Cullinan pointed out that farmers received just 17-20pc of the retail price, and he slammed the attitude of retailers to the plight of primary producers.
"The European parliament has recognised that below cost selling of products must be prohibited and the dominant position of retailers watched," Mr Cullinan said. "We are calling on processors to immediately address the crisis that has developed due to feed price increases. Processors must react by commanding a higher return from the market and passing it back along the chain to secure producers' survival."