Protest held over price of pig meat as sector faces uncertain future – Independent.ie

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The protest in Shillelagh started early on Tuesday morning.
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wicklowpeople
Myles Buchanan
May 11 2022 02:00 AM
PROTESTS were held outside Pilgrims Food Masters in Shillealgh on Tuesday in an effort to secure better prices for pig meat.
The IFA targeted four locations across the country, including Shillelagh, to seek commitments from food processors for price increase, with the protests starting from 6 a.m..
IFA Pigs Committee Chairman Roy Gallie said: “We were trying to get a meeting with the procurement officer, but they are currently over in the UK. We had a frank and enlightening conversation with the factory manager, who didn’t realise the scale of the predicament faced by pig farmers. We suggested that until you live it, you won’t understand and recommended they visit a local pig farm to get a better idea of the crisis facing the sector.”
Pig farmers find themselves at breaking point and are losing €55 per pig sold. Mr Gallie maintains that improved prices are desperately needed in order for the sector to survive.
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“It has been a very difficult few years for the sector. You had African Swine Flu, Brexit and then Covid, which left the industry is a very precarious situation. The price of pigs went down and down,” said Mr Gallie.
“Now you have Putin and Russia bombarding Ukraine, which is the bread-basket of Europe. Feed has inflated by around 97 per cent. Barley, what and maze has all risen dramatically. The price of Soya Oil has gone up from €700 to €2,000 a tonne, and you can hardly get phosphorous. Feed covers around 70 per cent of the cost of a pig farm.
“Pig prices remain stuck and you only get 4 cent per head extra compared to this time last year. That only pays for feed to feed the pigs, if even. It doesn’t cover any of the other costs involved.
"Primary producers need to be supported, otherwise the pig sector will be gone, and will take a long time to return, and there will be plenty of empty shelves. We are losing €55 per pig sold and this has been the case for far too long. We need the pig farmers to survive to fill the supermarket shelves,”
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