The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has welcomed the planned EU introduction this week of private storage aid (PSA) for pigmeat, with the added warning that further measures will need to follow quickly if PSA doesn’t put farmers “back in the black”.
“Considering the huge losses that pig farmers have been absorbing since last year, this measure is well overdue,” said IFA pigs committee chair, Pat O’Flaherty.
“We have been campaigning for the introduction of market measures since pig farmers started losing money in earnest last autumn and we were really disappointed that the European Commission did not support calls to introduce a PSA scheme for pigmeat previously.
“Although European prices have started to rise in the last few weeks, they remain 20% below the five-year average and this has been a very difficult five-year period for pig farmers. Some Irish farmers have received a price increase of 4c/kg but not all and this still leaves them 15-20c/kg off the cost of production.”
While remaining upbeat about the potential impact of PSA, Mr O’Flaherty added: “We sincerely hope that this measure will have the desired effect, but if it doesn’t put pig farmers back in the black, then export refunds should be re-examined.”