Irish pig farmers threaten to leave industry after prices hit 15-year low

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, have warned that Irish pig farmers are threatening to leave the industry as prices fail to lift from a 15-year low.

Pig prices have dropped to €1.38-1.40/kg, with the margin over feed price running at as low as €0.28/kg.

The Irish Independent reported that IFA pig chair Tom Hogan said that farmers are at their “wits’ end and battling on” and warned that if a price rise doesn’t come soon many will leave the industry.

Mr Hogan said: “Farmers are in despair. It’s hard to take some of the phone calls I get from them as they are very despondent. Some will keep battling on but I fear that many farmers will leave as they don’t see any price rise coming up.”

Teagasc pig specialist Ciaran Carroll said farmers were hopeful when prices in Germany increased to over €1.40/kg mark as it was thought the Irish industry would see a rise but that hasn’t been the case.

He added that feed prices have increased by €10/t – this accounts for 70% of the cost of production, which is piling extra pressure on farmers.

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