The IFA’s pig price protests continue

On Monday May 10, pig farmers and members of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) began protesting for pig price increases, at four processors based in and across Ireland, writes Meghan Taylor.

The protests began at 6am Monday morning, at Carty Meats in Athlone, Co. Westmeath; Pilgrims in Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow; Oakpark Foods in Cahir, Co. Tipperary; and Connollys Pork and Bacon, Co. Monaghan.

The protestors are preventing trucks and vans from leaving or entering the processor sites, to halt deliveries or collections; they are not stopping the movement of processor staff, however.

The IFA has said that its group protesting outside of Oliver Carty meats in Athlone has secured a commitment from the processor’s management: that it would ‘co-operate with’ factories to increase farmer pig prices to €2/kg.

Nonetheless, the IFA has said that the protestors have no intention of standing down until engagement with the processors has taken place in all four protest locations, with IFA members being prepared to be in place ‘for many hours or until a satisfactory outcome is reached’.

In a message circulated to IFA committee members, prior to the protests, IFA pigs committee chair Roy Gallie said: “We need €2/kg from the marketplace, otherwise the industry is in jeopardy of extinction and there won’t be Irish pig meat on the shelves.”

Speaking from the protest at Pilgrim’s, Shillelagh, Mr Gallie said that the processor’s management had shown ‘a complete understanding’ of pig farmer’s situations, and a delegation from both sides will meet next week to discuss further actions.

“[A general manager at Pilgrim’s] is absolutely understanding of where we are and although he can’t give commitment of guaranteeing 30c/kg, we will meet next week.”

Mr Gallie also said that the IFA would organise further protests in the coming weeks, should processors stall on price increases: “We can be back at any stage,” he added.

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