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U-Turn on Pig Price Cut

08 October 2014

IRELAND - Irish meat processor Kepak is to rescind half the price cut imposed on pig farmers last week.

The move follows a meeting at Kepak’s pig processing plant in Cavan this week.

Irish Farmers’ Association Pigs Chairman Pat O’Flaherty said the company has agreed to rescind the remainder of the cut on Friday, if the market remains stable this week.

He said: “This cut was unjustified and management listened closely to the concerns we raised this morning. What we need to see now is some confidence back in the system and this can be done by restoring the price in full later this week.

“Kepak were welcomed by pig producers when they took over McCarrons. They heralded the start of a new era of fairness in the pig industry, but the announcement that they would be pulling prices was a bodyblow for producers. The move left them 5c/kg shy of the market price paid elsewhere.”

Mr O’Flaherty said pig producers are under enormous financial strain.

“The problem is two-fold; millers have refused to realistically reflect the drop in raw material prices back to pig producers and pig prices have fallen by 20-24c/kg since the start of July.”

Mr O’Flaherty added: “All factories in Ireland are operating in the same market and therefore a drop is completely unjustified. This is a second red card for Kepak as a few weeks ago they dropped prices by a greater amount than all other factories. This 5c/kg differential will cost the average sized pig producer over €1,000/pig per week. The average price of pigs was €1.55c/kg (VAT exclusive) last week, but the breakeven price is €1.66/kg. That’s almost €10 lost on every pig sold.”

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