Concern for pig farmers as producers lose €16 per animal

Farmers target Supervalu to ’inspect’ pig meat for Bord Bia quality assurance symbol

The Irish Farmers Association and representatives of Musgrave, owners of Supervalu, are in talks about stocking levels of Bord Bia quality approved pig products, in a bit to stem a crisis in pig production.

In recent weeks farmers, who claim to be making losses of €16 per pig, have turned out to “inspect” stocks of pig meat in Supervalu stores in Charleville, Cork, Castletroy, Limerick, and Kilbarry in Waterford.

Farmers, members of the IFA, claimed more than 50per cent of the pig meat on the Castletroy supermarket’s shelves was not quality-assured Irish pig meat, as it did not carry the Bord Bia quality assured label. They said there was also “substantial ” amounts of non-Bord Bia meat available in Kilbarry.

IFA pigs committee chairman Tom Hogan called on retailers and secondary processors to “support local Irish pig farmers and purchase Bord Bia-approved Quality Assured pig meat from certified plants”.


“It is heartbreaking to walk into a local retailer and see imported pig meat on the shelf, displacing our own locally-produced pork and bacon” he said.

“This practice displaces Irish pig meat and jeopardises the entire industry which supports over 10,000 jobs in the country.”

Mr Hogan warned “the seriousness of the situation on Irish pig farms has become alarmingly worse in recent weeks, with farmers losing up to 20 cent per kg on factory pigs.

“This equates to a loss of over €16 on every pig produced.”

He said without action on costs of fodder and prices paid to farmers “the viability of many family pig farms will be called into question by their bank managers, and the outcome will not be a good one”.

Asked about the outcome of a high-level meeting between the IFA and Musgrave, on Tuesday of this week, an IFA spokesman would only say “contacts are ongoing”.

A spokesman for Musgrave said “unfortunately Musgrave has no comment to make on this matter at the moment”.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist