Pig prices remained largely unchanged last week as factories paid 2c/kg either side of the €1.70/kg mark despite a series of IFA pig committee protests outside secondary pigmeat processors.

Farmers told the Irish Farmers Journal that they had expected a price rise to result from these protests after the IFA said that commitments had been secured where secondary processors were to “co-operate” with factories and retailers to deliver €2.00/kg by June.

The loss-making situation facing pig farmers has also been further exacerbated by an unexpected increase in pig feed costs, resulting from India’s ceasing of grain exports over concerns for food security.

Composite feed prices now stand at around €500/t, with farmers’ breakeven pig price sitting 60c/kg behind this week’s pigmeat prices.

To further the €2.00/kg pig price campaign, the IFA pig committee organised another protest on Wednesday outside Hilton Foods in Drogheda from 6am.

“We have been passed from Billy to Jack to John to Jim,” IFA pig chair Roy Gallie told the Irish Farmers Journal after meeting with the management of Hilton Foods.

“Retailers must recognise that their model of low-cost selling will come back to haunt them in the form of empty shelves.

“Every week we have these demonstrations, there is always someone that has stopped serving.

“Unsustainable is not the word, it is an absolute road to bankruptcy,” he said.

Wednesday’s protest takes the total number of IFA protests on this issue to six over a three-week period.