Kepak agrees to row back on half of price cut imposed on pig farmers

Kepak has agreed to rescind half the price cut imposed on pig farmers last week, the Irish Farmers’ Association announced yesterday, following a meeting with the company at its plant in Cavan.
Kepak agrees to row  back on half of price cut imposed on pig farmers

IFA pigs committee chairman Pat O’Flaherty said Kepak has agreed to rescind the remainder of the cut on Friday if the market remains stable this week.

“This cut was unjustified and management listened closely to the concerns we raised. 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,” he said.

Mr O’Flaherty said Kepak’s takeover of McCarrons was welcomed by pig producers. It heralded the start of a new era of fairness.

But the announcement that it would be pulling prices was a body blow for producers as the move left them 5c/kg shy of the market price paid elsewhere.

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

“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 break even price is €1.66/kg. That’s almost €10 lost on every pig sold,” he said.

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