Pork processors in Ireland have come under fire from pig producers over the prices they are being offered.
According to Pat O'Keeffe, pork chairman of the Irish Farmers' Association, there is a widespread belief among producers that the processors are effectively operating a cartel to keep Irish pig prices below that of the EU counterparts at a time when EU prices are 15% higher than this time last year.
In comparison with other EU states, Ireland's average August price was only 95% of the Dutch price, 92% of the Belgian price, and 83% of the German price, whereas German prices are set to rise even further this autumn as numbers fall in comparison to 2005 levels.
Actually, producers need to see the full benefit of stronger market returns to processors, because energy costs have risen and compounders are talking up feed prices. Furthermore, the nitrates directive will have a serious, i.e. cost increasing effect on pig producers.
Source: Samic (South African Meat Industry Company)