Pig farmers facing “significant” cash flow pressures

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Hog producers are in the midst of a “perfect” storm of weaker global demand, pressure on prices and now an inability to move livestock off the farm in a timely manner.

This is according to the Ulster Farmers’ Union, which called for DAERA to tackle pressure from the hog industry.

The farm group has called for a quick meeting with Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots to discuss the current crisis in NI’s hog industry.

Pig breeders

He said reduced labor availability at local pork processing plants has hit NI pork producers for some time. As a result, it now exerts “enormous” financial pressure on farms.

The farm group met with industry representatives to raise the need to design a “workable” solution.

UFU President Victor Chestnutt said:

“The industry’s ability to manage the number of pigs that need to be processed each week needs to be taken into account. “

“This is directly linked to labor shortages. While this affects other sectors as well, pork producers are by far the most affected. “

The UFU chief said farmers had to deal with a “significant” backlog on the farm.

“This means bearing the cost of keeping and feeding the stock ready to be marketed. This weighs on already slim margins. “

“Failure to send pigs to the slaughterhouse at the right time also risks these animals not meeting the specifications required by the consumer and results in an additional penalty for the farmer.”

“To make matters worse, Karro recently reduced the price of finished hogs.”

“Producers, already facing significant cash flow pressures, are suffering a financial blow from this problem, not their fault,” he concluded.

NI Hog Industry Reaches ‘Breaking Point’

Last month, UFU warned that Northern Ireland’s pig sector “is at a breaking point”.

The farmers’ group stressed that “time is running out” because “pig farmers do not have the capacity to house additional pigs for much longer”.

He said his efforts to overcome the problem of labor availability in the processing sector are continuing.

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