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Ferris calls on Minister to address crisis in pig sector

17 October, 2007

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD has called on Minister Mary Coughlan to take immediate steps to address the crisis affecting Irish pig producers. The Kerry North TD was speaking prior to meeting an IFA delegation who are in Dublin to draw attention to the issue.

Deputy Ferris said, "It is clear that pig producers are experiencing great difficulties at the moment. Many producers are currently operating at a loss and it has been estimated that up to 30% are under threat of being forced out of business. Given the value of the sector and the fact that 7,000 people are employed, it is vital that steps are taken to address the crisis.

"One of the key factors is that producers are faced with feed prices that have risen sharply over the past year. That has not been compensated for by any increase in the price paid to producers by the processors. These are both issues that require urgent attention.

"Another factor that threatens the sector is the importation of pig meat that is processed here and then sold on to consumer without being clearly identified. It is vital therefore that all food carries a country of origin label. That should be implemented for all imported food produce and should form a part of a Department led survival strategy for the pig sector." ENDS

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