MEP Anderson seeks meeting between Agriculture Minister and pig farmers
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson, following a meeting with UFU representatives this morning, has pledged support for the plight of pig farmers in their fight for fair production prices.
Ms Anderson, on behalf of the farmers and producers, has requested a meeting with Agriculture Minister, Michelle O'Neill to discuss the matter.
Martina Anderson said :
"I met with representatives of the UFU this morning and listened to the concerns expressed by pig farmers and producers who feel that they are being treated less than fairly by the meat processors. I must say based on the figures identified this morning I am in full agreement with their assessment.
"While feed is cheaper in Britain than it is here and despite trading with the same processors, our farmers are being paid eight pound per pig less than their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales.
"This is totally unacceptable. I pledge my full support with the farmers and producers in their demand to receive a fair price for their product. As soon as I left the meeting this morning I sought a meeting between Minister Michelle O'Neill, the farmers and producers and myself to discuss the situation and how best to proceed to ensure that our farmers are not discriminated against in the price they receive for their product.
"I will also be seeking agreement with my colleague MEP's to determine what we can do on a European level.
"The farmers are not seeking special treatment but fair treatment. We want transparency and openness in how the processors can justify paying our farmers eight pounds per pig less than those in England, Scotland and Wales while production costs in Britain are less than exists here.
"In fact when the higher production costs here are taken into account the differential in price received here is even more than the eight pounds less paid by the processors.