Written Answers. - Pig Processing Industry.

Wednesday, 28 May 1986

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 367 No. 2

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Mr. MacSharry: Information on Raymond MacSharry  Zoom on Raymond MacSharry  asked the Minister for Agriculture if in view of the collapse of pig prices over the past number of weeks and the need to develop an efficient processing sector with the emphasis on value-added products, he considers that there is now an urgent need to streamline the sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Deasy): Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  The decline in pig prices in recent months is a direct reflection of the difficult market for pigmeat at home and abroad. The recent introduction of an EC scheme of aids for private storage of pigmeat has averted a further drop in prices and, combined with a decline in feed prices, has prevented a further erosion of producer margins.

For some time past I have been pointing to the pressing need for the industry to rationalise its slaughtering capacity and modernise its processing plants. This is essential if the industry is to gear itself to meet the increasing competition it faces on all markets. Government support for rationalisation is provided through the generous grant aid which is available from the IDA, supplemented by funds from FEOGA.

An aggressive approach to marketing is also required and it is important that [399] the firms involved should vigorously pursue the development of value-added products. The services of CTT are available to help with export marketing arrangements but firms themselves must be prepared to devote more resources to this area.

Arising out of the meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday the Commission is to propose an increase in export refunds which will benefit our exports to Japan. Also, favourable consideration is to be given to the possibility of increasing the FEOGA contribution for pigmeat processing projects in non-disadvantaged regions in Ireland.

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