Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon, T.D. chaired the second meeting of the Pig Roundtable today 28th of July.
Minister Heydon welcomed key stakeholders to the meeting, which focused on animal welfare.
Minister Heydon referred to his role in new market development, and said:
“For the pig sector, which has had great success in international markets, it is particularly important to maintain and grow our reputation in relation to animal welfare standards.”
The Minister noted that all parties want a competitive and sustainable pig industry that survives and thrives into the future.
“To ensure this happens, we need to future-proof the industry, and addressing One Health, One Welfare issues will be key in that regard.”
Members of the Roundtable had a robust and constructive discussion about various aspects of pig welfare, with the Minister stressing the need for all parties to continue to work together for the long term greater good of the sector.
“The pig roundtable has been tasked with addressing some challenging topics that face the sector in the immediate and longer term. However, I firmly believe that by working together the Irish pig sector can plot out a route to a sustainable and competitive future,” Minister Heydon said.
The next meeting of the Roundtable, with a focus on animal health, is scheduled for October.
The Roundtable also heard an update on the market outlook from Bord Bia.
Note for editors: The pig sector has shown exceptional value growth. Notwithstanding the problems caused by COVID-19 in the first half of 2020, the sector showed itself to be remarkably resilient with export values of €893 million in 2020, an increase of 270% in value over the past decade. The industry is the third largest agri-food sector after dairy and beef.
Roundtable members include pig farmers, farm and processing representative bodies, Teagasc, Bord Bia and DAFM officials.