Farmers Want to Know Minister’s View on Competition Issue

Following the IFA Rally outside Slaney Meats in Bunclody, Co Wexford yesterday, IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns has acknowledged today’s move by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney that he will write to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) about the ABP investment in Slaney Meats.

He said, “Farmers want to know what the Minister’s view on the issue is. They also want the Minister to include in his submission to the CCPC the issue of price competition in the processing and rendering sectors”.

Henry Burns said livestock farmers have real fears and concerns around competition and dominance in beef processing as well as rendering in the sale of the Allen family 50% share of the Slaney/ICM business to ABP. This investment would give ABP effective control on up to 29% of the beef kill and three of the six rendering plants in the country.

Sheep farmers are equally concerned over competition and dominance in lamb processing with the ABP investment in Irish Country Meats (ICM). ICM currently has up to 40% of the lamb kill and lamb processing also needs more competition.

Henry Burns said farmers are demanding that the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney gets stuck in and tackles the lack of competition that has plagued the Irish beef sector for years. He said, “Livestock farmers are very frustrated because they feel the Minister is clearly leaning towards the processors and not the farmer”.

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