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IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said factories are using carcase weight cuts to flatten the beef price on winter finishers in an attempt to get cheaper beef. He said with only 10% of our finished beef cattle over 420 kgs carcase weight, factories and Bord Bia are failing our best and most productive suckler farmers in the market place with penal weight limits.

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IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said it is incredible that the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney believes he has no role to play and ‘cannot get involved in’ the proposed investment by ABP in Slaney Meats and the lack of competition in the beef sector. Henry Burns said the Competition and Consumer Protection Authority has told IFA that there is nothing stopping Minister Coveney from having a view on the proposed merger and making a submission to the Authority on the matter.

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IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said the factories are attempting to erode confidence in the beef trade by threatening price and weight cuts to try and force out scarce supplies of cattle.

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IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said cattle and sheep farmers have serious concerns on competition and the concentration of the kill with the proposed investment by the ABP Group in Slaney Meats and Irish Country Meats. He said ABP have confirmed that they are set to take a 50% stake in Slaney Foods, which involves the purchase of the Allen family stake in the business.

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IFA National Livestock Chairman, Henry Burns said there is growing anger among cattle farmers over the way some factories have started to manipulate cattle price cuts on weight and age, contrary to the clear agreement under the Quality Payment System (QPS).

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