IFA President, Joe Healy, said an independent report commissioned by the IFA on the proposed ABP/Slaney meats deal raises serious competition issues for farmers which must be addressed by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
Speaking at the launch of the report prepared by Dr Pat McCloughan of PMCA Economic Consulting, Mr Healy said the main conclusion is that the primary procurement market for farmers selling cattle in Ireland to the meat factories is characterised by weak competition and the proposed deal is likely to weaken competition even further, through a ‘substantial lessening of competition’ (SLC).
IFA has sent a copy of the submission to Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the CPCC, as well as the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK. Joe Healy said, “This report is very clear on the competition concerns in the beef sector, the income pressures that exist for livestock producers and the impact that any weakening of competition would have on their livelihoods”.
Mr Healy said farmers are already very concerned about the lack of competition in the beef sector and this report on the proposed ABP/Slaney deal will heighten their fears.