'Serious competition issues' must be addressed to aid Longford farmers

'Serious competition issues' must be addressed to aid Longford farmers

The IFA has said that “serious competition issues” were raised in its independent report on the proposed ABP/Slaney Meats deal.

The matter said the organisation’s president, Joe Healy “cannot be ignored by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and the Government”.  

“The proposed deal was formally submitted to DG Competition and IFA has been in contact again with Brussels and requested DG Competition to formally involve the Competition and Consumer Commission (CCPC) in Ireland, and the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK to ensure all competition issues raised are fully investigated and addressed,” he added.  

Mr Healy also said that he wrote to Isolde Goggin, Chairperson of the CCPC in Ireland and requested that it seeks a referral of the case to Ireland so as the fundamental competition issues around the purchase of cattle in Ireland are fully investigated.

“The main conclusion of the report 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),” continued Mr Healy.

“The report outlines that the chief concern over the proposed transaction is that it would make coordinated effects in the relevant markets more likely.

“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.”