EU approval of Slaney-ABP deal is bad for farmers - Martin Kenny
Speaking today on news that EU Competition authorities have given the go-ahead to the part takeover of Slaney Meats by Larry Goodman’s ABP Group, Sinn Féin agriculture spokesman, Martin Kenny TD said he was concerned about the impact this would have on healthy competition in the Irish meat market.
Deputy Kenny said:
“The farm organisations already expressed their concerns about the income crisis in which Irish producers find themselves and this cannot be seen as anything other than another blow to them in their struggle to make a living.
“The figures speak for themselves when you see that now ABP Group will control 50% of Slaney Foods beef operations and half of Irish Country Meats’ sheep meat operation.
“As it is, ABP and Slaney account for 28.5% of all cattle slaughtered here and when it comes to premium cattle, it amounts to control of over 36% along with half of the rendering capacity in this state.
“How the EU competition adjudicators can judge this not to be detrimental is beyond me. Along with the farm organisations I am concerned about this dominance of major players in processing and retail.
“The EU body claims that farmers have a choice to go to other factories if the price is not right. Do they realise we live on an small island and that this level of monopoly of the market cannot be good for farmers?
“This situation calls for the government to introduce adequate legislation and regulation to protect farmers. It seems to be that everyone makes a profit out of the production of Irish meat except the primary producer.”