The Tipperary TD has accused ABP of having a monolopy interest in the Irish beef sector.
Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill spoke in the Dáil yesterday on the subject of Larry Goodman's ABP Food Group. He said they had a “monopoly interest” in Irish beef and described their acquisition of a 50% share in Slaney Meats as “inconceivable”.
“It is the view of the vast majority of farmers engaged in the beef industry that this group controls a monopoly interest in the industry as it stands but it has been permitted to take out one of the remaining independent players in the industry. Farmers cannot understand how this decision was made to allow Slaney Meats to be taken over by the ABP Group and why responsibility for the decision was relinquished to Brussels.”
He accused ABP of “taking over an increasing number of feed lots,” and of “releasing cattle from its own feed lots and manipulating the market to ensure there is no price surge”.
He blamed this practise on the stagnant beef prices this Spring. “There was no price lift for winter finishers. Unfortunately, winter finishers have taken so many batterings that they have no confidence to purchase stores, which is a huge contributory factor to the fall in store prices over the past month to six weeks.” He said that as a result, competition is “being taken out of a trade that has been lacking in proper competition for a long number of years.
Deputy Cahill added: “Cattle drops have dropped significantly over the past number of weeks. Live exports reduced by 58,000 head last year and it looks like they will reduce further this year while, at the same time, calf registrations increased by 132,000.”