The MEP has spoken out about the ABP deal and questioning the EU's commitment to small farmers.
MEP Luke Ming Flanagan has spoken out on the decision of the EU Competition Authority to unconditionally clear the purchase by ABP of Slaney Foods.
‘Looking at profits generated all along the food chain, the figures speak for themselves and they tell a stark tale...the farming sector upon which profits are created get nothing from the market place, continually operating below the cost of production.’
Ming pointed out that companies such as Norbrook and Alltech made it into Ireland’s rich list and at the retail level the Musgrave family (the owners of Supervalue and Centra) continue to make money while Ireland’s farmers suffer.
The purchase of Slaney Foods by ABP means that Goodman’s empire now control 28.% of the cattle kill and upwards of 40% of the sheep-kill in Ireland. Equally too it means that 50% of the rendering capacity on the island of Ireland is controlled by one player: ABP.
Flanagan pointed out that the deal differs starkly for farmers who must compete with stiff and binding regulation as part of the Common Agricultural policy, where it is stipulated that thehe maximum market share that the newly introduced ‘producer groups’ can have influence over is limited to 15%, lest they distort competition.
The MEP called into question the EU system and asked whether it really was committed to small farmers at all.