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Oct 7, 2016 | Press Releases | 0 comments

7 OCTOBER 2016

ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan has said he is dismayed at news coming from the European Commission that the ABP / Slaney merger will go ahead. Speaking following the announcement Mr Phelan said “This decision will only add to the perception that the EU is good at regulating small enterprises but weak on big business.”

“This, along with the EU’s inability to control the greedy retail sector has left Irish cattle and sheep farmers in an even worse position than before. Farmers are regulated to within an inch of their lives yet we have seen no regulation further down the food chain with the big retailers and processors making huge profits on the back of farmers who are lucky to break even. Farmers are getting squeezed from all sides when you also take into consideration the cost of inputs, something is going to have to give.”

Continuing Mr Phelan said “EU rules demand that producer groups cannot control more than 15% of supply, yet ABP factories have now received the green light to control in excess of 28% of the cattle trade and 40% of the sheep trade. ICSA, in its submission to the EU Commission, demonstrated that Slaney typically paid above average prices for heifers and steers and the concern is that this will now be eroded. Many farmers believe that the cattle trade is operated almost like a cartel, this merger only further consolidates the cattle trade in a small circle which leaves the farmer in an extremely vulnerable position.”


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