‘Farmers have real fears around the lack of competition in beef processing’

Livestock farmers have real fears and concerns around the lack of competition and dominance in beef processing as well as rendering.

That’s according to Henry Burns, Chairman of the IFA’s Livestock Committee who said this was due to the proposed sale of the Allen family’s 50% share of the Slaney/ICM business to ABP.

This investment would give ABP effective control of up to 28% of the beef kill and three of the six rendering plants in the country. ICM has up to 40% of the lamb kill.

Burns says while the investment will be subject to clearance by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CPCC), the IFA is insisting that the Government makes a submission to the CCPC through the Minister for Agriculture on the importance of guaranteeing competition in beef processing and rendering for farmers.

He said IFA has been in contact with the CCPC and will be making a submission on the matter.

The CCPC has not yet been notified of the proposed merger of ABP / Linden Foods.

Prior to Christmas, the Linden Food Group announced that it is set to restructure its Slaney Foods business in the Republic of Ireland, resulting in the creation of a new partnership with ABP.

Once a proposed transaction is notified, the CCPC has thirty working days to make a Phase 1 determination (unless a Requirement for Further Information is issued to the parties, in which case the deadline is extended).

Once the 30 days are over, the CCPC will either: (i) clear the deal – this could involve clearance with conditions such as divestitures or (ii) move to a Phase 2 investigation.”

Under the proposed deal ABP has confirmed that they are set to take a 50% stake in Slaney Foods, which involves the purchase of the Allen family stake in the business.

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