The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has confirmed to Agriland that it is currently examining two complaints relating to alleged anti-competitive behaviour in the Irish fertiliser industry.

The complaints were made within the last month and have been forwarded to watchdog’s enforcement division where they will undergo a screening process.

If the CCPC finds any evidence of potential anti-competitive practices it may then decide to launch a full investigation.

Agriland understands that one of the complaints was lodged by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Beef Plan Movement also lodged a complaint with the CCPC in March. The farm organisation has organised the movement of over 2,500t of fertiliser into the State for its members.


Last week, members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine discussed the ongoing issue of price disparity in the fertiliser industry.

The committee was addressed by the main farming organisations who said that there continues to be a “considerable variation in prices” between various suppliers across the country.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) said that farmers in Munster are paying more than €100/t more on average compared to farmer near the border where importing fertiliser from Northern Ireland is more cost effective.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) noted that prices around Europe continue to decrease, with an almost 60% fall in prices between the peaks of 2022 and March 2023, but in Ireland prices have only reduced by a fraction.

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) also told the committee that it was concerned that there could be a knock-on effect on forage yields as a result of farmers delaying applying fertiliser in the hope that prices would drop.

Chair of the committee, Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill has urged Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue to investigate what he claimed is a “cartel” in the fertiliser sector.

Members of the committee have agreed to write to the minister on the matter.

McConalogue previously said that he does not intend to formally investigate the fertiliser price issue.

He told Agriland in March that fertiliser prices are “outside” of his control as minister. He said it is a “market issue”.