Professional services firm Grant Thornton has run into a number of obstacles in determining an accurate picture of the final market value of Irish beef, AgriLand understands.

Grant Thornton is currently in the process of writing up a report for the Beef Market Taskforce on the price composition and value of Irish beef along the supply chain.

At a taskforce meeting yesterday (Tuesday, March 9), representatives from the company provided an update on this report.

It is understood that Grant Thornton hit certain stumbling blocks in determining the value of Irish beef at the point of the consumer, particularly due to a lack of data.

The spread of available information on Irish beef prices at various points in the supply chain – including at the retail and food services sectors – appears to have been uneven.

Grant Thornton was apparently able to find information on general beef prices, but concerns were raised at the taskforce meeting that this would not necessarily give an accurate appraisal of the value of Irish beef in the market.

It is understood that the amount of information presented by customers of Irish beef varied widely, with some presenting full data, some presenting partial data (citing commercial sensitivity) while some did not respond to Grant Thornton’s requests for data.

This apparently meant that pricing strategies by customers of Irish beef couldn’t be accurately worked out.

It is understood that Grant Thornton is also looking into establishing benchmark prices at various points in the supply chain.

However, this too ran into trouble with data, with the available information not thought to be sufficient to form a representative sample that would give accurate results.