Why is transfer pricing not included in Grant Thornton report on Irish beef? – Nolan

An independent TD is questioning why transfer pricing does not appear to have been factored into a report by Grant Thornton on the value of the Irish beef carcass.

In a parliamentary question, deputy Carol Nolan also asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, to address concerns that the Irish foodservices industry was not consulted as part of the process leading to the publication of a report on the current in-spec bonus criteria.

She also asked the minister about the remuneration being provided to the company commissioned to carry out transparency studies on the Irish beef industry.

Grant Thornton report

Grant Thornton was commissioned by the Beef Market Taskforce to compile three reports, one of which was discussed at the taskforce in December 2020 regarding market and customer requirements relating to the four in-spec bonus criteria in operation.

Another report is on competition law as it relates to the beef sector – which has been published and is on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) website.

The third report relates to price composition of animals along the supply chain – a working draft of which is expected to be submitted to the taskforce soon.

The reports were commissioned as part of the September 2019 beef sector agreement.

Price points along supply chain

In response to deputy Nolan’s question, the minister said: “The purpose of the third report is to detail price points along the supply chain. Transfer pricing as an internal accounting practice is not relevant to this exercise, and thus not required under the terms of reference for the study.

“It is noted that all members of the Beef Market Taskforce had the opportunity to comment on, and agree, the terms of reference.

In relation to the cost of the transparency studies, the standard procurement process was used to select a suitable consultancy firm to carry out the three studies. The full cost of the three reports is €96,700.

“In relation to the consultation process carried out as part of the studies, all relevant supply chain actors including foodservice were consulted as part of the engagement,” the minister added.

Deputy Nolan said: “The reply of the minister, insisting that full consultation with the foodservices industry was carried out as part of the engagement process, stands in direct contradiction to the experience of stakeholders in the industry that have contacted me with their concerns.”

The Laois-Offaly TD is urging the minister to seek further clarification from Grant Thornton on that point.