Greater transparency within the beef processing industry would lead to more trust within the sector, according to Jim Power.
The IFA commissioned the leading economist to assess the current challenges facing beef production in Ireland.
In the report, which was published on Tuesday, March 3rd, the economist reviewed the level of transparency within the chain of production: “There is a high level of price transparency in relation to cattle prices, but there is no information available on the prices paid to processors by retailers and other customers.”
“This is creating considerable mistrust and allegations. It is in the interests of the whole industry to provide detailed information.”
The lack of clarity on margins in the processing sector derives from the fact that they are private businesses who don’t publish accounts, according to the report.
“Most damagingly, there is a total lack of trust in the beef supply chain, much of which is being driven by a total lack of transparency.”
The Beef Taskforce has commissioned Grant Thornton to carry out an independent review of market and consumer requirements, especially to identify whether there is a strong relationship between consumer demands and in-spec bonus criteria.
Re-building trust in sector
Power states that, although efforts are being made to create a better understanding of the markets and the supply chain, this review hinges on the support of the processing companies releasing sensitive data to the consultant.
“To bring more trust into the beef supply chain and eliminate much of the damaging confrontation in the sector, a much greater level of transparency is essential.”
“The creation of a beef price index by Bord Bia, the attendance of retailers at the Beef Taskforce talks, and the consultancy work being carried out by Grant Thornton do represent steps in the right direction, but the task of rebuilding trust in the sector is an immense one.” Power concluded.