ICSA beef chairman, Edmund Graham has demanded that there should be an investigation into “why factory prices are all equally low even though some factories are able to pay much more for cattle at marts”.
Mr Graham was addressing today’s (Thursday 17th) Beef Taskforce meeting.
“Some factories have markets which justify higher returns. This is evidenced by the prices paid at marts by factory agents.”
“Yet prices quoted by factories for direct sales are all uniformly similar. This strongly suggests that there is no free competition in terms of factory prices.”
Mr Graham insisted that this was a matter for the Beef Taskforce to bring to the attention of the CCPC (Competition and Consumer Protection Commissioner). He repeatedly asked the meat industry representatives for a response, but, he added, they “refused”.
“It is abundantly clear that some factories are in a position to pay 30-40c/kg more based on current demand for beef.”
“We have seen UK price rocket ahead of Irish price this year. The evidence is that some factories are actively paying much more at mart rings than the quoted prices.”
Beef Taskforce meeting
The seventh meeting of the Beef Taskforce was held virtually today, Thursday, December 17th.
Market transparency studies commissioned as part of the Beef Sector Agreement 2019 was the key focus.
Grant Thornton updated on progress as follows:
- Report one; an overview of competition law as it relates to the beef sector in Ireland is complete and will be published shortly.
- Report two; an independent review of the market and customer requirements of Irish beef is at an advanced draft stage. It has been given to the Taskforce for comment.
- Report three; price composition along the supply chain is at an advanced stage. A draft will be circulated to the Taskforce for comment in January.