The full takeover of Slaney and Irish Country Meats (ICM) by ABP removes yet another element of competition for cattle, ICMSA president Pat McCormack has said.

“Put bluntly, farmers have no confidence in the ability of the regulatory regime in Ireland to recognise this fact and provide some level of protection for the primary producer,” McCormack said.

“This move highlights the ongoing concentration at processor level that, in turn, duplicates the concentration at retail level.

“The irony is that all this is happening at the same time as the EU and Government are promoting a sustainability that has to mean trying to ensure sustainable prices to the farmer primary producers.”

French law

The ICMSA has said that if policymakers are serious about sustainability and the protection of the family farm, then measures will have to be implemented that ensure that farmers receive sustainable prices.

We think it – or something similar – will have to be examined at EU level

“We know that concentrations at processor level run exactly counter to that and we have to start seeing meaningful action to protect the farmer primary producers,” McCormack continued.

“ICMSA is looking closely at the legislation being considered by the French government on primary producer margins.

“We think it – or something similar – will have to be examined at EU level to address the ongoing concentration at processor and retail level and the relentless manipulation of prices and margins.”