A formal complaint alleging “cartel-like” behaviour on fertiliser by Teagasc, the Fertilizer Association of Ireland and the “entire Irish chemical fertiliser industry” has been lodged with the European Commission by Supersoil.

The European Commission’s competition-wing confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal that the complaint had been received.

The Commission said that the complaint will be assessed under “standard procedures”.

Supersoil claims to have “hard evidence of corruption and cartel-like behaviour” on practices including price fixing, monopoly power, collusion and scientific misuse.

Teagasc rejected the claims and told the Irish Farmers Journal that any allegation that it could be involved in cartel-like behaviour is “absurd” as it does not manufacture or sell fertiliser.

“This false allegation arises from a lack of understanding of what The Fertilizer Association of Ireland actually does.

“It is not a lobbying organisation,” a Teagasc spokesperson said.

‘Non-commercial body’

The Fertilizer Association of Ireland stated that it is a “non-commercial body” which acts as a “technical group with a mission to promote the efficient use of fertiliser”.

Teagasc also pointed out that the complaint comes after a trial by Teagasc which used Supersoil on a crop of oats at a site in Wexford found “no crop yield or financial return” resulting from using the product which retails at €749 for a 10ha pack.

Teagasc has said it will continue to carry out trials on the product.

The product is marketed as an organic alternative to fertiliser with microbes able to “draw down massive amounts of nitrogen and carbon from the atmosphere” to boost growth.

Supersoil describes itself as a company involved in the “manufacture of fertilisers and nitrogen compounds”.

The company has a registered address at Newry Road, Dundalk, Co Louth.

It began marketing its Supersoil products on the Irish market in recent years.