European Court to Examine Beef Producers in Ireland

IRELAND - Plans to slash the number of beef producers in Ireland will come under the spotlight at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg on Wednesday.
calendar icon 2 June 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

According to the Sunday Business Post, the ECJ is hearing a reference from the Irish Supreme Court, following an appeal by the Competition Authority against a High Court judgment.

The news agency reports that in 2006, the High Court rejected the authority’s challenge to the Beef Industry Development Society Ltd (BIDS) and Barry Brothers (Carrigmore) Meats Ltd over a proposed rationalisation scheme.

Around 100,000 farmers are involved in cattle production in the state, and the 32 operational plants are owned by 22 processors.

Approximately 1.6 million animals are processed every year, and about 90 per cent of the beef is exported.

In 1998, a study carried out by McKinsey’s at the request of the Irish government and the beef industry found substantial overcapacity in the slaughtering and de-boning sector, and recommended that the number of processors be cut to between four and six.

The 1999 Beef Task Force report, prepared at the request of the Minister for Agriculture and Food, recommended that the industry create a buy-out fund to remove surplus capacity, and that plants processing up to 420,000 cattle a year be decommissioned by agreement.

  • View the Sunday Business Post story by clicking here.
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