IFA president Joe Healy has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to establish a statutory commission of investigation into the beef sector.

It is hoped a full investigation will establish processor and retailer margins along the supply chain.

Healy said: “With the statutory powers of a commission of investigation, the Government should be able establish answers to these questions relatively quickly.

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"Farmers are entitled to know the truth about who is making what from their cattle in the beef supply chain.”

Current stalemate

The IFA president claimed if this was done alongside a price commitment from the factories and an assurance from Minister Creed to put a Brexit support scheme in place for all farmers who sold cattle after 12 May 12, it could provide a basis for a resolution to the current stalemate.

“The commission must also be able to verify if certain specifications are being demanded by retailer customers and if this justifies these being applied in respect of cattle prices.

"It should also look at what is going on with factory-controlled feed lots and how these are being used to manipulate cattle price.”

IFA investigation

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“A number of months ago, IFA engaged economist Jim Power to investigate some of these matters.

"While he has made a progress on many matters, it is clear that without being able to access financial data from the meat plants and retailers, it is not be possible to definitively determine what the processor and retail margins are,” said Healy.

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