Crunch meeting at Slaney Meats
WEXFORD IFA representatives are holding a crunch meeting with Linden Foods at Slaney Meats, Bunclody, on Thursday, December 17, about Larry Goodman's acquisition of Bert Allen's 50 per cent share in the Wexford company, which is the county's second largest employer.
Wexford IFA Chairman Pat Murray said: 'We are meeting the manager director of Linden Meats, Gerry Maguire. We have concerns on a competition level about the fact that one major player holds close to 40 per cent of the meat kill in the country.'
Mr Murray said Slaney Meats kill about 98,000 of cattle per year, with plants in Camolin and Navan also.
'The factory in Camolin would have had huge investment. We have to know where we stand.'
The announcement that Mr Goodman's company ABP was acquiring the Allen family's stake in Slaney Foods sent shockwaves through Wexford's farming community.
Slaney Foods is the parent company of both Slaney Meats and Irish Country Meats (ICM). It is a joint venture formed in 2000 between Linden Foods, a northern Irish meat processor, and the Allen family, the original founders of the Slaney company. Slaney currently accounts for about 6 per cent of the national cattle kill, while ICM processes 40 per cent of the Irish sheep kill. The acquisition will see ABP move into sheep slaughtering in the Republic of Ireland for the first time in many years.
'The fact that Larry Goodman controls 50 per cent of the kill in the UK and a huge kill in Poland (is concerning). He is paying close to €1.30 less per kilo for Irish cattle so an Irish cow has to weigh 450 kilos to make the value of a 350 kilo UK cow. The competition authority need to look into this as the primary holders need to be protected. Mr Goodman seems to have done well out of beef. We have an extra 130,000 cattle more this year in the country than last year and beef farmers are suffering as a result.'