Published: Wed, 09 October 2013
Seán Kelly this week questioned the massive beef price gap on returns to Irish farmers compared to their British counterparts, in an address to Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The Ireland South MEP has raised the issue on numerous occasions and previously called on the European Commission to investigate whether some form of price-fixing could be at play, directly contravening EU competition laws.
Speaking in the Parliament this week, Mr Kelly said: “Bord Bia estimates that there is around €350 difference per animal between what an Irish beef producer is paid to that of a British producer.
“The price gap has increased exponentially in recent years. In 2008, there was a 10 cent difference, in 2011 it was 14 cent, but by this year the differential reached 41 cent.”
Mr Kelly later stressed the seriousness of the situation: “It is time to examine this situation closely. Is there a cartel in operation? How are the British factories able to pay so much more money than the Irish factories?
“It is unfair to Irish producers and the EU has a role to play in terms of investigating any possible breach of competition law. “
The Fine Gael MEP has again reiterated his request that the European Commission examines the issue.