'It's not going to leave more money in farmers' pockets having a plant at every crossroads' - Larry Goodman
Following competition approval of his high-profile takeover of Slaney Foods in recent weeks, ABP owner Larry Goodman has signalled that further consolidation is necessary in the Irish beef sector.
Speaking to the Farming Independent, at the giant trade fair SIAL in France this week, Goodman said that further consolidation was still required in the Irish meat processing sector. He believes that close to 60pc of the capacity of Irish slaughter plants remains unutilised.
"We're still very small, relatively speaking, and it's not going to leave more money in farmers' pockets having a plant at every crossroads," he said.
ABP this week announced another significant acquisition – further expanding its meat processing facilities in Poland, which will help the company build throughput by another 100,000 head to 250,000 over the next three years.
"There are lots of places to invest all over the world with better returns than Ireland, all in the agri-sector," noted Mr Goodman.
Larry Goodman also raised concerns in regard to the impact of Brexit on the UK beef sector. He said that axing UK farm supports would have a disastrous effect on beef farmer numbers in the country where he has concentrated his largest investments.
"If state supports go, UK beef farmers would be wiped out in 10 years," Mr Goodman said.