'We don't know the margins of meat processors' - meat industry body

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Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has said it doesn’t know the profit margin of the Irish meat processing companies it represents.

While the owners of many of the country's main meat processors regularly feature on Rich Lists, Meat Industry Ireland has said it doesn't know the profit margins of its members.

At the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture's recent Future of the Beef sector discussion, Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh asked MII what is the “aggregate profit” of the 13 meat processing companies it represents.

MII Chairman Philip Carroll stated that it doesn’t know the profit margins and insisted that its role is instead to represent meat manufacturers on issues impacting the sector.

“We’re a representative organisation. We have 13 private companies we do not know what their profit margins are.  That’s not our role, our role is as every other representative organisation is in this room which is to represent the cross cutting issues that impact that sector,” said Mr Carroll.

“In this room we don’t deal with the accounts or the details of their markets or the contracts that they sign in respect of markets, we don’t have that level of information. We have never raised that question, it is never one that has come up.

Senior Director at MII, Cormac Healy pointed out that the processing plants are private companies and operate as so but “every year or every second year, the CSO publish data on the manufacturing sector in this country and publish data on the meat processing sector processing sector and that’s publicly available also.

“Over the years that shows a net margin position in the meat processing sector operating in the region of 0.5 to 1pc to and those are on the record and available.”

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