Concerns as ABP set to increase its share of beef kill
Concerns have been raised over a concentration of the beef kill after Larry Goodman's ABP Group has moved to take a 50pc stake in Slaney Foods.
The new joint partnership would be a significant move in the meat business that would see ABP enter the sheepmeat market as Slaney Foods includes Irish Country Meats (ICM) in addition to the Slaney international beef business.
ABP Food Group, chief executive, Paul Finnerty said they would be joining Northern Ireland's Linden Foods in a partnership to run the Slaney Foods business in Ireland.
He said they intend to "grow and develop" in a very competitive market environment.
However, the IFA's national livestock chairman Henry Burns said competition in the beef and lamb trade is "always a contentious issue between farmers and factories".
"Farmers are rightly concerned with the over dominance of a number of major players at both processing and retail level," he said.
The investment will be subject to clearance by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. Mr Burns said the commission needs to carry out a full investigation and provide the necessary undertakings to farmers around competition and market concentration.