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Saturday 16 December 2017

ICMSA in call for an Irish EBLEX system to 'establish transparency'

The adoption of an independent pricing monitor similar to the English EBLEX formula would help provide clarity on how much Irish farmers receive from the final consumer price for beef and other products, the ICMSA has stated.

EBLEX, the organisation for beef and lamb levy payers in England, publishes quarterly returns on the percentage beef and sheep farmers receive from the final consumer price.

Speaking after a meeting of the Beef Activation Group, ICMSA Beef Chairman Michael Guinan described the EBLEX formula as a "perfectly workable model" and said that an Irish version would help establish transparency on the carve-up of margins in the Irish beef industry.

He has called on the Beef Activation Group to include the proposal as part of their recommendations to the next Beef Summit.

"There is massive and unprecedented frustration among farmers in relation to beef prices over the past eight months," said Mr Guinan.

"Farmers believe that players further along the chain are gaining substantially at their expense.

"Farmers need answers in this regard and we also need transparency to provide farmers with confidence that they are being treated with some level of fairness by the other players in the retail chain.

"We need very clear and logical recommendations from the Beef Activation Group and we think that should start with EBLEX-style quarterly report," said Mr Guinan.

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EBLEX is part of Britain'sAgriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) along with five other levy organisations catering for pig, cereal, milk, potato and horticultural producers.

The AHDB is a non-departmental public body operating independently of government but liaising closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), its 'sponsor' department.

EBLEX is funded by a statutory levy paid on all beef and sheep animals slaughtered in or exported from England.

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