Why live exporters are treated with a special reverence
The collapse of Ireland's largest live cattle exporter has rocked the fragile confidence in our beef sector. TLT International was owned by the Garavelli brothers, Paolo and Davide.
Between them, they had built up a business that exported over €30m worth of livestock every year, in the form of 30,000 head of cattle, 60,000 sheep and some pigs.
Some observers reckon that it was one of the biggest independent operators in Europe, with 14 trucks on the road shipping thousands of animals out of the country on a weekly basis.
Up to 80pc of the stock was trucked via the Rosslare-Cherbourg ferry through France into Italy, with some stock travelling as far as Spain and even Libya.
The Garavellis claimed this week, as the receiver from Grant Thornton moved in, that all the outstanding contracts for stock had been handed over to a French firm with some knowledge of the Italian market.
However, despite the scale of the operation based just north of Mullingar town in Co Westmeath, the Garavellis only returned a profit of €180,525 last year.
The latest set of accounts also show that the company's overdraft had doubled to €4,577,165 by the end of August 2012.
Trade creditors accounted for another €3.4m of the firm's creditors falling due within one year, according to the same documents.