Commenting on the clearance by the EU Commission of the Slaney Foods JV and Slaney Proteins by ABP Group and Fane Valley mergers Mairead McGuinness, MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament said it is to be hoped that the Commission’s confidence that the development will not lead to a diminution of competition and resultant unfair practices will actually turn out to be the case in practice.
“That remains to be seen and all players will be monitoring developments very carefully for any evidence of anti-competitive practices emerging,” she said.
“The justification underlying the ruling will not be available for a number of months but I would urge the Commission to do that as soon as possible so that the decision can be fully understood.”
She said a competitive beef industry at farm and factory levels is important. “Given that Brexit is looming we must ensure the competitiveness and profitability of all players and we must work to ensure that existing markets in the UK remain open and accessible post Brexit.”
The proposed acquisition had given rise to much concern on the part of primary beef and lamb producers about negative consequences arising from the diminution of competition in the sector, concerns that Ms McGuinness raised with the Commission on several occasions.