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Call for fairness and transparency in meat procurement

Call for fairness and transparency in meat procurement

Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) is calling on meat companies to walk the talk in regard to the fairness and transparency of their procurement practices.

Chairman John McCarthy says that a number of examples of preferential pricing over and above payments made to loyal suppliers have been brought to group members’ attention during the past few weeks.

McCarthy says, “Meat companies were quite vocal prior to the processing season about the need for farmers to commit their stock, which is also a founding principle of MIE. However, our members are receiving reports alleging that those same companies are enticing stock away from other companies with deals over and above those paid to their signed-up loyal suppliers. If this is proven, then it is unacceptable and adds to the lack of trust that so blights our industry.”

McCarthy added, “MIE will be particularly vigilant regarding the performance of the co-operatives. If we are to build on MIE's vision of having a strong farmer owned co-op as the cornerstone of the new industry into the future, then farmers will rightfully be demanding that co-operative principles of fairness and transparency in pricing be front and centre.

“This situation also highlights the underlying issue of severe overcapacity that plagues the industry which, essentially, is in survival mode. Unless we can improve profitability at all levels of the red meat sector, and quickly, then we are in for a train wreck that can only be exacerbated by the shrinking supply base due to the continuation of land use change.”

McCarthy called upon industry leaders to redouble their efforts to find ways to work together for the common good. “The recent cooperative elections clearly demonstrated that the mood from farmers is for change. Companies need to recognise this as a significant opportunity instead of engaging in a game of last man standing. MIE will be working tirelessly across the whole sector and with Government to advance its objectives in the coming year.

– ENDs –

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