Staines Law act on behalf of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in relation to the IFA Investigation Campaign.
The IFA has longed expressed concerns over anti-competitive practises in the Beef Processing Sector and seeking evidence of price fixing and abuse of dominant position and other potential breaches of the Competition Law in the Beef processing Sector in Ireland the EU.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) which oversees the enforcement of Completion Law in Ireland recently advised IFA that despite having received numerous complaints that it would not investigate the allegations of anti-competitive practice in the beef processing sector in Ireland. The main reason given was what the CCPC called a lack of evidence and in particular documentary evidence. Notwithstanding that the CCPC has considerable investigation powers under the legislation they have declined and refused to use these powers to try and obtain any evidence of price fixing or other anti-competitive behaviour by the beef processing sector in Ireland.
IFA is now seeking to gather this information itself. If IFA can obtain strong evidence this can be used to put pressure on the CCPC to carry out an investigation or in the alternative IFA may be in a position to pursue a private prosecution or make a formal complaint to the EU competition authority.
If you have any evidence or information and are willing to make a statement on this please send details to Staines Law.
This information can be sent, or contact can be made as follows:
All information furnished will be treated in the strictest confidence. A summary of information furnished will be shared with a limited number of people in the Irish Farmers Association to allow the collating of the evidence and information furnished to allow IFA consider its options in bringing this matter forward with the CCPC.
The information will be reviewed in conjunction with IFA and Senior Counsel. At that stage Staines Law will revert to you and discuss the matter further and ask that you furnish a written statement which can used to ground a complaint to the CCPC or the appropriate High Court proceedings.
If you are an employee or a former employee in the beef processing or retail sector and have concerns that there have been breaches of competition law then there are significant protections for you under the whistle blower legislation as provided for in the Protected Disclosure Act 2014. You may also be able to benefit from the Cartel Immunity Programme provided by the CCPC in conjunction with the Director of Public Prosecutions. We will be in a position to advise you in the strictest confidence of the protections available to you under the above.