The escalating beef between the IFA and Larry Goodman's ABP

Fresh feud over a move that could hurt the IFA's funding...

Farming, EU, beef, Government, South America, imports

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The bad blood between the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) and Larry Goodman’s ABP food group has turned even more toxic as a new row breaks out over the collection of levies.

ABP, which is the country's largest beef processor, informed farmer suppliers yesterday that it would no longer deduct the European Involvement Fund (EIF) levy automatically, instead leaving it to the farmers to agree their so-called "factory-gate" deduction themselves.

The levies represent some 40% of the IFA's funding, meaning ABP's move could have serious financial implications for the organisations.

Last night, IFA President Joe Healy said he had instructed ABP to stop collecting the levies "with immediate effect" as the organisation "will not allow ABP dictate how the IFA represents farmers or how farmers decide to support their association."

The IFA has become increasingly concerned with Goodman's dominant position in the beef industry since the confirmation of the planned acquisition of 50% of rival firm, Slaney/ICM.

ABP processes roughly 22% of Irish beef cattle.