I propose to take Questions Nos. 687 to 689, inclusive, together.
As part of the September 2019 beef sector agreement, three distinct consultancy studies, all of which relate broadly to market transparency, were commissioned as follows:
- a summary of competition law issues as relevant to the sector. This report is finalised and published on my Department's website.
- an independent review of market and customer requirements, specifically in relation to the four in-spec bonus criteria currently in operation; This report is at an advanced draft stage and was presented to the Beef Taskforce for comment in December.
- an independent examination of the price composition of the total value of the animal, including the fifth quarter, along the supply chain. A working draft of this report is expected to be made available to the Taskforce for comment soon.
The purpose of the third report is to detail price points along the supply chain. Transfer pricing as an internal accounting practice is not relevant to this exercise, and thus not required under the terms of reference for the study. It is noted that all members of the Beef TaskForce had the opportunity to comment on, and agree, the Terms of Reference.
In relation to the cost of the Transparency Studies, the standard procurement process was used to select a suitable consultancy firm to carry out the three studies.
The full cost of the three reports is €96,700.
In relation to the consultation process carried out as part of the studies, all relevant supply chain actors including food service were consulted as part of the engagement.