Treasury to become majority shareholder of Isle of Man Meat Plant

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Government equity in the Isle of Man Meat Plant is to be transferred to the Treasury after Tynwald backed the move.

Currently the plant’s majority shareholder is the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.

Meat Plant chairman Tim Baker argued the organisation was a private firm run at arm’s length from government.

However, it was widely argued that DEFA’s role as the majority shareholder and Mr Baker’s role as political chair meant it was not independent.

The report said the £2m grant paid to the plant did not offer value for money as the majority of Manx meat was exported, and DEFA had a “potential conflict of interest” because there was not “clear separation of functions and responsibilities”.

Although a tender process for a private operator of the Tromode plant was run in 2017, no firm was appointed and Isle of Man Meats was set up with the department as majority shareholder.

While the report itself did not have any recommendations, it expressed a view that ownership should be transferred.

Chris Thomas MHK put forward an amendment to make that happen, along the review and reform of the governance, regulation and management of the plant “as soon as is practical”.

Backing the amendment, committee chairman Clare Barber the transfer would “ensure separation of powers” and was a “pragmatic solution to a problem”.

“We believe that if we don’t fix some of the issues raised within this report we won’t have food security at all,” she added.

“We will rely on 100% of imported meat if we don’t have a change in strategic direction for the meat plant.”

 

BBC

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