11 NOVEMBER 2016
ICSA has welcomed the announcement by Cormac Tagging that they will be offering cheaper cattle tags to farmers following their approval as an official supplier. ICSA president Patrick Kent said the announcement by Cormac of cheaper tags and free replacement (with terms and conditions) vindicated the ICSA position on competition in tagging. “ICSA is the only farm organisation to have a consistent position opposing monopoly in all businesses impacting on farmers.”
Cormac tags have announced a price of €2.68 per new born calf tag set (or €2.30 without the ICBF levy) and they are offering to replace their tags free of charge for the first year of the contract.
“ICSA is delighted to see that a company is prepared to stand over its tags by replacing, free of charge, worn tags that it has supplied. The draconian regime around tag loss puts farmers in a very vulnerable position and ICSA has always believed that replacement tags should be free with certain safeguards to avoid abuse. Free replacement tags will put pressure on all tag manufacturers to improve the durability of tags and we believe that this should become the norm.”
“ICSA is also welcoming the new transparency around the ICBF levy which is a voluntary levy. However, this has been hidden from farmers for years and this is the first time that farmers will have a clear choice in whether to pay it or not.”
“Serious questions now must be asked of other farm organisations who put huge effort into opposing competition in tag supply over many years. ICSA stood alone as the only farm organisation that insisted that competition would be good for the farmer. I am calling on other farm leaders to explain why they were so opposed to competition for tags – a position which defied basic economic principles.”
“The Department of Agriculture also needs to reflect on why it has maintained a monopoly position for fourteen years for cattle tags, given that farmers need choice to ensure value for money. Most importantly, it is up to farmers to determine through experience which is the most reliable and durable tag given that it is the farmer who will pay the penalty for tag loss. The closed shop that has operated has been indefensible and answers are required from all who supported it.”
“ICSA has resolutely stood up for farmers’ interests on this and the association never bought the line peddled by others that a monopoly was good for farmers.”