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‘There needs to be more than one supplier of cattle tags’ – ICSA

Jul 7, 2016 | ICSA in the Media | 0 comments

AGRILAND – 14 JUNE 2016

Competition is the best way of ensuring value for money for farmers when it comes to ordering cattle tags, according to ICSA President Patrick Kent.

He said that he is in favour of choice when it comes to the supply of cattle tags and that choice in this case, means there needs to be more than one supplier.

“Price is an important factor but so too is durability as the cost of replacing tags has to be considered.

“We have seen the risk associated with losing tags, with farmers having to face heavy penalties.

“It is for these reasons that choice, durability and cost all need to be factored in. Competition is the best way of ensuring value for money for farmers.”

Last month, the Department of Agriculture published a multi-million euro tender for an official supplier of cattle tags in the state.

It came following some criticism of the Department’s decision to only allow one supplier of bovine cattle tags in Ireland.

However, the Department has said that the policy of seeking a single supplier has been endorsed by the main farming organisations (IFA and ICMSA) on the basis that a single supplier, selected on the basis of a competitive tender and benefitting from economies of scale, is likely to make bovine tags available to herd keepers at a competitive price.

The multi-million euro contract is currently provided by Mullinahone Co-op in Tipperary with over two million new cattle tag sets ordered by farmers every year.

ICBF Levies

The ICSA President also said that ICSA is also calling for transparency when it comes to the issue of ICBF levies.

“Farmers need to be advised of their options with this levy. They have a choice regarding payment or non-payment of this levy and this choice must be made clear when ordering tags.”

A set of cattle tags cost €2.70, and this includes a 38c ‘voluntary’ contribution to the ICBF.

Over the last 10 years, farmers have paid more than €750,000 a year to the ICBF when ordering cattle tags.

Farmers ordering cattle tags had nowhere on the order form where the ‘voluntary’ contribution can be opted out of.

However, they could do so by notifying Mullinahone Co-op in writing or by phone.

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