Commenting on the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine decision to revise the arrangements for the supply of cattle tags, the Deputy President of ICMSA, Mr. Pat McCormack said, that from a farmers’ perspective, tag quality, price and service are the three issues that the Department must ensure that all tag suppliers meet.
In addition, all farmers must be treated equally under the new arrangements and importantly that tags are no more expensive than under the previous regime. Equal treatment of all farmers has been a principle of previous arrangements and this must be maintained under the new regime while the cost of tags must be kept to the absolute minimum.
There are concerns amongst farmers that under the new system, special deals could be done for specific groups of farmers that benefit them relative to the majority. This, Mr. McCormack said, should not be allowed to happen and to prevent this, the Department in their agreements with tag suppliers must include a provision that the price of tags must be the same for all farmers and that tags are no more expensive than under the existing system. These issues are hugely important for farmers and Mr. McCormack said that ICMSA has written to the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine in this regard.
Finally, the new system will create a level of confusion amongst farmers initially and in this regard, it will be important that the Department writes to each individual farmer outlining the changes and options once the new system has been finalised, concluded Mr. McCormack