Commenting on the current review of the Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, Michael Guinan, has expressed confidence that a new procedure for addressing problems will be in place similar to the system that operates for the dairy scheme and this should ensure that farmers maintain their ‘Approved’ status while dealing with issues that arose during the inspection.
“We identified this as a major issue with the existing scheme whereby farmers were suspended from the scheme for relatively minor issues and lost their QA bonus as a result and also encountered problems with getting cattle slaughtered in some cases. Given the nature of farming, there will always be issues of a usually minor nature arising and it is sensible to implement and operate a system that recognises this fact but allows the farmer time to resolve the issue while maintaining their QA status. This is ICMSA’s objective and we fully expect such a system to be implemented. There are many other aspects of the scheme that are causing problems including the length and detail of the inspection and we’ve made proposals to Bord Bia around simplifying the process and reduce the time period for an inspection. Bord Bia need to make practical changes to the scheme that reflect reality. Farmers are focussing on the emphasis on sustainability in the scheme and they’re rightly asking about their economic and financial sustainability which they’re demanding is moved up the agenda in a way that shows them the practical benefits from their participation – as opposed to just a series of expensive pitfalls”, concluded Mr. Guinan.
Ends 10 March 2016.
Michael Guinan, 086-8766851
Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office