Des Morrison Enniscrone farmer and Chairperson of ICMSA Livestock Committee

MSA’s Morrison wants changes to ‘fail-one, fail-all’ rule on ‘in-spec’ bonuses

The Enniscrone farmer who serves as Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee said that while his organisation’s objection to the Grid were well know and of long-standing, he accepted that a review would have to take some time if it was to get to the depth required. But Des Morrison insisted that there were changes that could be made “in the interim” that would go some way towards achieving the transparency whose lack so many farmers cited as the main reason for the loss of confidence. Mr. Morrison said that the blatant unfairness of the current system around the payment ‘in-spec’ bonuses was a perfect example of a situation where a small change could be made that was obviously more fair and would give the farmer more information about how his final price had been arrived at.

“So many farmers have contacted me to criticise the situation around the four ‘in-spec’ criteria whereby if an animal fails under any one of the four then the whole bonus goes. That’s blatantly unfair because that should be proportionate; if I fail one of the four ‘in-spec’ criteria then my bonus should be reduced by 25 percent, if I fail two then it should be reduced by 50 percent and so on. ICMSA actually raised this last September and it seems very reasonable to us that the final ‘kill statement’ should set out which of the ‘in-spec’ criteria the animal is deemed to have failed and then set out the amount deducted – which, as I’ve pointed out – we think should be proportionate and not the whole amount. It’s very notable that all levies – including statutory – are itemised at the bottom of the statements but the information around the payment of ‘in-spec’ bonuses is very sketchy and varies from factory to factory with some omitting it completely. ICMSA doesn’t understand this reluctance to give all the information on an itemised and transparent basis; it’s this reluctance to set out how the price has been arrived at that is at the heart of the distrust that is crippling the sector. I’ve never heard a farmer complain that he got too much information from the factory but there are too many to count who’ve complained that they never receive an explanation about the price their animals was killed out at”, said Mr. Morrison.

Ends      25 Feb 2020

Des Morrison, 087-2263331

Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office