Contracting body set to publish national charge-out rates ‘guide’?

It is believed that the FCI (The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland) is currently compiling an agricultural contracting charges (prices) guide.

It is understood that plans to publish such a guide are now at an advanced stage.

The prices (or charge-out rates) have apparently been compiled following consultation with FCI members – via phone-calls and at regional meetings around the country.

Image source: Shane Casey

It is also believed that the association is intending to publish the list of prices as a “guide” and not a recommended price listing. The intention is that the guide would “reflect a fair price for contracting services provided”.

The NAAC (National Association of Agricultural Contractors) in the UK already publishes such ‘price guides’ (on a routine basis) in farming/machinery media outlets.

Image source: Shane Casey

Concerns had been raised previously, in the long and distant past, that a list of ‘charge-out rates’ published by a (contracting) representative body might be interpreted (in some quarters) as an attempt to fix or control prices across the market.

However, the fact that the NAAC has been issuing ‘guide prices’ for many years (albeit in the UK) would seem to negate such concerns.

Of course, the publication of any such ‘guide’ would attract plenty of attention – not just in machinery and contracting circles but from the wider farming community.

Image source: Shane Casey

Some farming organisations will inevitably argue that suggested ‘guide’ prices for some jobs are too high. Contractors, on the other hand, will be keen to ensure that ‘guide’ prices are sustainable and feasible – to cover costs and generate a margin.

Watch this space…

In other FCI-related news, the association held its national ‘Confex‘ (conference and exhibition) event last month (January 10) at the National Show Centre, Cloghran, Swords (adjacent to Dublin Airport). Contractors from all over the country, from a database apparently stretching to over 1,100 compiled by the FCI, were invited.

Recent contractor event

Confex 2018 was apparently modeled on similar contractor-focused events run by other associations across Europe. Through its membership of CEETTAR – the European contractors’ association – the FCI says that it was able to call on the “support and expertise” of contractor associations in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands – all of which run similar biennial events.

AgriLand was there; don’t forget to read our report which followed the event.

Also Read: Contractor event rallies the troops; big questions still linger

The event was part of an ongoing drive by the FCI to build its profile and provide a forum for its members to meet, catch up and, most importantly, highlight issues it sees as being of most concern.