Bord Bia audit: ‘Record keeping is a pitfall area’

Over 300 farmers descended on Fergal Doyle’s suckler and sheep farm in Co. Mayo on Monday last as part of an information evening organised by Bord Bia and Teagasc.

The aim of the walk was to provide farmers with more information around the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS), quality assurance, and Origin Green.

Speaking at the event, Bord Bia’s Mick Houlihan explained that the biggest areas that lead to problems with audits are the areas to do with record keeping.

Mick also explained the introduction of a ‘yellow-card system’ for the SBLAS. This gives the farmer an opportunity to correct issues that are identified during an audit. These issues can be addressed in the following month and certification can be retained.

Touching on the scheme, he said: “It was introduced to set our meat apart from what else is in the marketplace. We are very much focused on exports and we try and target the higher end markets.

“It is nearly the case now that if we don’t have a Quality Assurance Scheme in place, the customers won’t even talk to us and they are very much focused on the area of sustainability,” he added.

On the evening, farmers listened to talks on farm safety, record keeping, market diversification and herbicide control.

Bord Bia’s Tom Callanan provided farmers with guidelines on how to complete records correctly, while Bord Bia’s Damien Murray and Teagasc’s Ann O’Malley discussed market potential.

Requirements for a Bord Bia inspections include:
  • Bovine register or flock register;
  • Animal remedy purchase record;
  • Animal remedy usage record;
  • Animal health plan;
  • Feed purchase record;
  • Own farm feed record;
  • Pesticide usage record;
  • Farm safety statement.