Department set to tender contract for the supply of cattle tags

The Department of Agriculture is set to tender the contract for the supply of official cattle tags again.

The multi-million euro contract is currently provided by Mullinahone Co-op in Tipperary with over 2m new cattle tag sets ordered by farmers every year.

Responding to questioning from Fianna Fail Agriculture Spokesperson Eamon O Cuiv this, week the Acting Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney said the current contract for the supply of cattle tags will expire on October 31, 2016.

Public procurement competitions for the supply of bovine tags are arranged on a periodic basis which, according to the Department of Agriculture facilitates developments in technology, level of service and competition.

According to the Minister, the Department will shortly be publishing a Request for Tenders (RFT) for the provision of a new contract for a three-year term that will commence on November 1, 2016.

Single supplier

O Cuiv also questioned the Minister on the Department’s decision to only tender for one supplier when multiple suppliers are used in other EU Member States.

The Minister confirmed that following consultation with stakeholders, his Department has again made a policy decision to seek a single supplier for provision of the service for the supply of bovine tags.

He said a single supplier is deemed to be the optimum approach to meeting the identification requirements of the bovine sector in Ireland for superior quality bovine tags that meet the high standards needed to support a secure bovine identification and traceability system.

“This approach also ensures that tags are made available to herd keepers at a competitive price with a single supplier benefitting from economies of scale,” he said.