Department to push ahead with one tag supplier policy

The Department of Agriculture will be continuing its policy of having only one supplier of approved cattle tags.

The Department has been reviewing the rationale for seeking a single supplier for cattle tags in an upcoming public procurement competition.

This week the Minister said that this review concluded that this policy is in the best interest of stakeholders and the bovine traceability system in Ireland.

“The single supplier policy is deemed to be the optimum mechanism for ensuring that ear tags are made available to Irish farmers at a competitive price on the grounds that a single supplier, selected on the basis of a competitive tender and benefitting from economies of scale, is likely to make bovine tags available to herd keepers at the most competitive price, while at the same time meeting the identification requirements of the bovine sector in Ireland for superior quality bovine tags.

The Minister said that the policy has been endorsed by the main farming organisations.

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.

the current contract for the supply of cattle tags will expire on October 31, 2016.

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.

Fianna Fail’s Eamon O Cuiv has one been one of the key opponents of the one supplier policy and questioned the Minister on the Department’s decision when multiple suppliers are used in other EU Member States.