Marts and attendees warned to stick to Covid-19 procedures

Marts and mart-goers have been warned to stick to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine if they want to stay open.

In a letter to its members, the Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS) reminded businesses to abide by the SOPs. If they do so, they can continue trading as they have been in recent months, across levels one, two and three of the government’s Covid-19 roadmap.

It was also noted that, since the pandemic started, the Department of Agriculture has suspended mart licences twice for breaches in Covid-19 guidelines.

Speaking to AgriLand, ICOS livestock executive Ray Doyle said:

“There was a bit of concern there that, because things had moved to level three [in counties Donegal and Dublin] that we might be restricted in our operations.”

The ICOS executive highlighted that he had received confirmation from the department that it is business as usual, adding: “As long as marts stick to SOPs that have been agreed with the department, there is no difference in the trading arrangements for marts in levels one, two or three.

Farmers need to be reminded that we are open [because of] an agreement with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health.

Doyle warned against farmers and customers becoming lax with the rules and underlined the importance of sticking to the procedures in place.

As things stand, the wearing of masks is mandatory in marts around the country. Back in July, marts were advised that the required social distancing measures could be reduced from 2m to 1m – subject to a limit of 50 people in the ring areas.