‘Paperwork non-compliance can lead to trail of problems’

Non-compliance is one of the major issues that can arise from disorganisation and falling behind with paperwork, warned Stephen O’Mahony of Agri Audits.

Stephen is due to address the next meeting of South East Women in Farming (SEWFI) at the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow, on Tuesday, October 9.

This, he said, can lead to farmers not being able to sell their produce in co-ops or factories; being fined through their farm income; and not receiving their quality assurance bonus.

Typical traps, he said, are not maintaining accounts or leaving their compilation until the last minute. He urged farmers to keep up-to-date with their record keeping.

While acknowledging that it is very difficult to come in after a long day’s hard work on the farm to face into accounts, he said that it is vital that they are kept up-to-date. “Due to stricter laws and regulations, there is now far more paperwork.

“Increased animal numbers on farms and lack of help for farmers have resulted in the day-to-day running of the farm becoming more difficult and requiring more hours,” said Stephen, who grew up on a dairy and beef farm in Ballineen, Co. Cork, where he continues to help out in his spare time.

In a time of fodder crisis and extreme weather conditions, farmers have to spend more time looking after their stock. This leads to farm paperwork being put on the back burner, which results in this work building up and adding additional stress.

“In 2015 I began working with Lisavaird Co-Op, preparing producers for the Bord Bia quality assurance scheme. Through my work in this area and from personal experience, I realised there was a strong demand among farmers for a farm management service which would help prepare them for inspections and audits.

“This led to the formation of Agri Audits Ltd which is headquartered at 27 Main Street, Bandon, with advisors located throughout the country.”

Stephen’s top tips are:

  • Have somewhere to file all prescriptions and purchase dockets.
  • Write tag numbers or batch doses on prescription or purchase dockets, quantity given and number of days.
  • Record drying off dates and tag numbers.

The meeting – which will kick off at 7:30pm – will also discuss beekeeping, with Gerry Walsh at the helm. Honey will be available on the night. The admission fee is €8 which includes refreshments.