'Quality assurance schemes are little more than marketing waffle'
ICMSA President John Comer has hit out at quality assurance schemes, saying there is seldom mention of farmers sustainability in them.
Quality Assurance Schemes are now part of farming, he said, but it is important to say that farmers have very mixed views on them and need to be convinced of their merits.
"There’s never any mention of farmers’ sustainability and the feeling has grown that these quality schemes are little more than waffle – and waffle at the expense of the farmers.
Speaking at the ICMSA AGM in Limerick, Comer also said that Bord Bia and processors continually pronounce their sustainability credentials with expensive advertising and marketing campaigns but the farmer supplier is now rightly asking: 'what about our financial sustainability?'
"Farmers need to see a dividend in terms of milk, beef and sheep meat prices.
"We were told that these schemes were required to get into value-added markets but – as usual – the farmers did the work while the others got the dividend."