Bord Bia looking at QA scheme for the marts
Quality Assurance plan would close 'gaps' in the farm to retail chain
A new quality assurance scheme is being devised by Bord Bia for the country's marts.
A meeting of mart managers and the Department of Agriculture heard that the proposed scheme is at a very early stage.
ICOS mart executive Ray Doyle said livestock 'whole of life' quality assurance was becoming the norm in England where the mart is quality assured as well as the farmers".
He said such a similar scheme here would emphasise strong traceability of animals and cleanliness which would be a "doubling up" of what marts were already doing.
"Every 18 months they would be audited just like on the farm," he said. Cashel Mart manager Alison De Vere Hunt said that while the scheme would be optional for marts, those that didn't sign up could "lose quality assured" cattle from the sales ring in the long run.
Ms De Vere Hunt said they had visited marts in the UK that were quality assured under the Red Tractor scheme.
Bord Bia's Michael Holohan said they were still in the early stages of developing the scheme and the standards and auditing process.
Core issues would be traceability, welfare, health and safety environment and hygiene.