Firms battle it out in bid to win Â¤14m tagging deal
Fierce competition is expected between Irish tag companies to secure the €14m national tagging contract for the next three years.
Department of Agriculture officials confirmed that the new contract will run from 2012 to 2014. It is estimated that the contract will be worth up to €4.6m per year to the winning company.
Tipperary-based Mullinahone Co-op has held the lucrative contract for the past 15 years since 1996 but at least four other companies are expected to submit tenders for this latest contract.
Monaghan-based Agrihealth Ltd, Quick Tag in Ballycastle, Co Antrim, Co-op Animal Health in Co Carlow and Galway operators Cormac Sheep Equipment have all confirmed their intention to submit tenders before the closing date of August 19.
For the first time, the national tagging contract will include tissue test tags which can be used for disease surveillance and eradication programmes.
The introduction of tissue test tags ties in with the Animal Health Ireland objective of working toward BVD eradication. However, the tags could also be used in future marketing schemes to identify the DNA of Irish beef or specific cattle breeds.
The awarding of the contract will be based on weighted criteria, including the quality of tags (29pc), quality of registration form (5pc), quality of proposed service (26pc) and cost (40pc).