Quality, price and service are the three issues that the Department of Agriculture must ensure that all tag suppliers meet under its new arrangements, according to Pat McCormack, deputy president of ICMSA.
In addition, all farmers must be treated equally under the new arrangements and importantly that tags are no more expensive than under the previous regime.
Equal treatment of all farmers has been a principle of previous arrangements and this must be maintained under the new regime while the cost of tags must be kept to the absolute minimum, he said.
There are concerns among farmers that, under the new system, special deals could be done for specific groups of farmers that benefit them relative to the majority. This, Mr. McCormack said, should not be allowed to happen.
These issues are hugely important for farmers and Mr. McCormack said that ICMSA has written to the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine in this regard.
Finally, the new system will create a level of confusion amongst farmers initially and in this regard, it will be important that the Department writes to each individual farmer outlining the changes and options once the new system has been finalised, concluded Mr. McCormack.