The Dealer was looking through the application form for the recently announced grants for IT infrastructure in marts when he noticed an unusual clause buried right at the end of the terms and conditions.

On receipt of the grant, marts must surrender lot numbers, number of animals in each lot, average weight and average price and submit this data to the Department of Agriculture.

The Department also wants data on farm-to-farm sales that the mart may have brokered.

It’s an unusual request and The Dealer wonders is it Revenue who is really behind it, so sales of animals can be checked off farmer returns?

Also, the demand for increased transparency from marts in order to access a maximum grant of €5,000 is in stark contrast to the €100m processor fund.

Unfortunately for farmers, it appears no one was brave enough to link increased transparency to the multi-million payouts our beef processors are in line for. One rule for marts and another for meat processors, it appears.