A lack of animal remedy records was the most common non-compliance found during Bord Bia audits of its quality-assured farms in 2020.

In 2020, Bord Bia conducted approximately 25,000 remote audits and 9,300 on-farm audits. On-farm audits were suspended from mid-March until 10 August due to COVID-19.

A total of 197 herds were found to be ineligible for quality-assurance certification last year due to critical or major non-compliances that were not rectified in the close-out period.

For Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) members, the most frequent non-compliances are related to the recording of animal remedy records.

“Most commonly, farmers are found non-compliant for having no records of remedy usage (a major non-compliance) or an incomplete register of remedy usage (a minor non-compliance).

“The next most common non-compliance relates to having either no animal remedy purchase records (a major non-compliance) or incomplete records of remedies purchased (a minor non-compliance),” a Bord Bia spokesperson told the Irish Farmers Journal.

Other common major non-compliances relate to not having evidence of a water test for microbiological contamination

The third most common reason for SBLAS members to be non-compliant was for not having a completed or up-to-date farm safety risk assessment (FSRA) or, where there are three or more employees on the farm, an up-to-date farm safety statement (FSS).

Dairy farmers

For dairy farmers, incomplete or no remedy usage records was the most common non-compliance in 2020.

“Other common major non-compliances relate to not having evidence of a water test for microbiological contamination, where a private water supply is used for dairy washing, and a lack of potable water for hand washing and washing milk contact surfaces,” the spokesperson said.

Close-out period

Minor non-compliances can be found and the farmer will still pass their audit provided their score is above 60%, Bord Bia said. “The farmer must also undertake to address these issues prior to the next audit.

“Major non-compliances must be corrected in the time agreed with the auditor, typically 30 days, but extensions can be granted depending on circumstances,” it said.