Bord Bia has sought to “reassure” farmers that its plans to tighten up quality assurance farm audits will undergo a “comprehensive consultative process” before any changes are made.

Feedback from stakeholders, including farm representatives, is needed before additional requirements are added to schemes.

Bord Bia said a consultation phase will be held with a technical advisory committee before introduction on farms in 2024, but did not state which groups could sit on the committee.

Bord Bia’s head of meat, food and beverage John Murray had told a Veterinary Ireland conference that one of the “big things” coming in the new quality assurance schemes will be the requirement that farmers have a sustainability action plan for their farm.

It is unclear if there will be any consequences for farmers if they do not put this plan into action.


Murray also stated that new animal welfare checks, expected to be part of the revamped audit system, had already been piloted on “mainly Signpost farms”.

Bord Bia has since denied that the animal welfare pilot ran on Teagasc Signpost farms.

“The full standard will be launched in 2024 and there will be a big consultative check-in on that and some of the aspects in here will have elements of the veterinary community involved in that for sure,” Murray said.

“But one of the big things that is coming is there is going to be a sustainability action plan on every farm and that is going to be a requirement of the standard.”