Bord Bia will not be extending farmers’ quality assurance (QA) certification by a month, however it will be flexibile around audits in response to the recent wet weather.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, incoming Bord Bia chair Larry Murrin said farmers can postpone an audit if circumstances permit, but declined to say there would be a blanket certification extension.

Murrin was answering a question from Senator Tim Lombard, who proposed the extension.

“Perhaps there is a need for Bord Bia to give a month extension to its certification process, rather than having farmers go through an on-farm Bord Bia examination,” Lombard said.

In response, Murrin reiterated what Bord Bia told the Irish Farmers Journal last week, that farmers can apply to have audits postponed.

“Farmers can defer an audit that might be in the programme, if the circumstances they face on their enterprise demand it.

“Bord Bia will be very sympathetic in these cases,” Murrin said.


In a separate exchange at the committee, Murrin told the chair, TD Jackie Cahill, he would support a veal industry being established in Ireland.

“I think the chair is referring to veal production in the context of calf exports.

“I do not have a particular brief in respect of veal production, but I will say that I think we do have an opportunity over time to further enhance our activity in that space.

“Undoubtedly, it will lead to some changes in the welfare aspects of calf exports,” Murrin said.

Murrin added that he is aware of recent veal trials that took place and that an Irish veal industry is something the State body will raise again in the future.

“I am advised that some trials on veal processing were conducted last year.

“However, this is still considered to be early days. I do think it is something that we in Bord Bia will revert to the committee on in due course.”