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Clonakilty Enterprise wins major contract from Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

MINISTER SMITH VISITS SOUTHWESTERN FACILITY

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today visited SouthWestern, Clonakilty, Co Cork to congratulate SouthWestern on its recent success in winning a competitive tender competition for the processing of bovine farm-to-farm movements and on-farm death notifications, and to see the SouthWestern operations.

SouthWestern has evolved over time to become a major employer, with 450 people in West Cork involved in the provision of outsourcing solutions to a variety of public and private sector clients.

The Minister said that SouthWestern's partnership with the Department is an example of an effective public private partnership.  Minister Smith emphasised that he was pleased to see at first hand the facilities that underpin the day-to-day operation of the outsourced components of the calf registration system and the farm-to-farm movement system.

The Minister added that the visit follows on from his recent announcement to remove the requirement to maintain the on farm herd register known as the blue book for those farmers that use agfood.ie to register calves and to make movement notifications. Within the first 10 days of the facility being available, over 1,000 farmers had signed up to use the on-line herd register and over 500 movement requests had been processed. He expressed confidence that this initiative will be of great convenience for farmers and will act as a catalyst in increasing the rate of usage of the electronic system for registering calves and the greater use of IT on farms.

Date Released: 23 July 2010