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Creed announces agreement on funding for ICBF from Tag supply companies

The Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine, Michael Creed TD, has today announced agreement with the approved cattle tag supply companies on a new funding mechanism for the Irish Cattle breeding Federation (ICBF). Following detailed discussion, agreement has been reached on how to continue the successful operation of the ICBF. Approved Tag suppliers will now make a contribution of 38c  (incl Vat) to ICBF on all new tag sets sold.

Minister Creed said:  ‘I am aware of the valuable contribution ICBF has made to the dairy and beef sectors. Genetic gain has delivered over €500m of extra profit to the industry overall. Improved breeding through the Economic Breeding Index has produced better milk solids and more fertile dairy herds. The Eurostars index has delivered improved carcass weights and conformation to beef herds. Farmers have been the main beneficiaries of the work being done by ICBF over the last twenty years and it is essential that this continue into the future.’

ICBF, since its inception, has relied on a three-way partnership approach to its funding through financial support from the Department, through service provision and importantly, though a direct financial contribution from all farmers when ordering their identity tags. The new funding mechanism means that all approved Tag suppliers will pay €.38c per set of tags( incl VAT) from the new tag ordering season starting autumn 2017. The Department has at the same time committed to its continued financial support of ICBF.

The Minister continued ‘It is essential that farmers in the future can steer the development of our National breeding programme and that the farmer owned and controlled structure of the ICBF continues. The continued funding, will allow farmers have a strong voice in cattle breeding. I am grateful to the support of the various stakeholders in contributing to the successful conclusion of the talks my Department has had over the last few months.

*Note for Editors:

ICBF was established in 1998 following a number of years of industry consultation among all stakeholders in the cattle breeding industry. The objective of the ICBF is to achieve the greatest possible genetic improvement in the national cattle herd for the benefit of Irish farmers, and the dairy and beef industries, and its own members, by collecting, collating and distributing available information and data of practical and scientific interest, and by promoting the exchange of all such information and data amongst breeders of cattle in Ireland. The ICBF delivers a public good in the area of cattle breed improvements which is the foundation of a profitable and sustainable dairy and beef herd.  The organisation receives funding from a number of sources but a critical source has been the tag levy contributing 20% of core funding.  However recent  policy changes and changes in Tag order forms has resulted in a significant drop in levy collection and more importantly a high degree of uncertainty in this source of funding. The new arrangement will support the work being done by ICBF operating the national breeding programme, to the benefit of all farmers. 

New Arrangement

* In an arrangement facilitated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, all approved Tag suppliers have agreed to make a contribution to ICBF to the amount of €0.38 (including vat)  on all new sets of tags sold.  The new agreement will start on November 1st 2017.



Date Released: 02 August 2017