Anger as Cork Marts ‘ham­per’ calf ex­port plans

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS - LOUISE HO­GAN

CORK Co-op­er­a­tive Marts have in­ter­jected in a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion by a for­mer em­ployee to set up a calf ex­port busi­ness buy­ing di­rect from farm­ers.

It comes less than a year af­ter the marts in the south’s dairy heart­land de­cided to stop ship­ping live calves.

Broth­ers Liam and John McCarthy have lodged a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion with Cork County Coun­cil to build lairage with the aim of ex­port­ing calves next spring.

Liam McCarthy, who worked with the marts for 17 years, be­lieves there is a “void” there for an ex­port­ing busi­ness af­ter Cork Marts stepped out of the mar­ket.

The broth­ers, who will be in­vest­ing €250,000 in the calf hous­ing and fa­cil­i­ties for wean­ing and sep­a­ra­tion and a fur­ther €250,000 in work­ing cap­i­tal, are aim­ing to ex­port 10,000 calves next spring if the busi­ness is up and run­ning in time.

How­ever, Liam McCarthy be­lieves the move by Cork Marts to lodge an ob­ser­va­tion on their plan­ning may “ham­per” them at the “first hurdle”.

“I’m eight miles from the near­est mart,” said Mr McCarthy on the ap­pli­ca­tion for the de­vel­op­ment at Palaceanne and Mur­ragh, En­niskeane, Co Cork.

The sub­mis­sion by Cork Coop Marts, lodged on their be­half by But­ler O’Neill To­tal Plan­ning So­lu­tions, raised con­cerns around how the sur­face wa­ter and run-off from the de­vel­op­ment would be dealt with.

“The im­pact of such po­tent wa­ter on the nearby stream in en­vi­ron­men­tal terms should also be as­sessed,” it states.

It also de­scribes the im­pact of farm ma­chin­ery on the road as a “concern”.

The co-op’s CEO Sean O’Sul- li­van said the “ob­ser­va­tion speaks for it­self ”.

“We are not go­ing back into calf ex­ports but we have very suc­cess­ful calf sales in our marts and we want to en­sure we have as big num­bers as we pos­si­bly can com­ing into our sales,” he said.

“We feel we are pro­vid­ing a very good ser­vice to the calf pro­duc­ers in our catch­ment and we wish to con­tinue to do that.”

ICSA Munster vice pres­i­dent Der­mot Kelle­her queried why Cork Marts should be mak­ing in­ter­ven­tions in the plan­ning process.

“The ICSA is fully be­hind live ex­ports and we want to see that as many dairy calves as pos­si­ble are ex­ported in or­der to keep the pres­sure on meat fac­to­ries here,” he said, adding they needed to get the glut of calves off the ex­pand­ing dairy herd out of the coun­try.

“On the other hand, all the ex­tra calves means that there will be no down­turn in Cork Marts’ turnover.

“How­ever, the sub­mis­sion of ob­ser­va­tions on pol­lu­tion con­trol, traf­fic man­age­ment and the her­itage value of a bridge is un­doubt­edly go­ing to at best slow down the plan­ning process. This will mean that live ex­ports of calves in the spring of 2018 will be hin­dered.”

Mr McCarthy has al­ready met with the VanDrie Group veal pro­duc­ers in Hol­land.

“What we want to do is buy straight from the farmer and straight onto a truck, caus­ing as lit­tle stress as pos­si­ble on the calf. We’re lo­cated right in the dairy heart­land,” he said.

Mr McCarthy said the mar­gins were tight but they be­lieved they could save money for them­selves and farm­ers by buy­ing di­rect, adding: “If we can of­fer the cus­tomers at both sides a good ser­vice there’ ll be a mar­gin in the busi­ness.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.