Cor­mac Tag­ging dou­bles rev­enue af­ter se­cur­ing State con­tract

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - THE FU­TURE

In De­cem­ber 2016, the com­pany was awarded a con­tract to supply cat­tle tags. Cor­mac Tag­ging is the sole im­porter and dis­trib­u­tor of Cais­ley tags in Ire­land, a Ger­man-de­signed tag­ging sys­tem.

It is such a su­pe­rior qual­ity cat­tle-tag­ging prod­uct that the com­pany guar­an­tees re­place­ment tags for free, for the full life of the an­i­mal. Be­cause farm an­i­mals get up to all sorts of mis­chief, such as rolling around the ground and get­ting their heads stuck in wire, the tags take lots of abuse.

How­ever, the Cais­ley cat­tle tag’s re­place­ment rate is less than 1pc proven across 17 coun­tries in Europe.

Light­weight and flex­i­ble in de­sign, and with live patents on the prod­ucts, the tag­ging sys­tem is far su­pe­rior on the world an­i­mal-trace­abil­ity stage. This has to be a big at­trac­tion for farm­ers, as they cur­rently re­place over half a mil­lion tags an­nu­ally. It’s not just that farm­ers save on the re­place­ment cost, but also the po­ten­tial penal­ties if there are an­i­mals with­out tags dur­ing in­spec­tions by the de­part­ment.

The tags are laser printed with a 15-digit num­ber that is al­lo­cated by the de­part­ment.

If you’ve ever seen a hu­man’s ears be­ing pierced, you’ll be fa­mil­iar with this sys­tem.

The tag is at­tached to the ear us­ing a punchtype ap­pli­ca­tor. How­ever, it also takes a tis­sue sam­ple from the ear at the same time, which is then sent off for test­ing, as part of the BVD disease erad­i­ca­tion pro­gramme.

BVD virus is the cause of an im­por­tant vi­ral disease of cat­tle that is es­ti­mated to cost Ir­ish farm­ers around €102m each year, ac­cord­ing to An­i­mal Health Ire­land.

The busi­ness is very heav­ily weighted from Novem­ber to Jan­uary.

Due to our weather and grass growth, Ir­ish farm­ers plan their calv­ing sea­son for the start of the year. Roughly 70pc of the coun­try’s new- born calves ar­rive in an eight-week pe­riod from about now. Given that calves must be tagged within 28 days of birth, that puts pres­sure on the pro­duc­tion process for the com­pany. Sell­ing is done di­rectly to farm­ers through on­line or­der­ing and the tele­phone, and the com­pany has more than dou­bled its turnover in tags in the last year.

It is a very price-sen­si­tive mar­ket with low mar­gins, so costs have to be man­aged tightly.

In an emerg­ing Ag Tech sec­tor, the com­pany will con­tinue to in­no­vate and add to the port­fo­lio of prod­ucts.

Ur­sula has am­bi­tions to be the num­ber one an­i­mal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sup­plier in Ire­land and knows that it will take work and ded­i­ca­tion.

They are more than pre­pared for the ef­fort hav­ing spent the last 30 years in the agri in­dus­try.

Cor­mac Tag­ging’s op­er­a­tions man­ager, Ur­sula Gorm­ley, with a pedi­gree Hol­stein Friesian calf. Photo: Ray Ryan.

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