THE Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) is extending its Farm Liaison Service to include all quality assured marts in the Province to further assist members of the Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (NIBL FQAS).
Currently, LMC’s Farm Liaison Officer, Terry White, runs FQAS mart clinics every month in each county – Ballymena, Kilrea, Omagh, Markethill, Enniskillen and Saintfield – which will continue.
The latest addition to the service will see Terry visiting each of the other quality assured marts once over the course of the year.
Commenting on the service extension, FQAS Manager Gillian Davis said: “Our FQAS Mart Clinics have been operating since 2012 and we’ve decided to extend it to every quality assured mart in the country over the course of the year to make sure every producer is getting the assistance they need.
“With this new service extension, producers who live far away from the main marts we visit on a monthly basis or those who are unable to travel long distances will hopefully be better catered for.
“We understand that some farmers can find a number of the scheme requirements, such as the completion of records, a little daunting. The Liaison Service is in place to assist farmers in a face-to-face manner and to ensure that as many producers as possible can continue to benefit from being a member of the scheme.
“Terry will be present at a mixture of cattle and sheep sales and will be on hand to assist members of FQAS with non-conformances, general scheme queries and any issues prior to or following an inspection. Any farmers who wish to join the scheme can do so through their local FQAS mart clinic or at any time by contacting the office.”
The daily FQAS helpline that LMC also currently provides is still available alongside the mart clinics. The marts that Terry will be attending will be sent in a text message to FQAS participants who have provided a valid mobile number. Details will also be available on LMC’s website, Twitter and Facebook page.
In addition to the existing mart clinics the dates for August/ September are as follows:
Armoy (evening) on August 29;
Lisahally (evening) on
Draperstown O’Kane and Beattie (day) on September 7;
Donemana (day) on September 8;
Gortin (evening) on September 10;
Rathfriland (evening) on September 11;
Lisnaskea (day) on September 18;
Plumbridge (day) on September 20 and;
Pomeroy (evening) also on September 20.