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12% Fewer Cattle Replacements Tags Sold In 2018.

Announcements, BVD, General News, News 15th March 2019 | By: Roger Allen

12% Fewer Cattle Replacements Tags Sold In 2018. There were almost 12 percent fewer cattle replacements tags sold in 2018 compared with 2016, according to official figures obtained from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). While there were 219,816 replacement tags sold in 2016 and 214,724 sold in 2017, this decreased to 193,903 in 2018 – a 26,000 reduction. These figures can mean a substantial cost saving for the industry – the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) has calculated the average cost of replacing lost tags at £3.25 plus VAT. The figures also illustrate a reduction in the frustration and labour involved in herding out animals for re-tagging. Farmer evidence for this reduction, points to improved retention of ear tags due to superior design, and more robust tags that have become available in recent years. For example, the market leader, the Caisley tag, is made from a new polymer plastic and boasts a 99% retention rate illustrating that this market leading retention has contributed greatly to the decreased sales. Caisley tags first became the 'tag of choice' in 2016 when their ultra efficient BVD tag hit the market and enabled many farmers to identify BVD infected calves accurately shortly after birth, thus preventing them from remaining on the farm and infecting other animals. The simple design, easy to use applicator and automatically sealed sample vial provides easy and accurate detection of infected animals. This success led to increased interest in cattle identification tags and experience has highlighted their 99% retention rate as a major factor in their popularity. A cleanly punched hole in the ear tissue allows free and frictionless tag rotation throughout the animals lifetime and reduces the need for so many replacements. Indeed it is this success that has prompted the manufacturers of Caisley tags to award an exclusive contract for their products to a Northern Ireland distributor, after a comprehensive supplier evaluation which included an analysis of customer service, production efficiency and routes to market. Farmer comments regarding this contract have indicated that it provides an additional bonus in the availability of the tags and the service provided with them. Tags can be printed while you wait at various centres throughout Northern Ireland. In addition farmers can phone their requirements and have a next day delivery to the farm, mart or whatever venue they choose. The tags are supplied in a single strip of four for each animal, which speeds up tagging and removes the risk of inserting non matching tags. One farmer commented “ While the cost of replacing tags is annoying when you have already paid for them, the inconvenience of having to segregate one or two animals from the herd for this single task is time consuming and frustrating. If you complete a task you do not expect to have to repeat it at a later date. When you count the time and help needed to segregate an animal and secure it for re-tagging, especially if it happens to be on an out farm or rented ground, it is both frustrating and costly, never mind the additional paperwork involved.” Another farmer interviewed said “If you can plan and allocate a time for re-tagging, it relieves some of the stress, but if the animal concerned is due to go to the mart for sale, or to the meat plant, and even more important you have a quality assurance inspection coming up, then the pressure is on and the job has to be done, whether it suits your time schedule or the help available. A robustly designed tag with a very high retention rate can save both time and money.”

Are you #inspired?

General News 12th March 2019 | By: Roger Allen

The Agri Food Co-operation scheme is bringing many talented producers and entrepreneurs together to develop their products. Here pictured is the Lough Neagh Artisan Food Group who have taken advantage of the many supports the scheme has to offer. Are you #inspired? Find out more about the scheme here

Countryside announced as GO Awards Northern Ireland 2019/20 finalists

Uncategorized | By: Roger Allen

We are delighted to announce that as the DAERA appointed delivery agent responsible for the administration of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital Tier 1 Countryside Services Limited has been selected as a finalist within the category of GO Buy Social / Sustainable Procurement Award – Services at this years GO Awards Northern Ireland 2019/20.

The Government Opportunity (GO) Awards are recognised as the premier public procurement awards to celebrate procurement excellence in Northern Ireland.

The awards ceremony is being held at the renowned Titanic Hotel, Belfast on 13th March 2019!  As an organisation we pride ourselves in the high level of customer service we provide to the farming community across Northern Ireland through our talented and professional staff.

We are extremely proud to receive this recognition and acknowledge the substantial achievement that it is to reach this stage!  The finalists in our category are:

·         Countryside Services Ltd

·         G4S Secure Solutions (UK) Ltd

·         Translink and Sword Security

·         BT Northern Ireland & partner TerraQuest

·         DoF Construction

Countryside Services Ltd is proud to support Air Ambulance NI

General News 7th March 2019 | By: Roger Allen

Countryside Services Ltd is proud to support the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Charity by making a significant donation of £1,500. “The Air Ambulance is an essential service for Northern Ireland and in particular the farming community.  Farmers operate heavy, dangerous equipment often on their own in very rural locations. The Air Ambulance can access medical emergencies quickly regardless of the location and in the short time the service has been active they have saved many lives.  We wanted to show our appreciation for the service through a donation from Countryside Services.” -Managing Director Ian McNiece (pictured) The Air Ambulance has been tasked to 711 medical emergencies since July 2017. To become a member and donate regularly to this essential service click here http://www.airambulanceni.org/club-aani-membership/

Get your Agri Food business idea up and running in 2019

Announcements 3rd January 2019 | By: Roger Allen

Support For Co-operative Development In The Agri Food Business. Groups of individuals or small businesses who would benefit from co-operation with other aspects of the agri food chain can now avail of business support from the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme. Mandina Fulton, Senior Administrator from Countryside Services, who are operating the scheme on behalf of the NI Rural Development Program and DAERA, explains “The scheme recognises that small businesses in the agri food supply chain can often have difficulty finding time to identify the expertise and resources necessary to progress joint initiatives. The Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme will give like-minded businesses the opportunity to work together to explore ways of improving returns from the supply chain.” Examples of this type of co-operation which were funded under the Supply Chain Development Program – the forerunner of this new scheme, are groups of growers in the apple and pork industries. They recognised the growth in artisan food products but did not have the expertise within their group to avail of this market opportunity. The apple growers availed of the expertise of specialist mentor support to create a brand for their products and to produce marketing tools. They recognised the tourism potential of the apple industry and created strategic linkages with the wider supply chain including cider producers, restaurants and hotels, to make the product the central focus of a tourism destination project, thus creating new markets and ultimately consumers of their products. Local outlets began to work with the growers as they had created a professional marketing campaign which they could all become part of. A small group of farmers rearing outdoor pigs faced the same dilemma. They were operating on a small scale and needed business advice on how to upscale their production capacity in order to provide a steady supply for customers and expand their customer base. They realised that they would be targeting high-end restaurants and farm shops so their product required a premium price. They availed of expertise to carry out a financial appraisal and marketing strategy which was followed up with study tours for the group to meet other high-end food producers in order to gain invaluable information on this niche market. Mandina Fulton added “ Through the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme expert help is available for business planning, specialist mentoring, market research, training, study tours and business tools such as information systems, market intelligence, promotional material etc.” Groups who wish to express interest or find further information should visit the Countryside Services web site www.countrysideservices.com or agrifood@countrysideservices.com or phone 028 8778 8207

Winter Fair 2018

Uncategorized 20th December 2018 | By: Roger Allen

On the 13th December we attended the Royal Ulster Winter Fait at the fabulous Eikon Exhibition Centre. On display, we had our range of Caisley Livestock ID Ear Tags. Our range of Caisley Cattle Ear Tags consisted of; BVD Cattle Ear Tags BVD Cattle Ear Tags and Button Tags BVD EID Ear Tags and Button Tags BVD & DNA Ear Tags We also had on display our replacement cattle tags. All of our Caisley Cattle Ear Tags feature a market leading 99% retention rate and a clear unique laser marked font with a number of different printing options for management purposes. Our Sheep ear tags consisted of Caisley Flexo breeding sets that weigh just 6 grams per set. These are available in a range of ear tag colours with a vast choice of laser marking options. A sealed EID unit ensures a lifetime read. They also benefit from a fantastic retention rate. DNA tissue sample options are available in this range too. These Caisley flexo sheep ear tags are perfect for pedigree breeders. We also had our very popular Sheep ear loop tags. These are extra strong, have an excellent read rate and can be read from a far distance. They also feature a strengthened pin for easier application into the sheep's ear. These are available in a range of colours and are laser marked. As part of our revamped display, we had some impressive stands. These stands are some of the first produced in the UK and featured some fantastic images of Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Sheep & Pigs reflecting our broad range of livestock ID ear tags. We also brought along our laser marking machine and printed personalised keyring tags. Our Prize Draw Quad was also on display. If you purchase your tags from Countryside Services you will be entered into a draw to win a Suzuki Quad! The model is Suzuki KingQuad 400 Automatic ATV. Make sure you purchase your livestock ID ear tags from Countryside Services.

New Agri Food Co-Operation Scheme

Announcements 28th November 2018 | By: Roger Allen

Countryside Services Ltd is pleased to launch the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme. This programme aims to help those in agri-food supply chains to work together to develop their business/ business idea through increased market awareness, enhanced communication, and development of better supply chain arrangements. Support is available for each group (new or existing) to develop new products and processes, food tourism, short supply chains, and local markets. The Agri-Food Co-operation scheme is a new initiative to help reduce fragmentation and improve competitiveness and sustainability in the agri-food sector. The scheme provides a range of support tools that can help assist a group work on their branding, marketing strategies, and business planning.  Support tools available Facilitation Expert Help with business planning, funding, business development, and market research. Specialist Mentoring More specific support for the group; eg Quality Assurance, eCommerce and Marketing. Training To develop the skills of group members Study Tours To develop the skills of group members. Co-operation Support Development of group structures and co-operation activities. Other Business Tools Management information systems, surveys, websites, logos and promotional material.   Eligibility As the scheme is focused on benefiting Northern Irish agri-food production the lead applicant must be from the NI agricultural or horticultural production sector  
  • the project must deal with products whose main components must already be, or could be, produced in Northern Ireland
  • a group must have a minimum of two entities
  • support can be allocated to new or existing groups. However, for support to be granted to an existing group, it must be to develop a business plan for a new joint project
  • the scheme will only support plans for projects which involve innovative/unique characteristics, with low displacement implications and the potential to add net benefits to the Northern Ireland economy
How to apply The first stage requires you to download and submit a short expression of interest form.  You can download this form at the bottom of this page. We advise you to also download the notes for guidance document as this will provide further information regarding the scheme. Please note the scheme will not accept applications from fisheries or aquaculture businesses, forestry businesses, or from businesses where the output is for the energy market. Case Study EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FORM AFCS 2018 NOTES FOR GUIDANCE  Contact Countryside Services for more information Email agrifood@countrysideservices.com or call 028 8778 8207

Calf Tagging Simplified for Ballymoney Beef Farmer

Announcements 21st November 2018 | By: Roger Allen

Calf Tagging Simplified for Ballymoney Beef Farmer Time is a valuable commodity on Desmond Fulton's farm near Ballymoney as he manages to run a successful beef enterprise in addition to his role as chairman of the UFU Animal Health and Welfare Committee. Desmond’s beef enterprise involves a 90 cow suckler herd where the majority of the calves born are finished on the farm. This means a constant work load including, calving, weaning, feeding, bedding and daily checking to keep all groups thriving and the enterprise viable. To make sure all of the tasks run as efficiently as possible, animal identification is paramount. He explained “I need to invest in an ear tag that is durable and will stay in the animal's ear for its lifetime. The Caisley tag is made of high quality plastic which does not break and it has a 99% retention rate meaning replacement tags have now become a rarity saving time and money. The design and ease of application also means I have no issue with empty BVD samples. Referring to the Caisley system for BVD testing, Desmond commented on the BVD sealed vial for ease of testing and ensuring more successful tissue sampling. “The Caisley tags are very user friendly. Tagging calves is simple and easy, and once tagged the sample is ready to go with no fiddly, time consuming sealing procedure.” Roger Allen, Sales Manager with Countryside Services was keen to highlight that one major advantage to farmers is the clever design of the applicator meaning that it applies both tags to the animal and can be used for BVD & DNA sampling, electronic EID tags, standard visuals and buttons. Desmond also commented “Countryside Services provide a wide range of services to the farming community and this is expanding due to their efficiency and attention to detail. I have been a customer for over five years and can whole heartedly endorse them as a company that can be relied upon.” Roger Allen also commented, “In addition to the quality of our Caisley tags, Countryside Services strive for production efficiency and excellent customer service. We have increased the availability of our Caisley tags to the farming community by supplying Caisley tags to independent merchants and veterinary practices, in addition to our premises at Dungannon and our online store.

Positive Farmer Response to Countryside Services’ Exclusive Caisley Tag Contract.

Announcements 10th November 2018 | By: Roger Allen

Positive Farmer Response to Countryside Services' Exclusive Caisley Tag Contract. “Excellent customer service, the reliability of the product and ease of use means Caisley Tags are perfect for our farm.” This is how father and son team, Hugh and Kyle Smyth, describe the Caisley Tag from Countryside Services. Hugh and Kyle run a progressive dairy herd outside Dromore in Co.Tyrone where attention to detail is paramount. They have been customers of Countryside Services, Dungannon, for the past three years and appreciate the savings in both time and money that can be achieved by using Caisley Tags. Hugh Smyth said, “We rear our heifer calves as herd replacements and use Caisley Tags as they are extremely robust and offer a high retention rate.” Kyle Smyth commented “tagging is made so much easier due to the fact that Caisley Tags come in a strip of four and only requires one applicator. This eliminates the potential for errors and also saves time.” Hugh went on to point out that they also use the Caisley marker pen for adding their herd management information on the tags and finds this a very useful addition. He added “ I am pleased to hear that Countryside Services have been awarded an exclusive supplier contract for the Caisley Tags. The design and quality of the Caisley Tag is complemented by the professionalism of their service.” Roger Allen, Sales Manager said, “We have been delighted at the response from farmers to the news of our exclusive status for the Caisley Tags, and can assure our customers that this will enable us to offer an even more efficient service.” Commenting on their experience in BVD testing Roger pointed out that the simplicity of the Caisley design enables a tissue sample to be taken easily in one action providing a sealed vial ready for sending to the testing laboratory. He added, “But the BVD testing tag is only part of the story - the knowledge, experience, and advice we can share since the programme was introduced makes us the tag provider of choice.”

Caisley Tags – Now Exclusive To Countryside Services.

Announcements 3rd November 2018 | By: Roger Allen

Caisley Tags – Now Exclusive To Countryside Services.   Farmers can now enjoy the superior quality Caisley Livestock ID tag  “on demand” throughout Northern Ireland due to an exclusive supplier contract granted to Countryside Services, Dungannon.   To acquire this exclusive status Countryside Services had to undergo a comprehensive supplier evaluation where customer service, production efficiency and routes to market were analysed.   The status of preferred supplier for the market-leading Caisley Livestock ID Tags allows Countryside Services to distribute animal livestock ID Tags through their premises and online store, approved independent merchants and veterinary practices throughout Northern Ireland.   Roger Allen, Sales Manager commented “While this is great news for Countryside Services it is also welcome news for the farming community. Firstly because the Caisley tag is a superior product made from a new polymer plastic which means that it benefits from an industry leading 99% retention rate cutting down the number of replacement tags required. This provides a vital saving in the long run for the farmer.   Since 2015 Countryside Services has been at the forefront of the drive to eradicate BVD.  Caisley BVD tags have been instrumental in the fight against BVD and have become a firm favorite with farmers in Northern Ireland due to their simple design, easy to use applicator and automatically sealed sample vial.     The quality of the Caisley tag, its simplicity, and design, in addition to its 99% retention rate have all contributed to its popularity throughout the province. Our excellent service combined with the exclusive rights to supply Caisley tags ensures their popularity will only increase in Northern Ireland.”   Ruth Potter, Customer Service Manager was keen to point out that Countryside Services provide an unrivaled service level, “ we supply tags in a strip of four, which makes the process of applying the tags easier and more straightforward.  We even use a unique font on the tags so they are easier to read. Our highly efficient production team ensure a quick turnaround and the farmer receives a text message to confirm the dispatch of their tags”.     Roger Allen added, “ Being awarded exclusivity of Caisley Livestock ID tags for Northern Ireland  is an incentive for us to maintain our excellent customer care performance in the field of animal livestock ID Tags.”   Keep up to date with our latest news on Facebook & Twitter   Photo info: Sales Manager Roger Allen and Customer Service Manager Ruth Potter with our fantastic Caisley BVD Tags and Applicator.