60m blue cards issued since 1996

Charlie McConalogue, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM), visited the offices of Capita Customer Solutions (CCS) in Clonakilty recently, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Calf Registration and Passport Issuing contract.

The contract, originally awarded to CCS by DAFM in 1996, is the foundation on which the traceability of the Irish cattle population is based. The National Cattle Traceability Service is the cornerstone which underpins the multibillion-euro dairy and beef industry in Ireland. The CCS teams, based in Bandon and Clonakilty in west Cork, have registered and issued passports for almost 60 million calves since the inception of the contract in 1996.

During the visit, the Minister spoke with and congratulated CCS staff, some of whom have been working on the contract across its entire 25-year tenure. Minister McConalogue said, 

“I am delighted to have been able to mark the 25th anniversary of CCS issuing calf registration and passports. The ‘blue cards’ are known in every farm family household across the country and are an integral part of our world-class bovine traceability system. The relationship between the farmers of Ireland, the Department and CSS has served our sector well over the past quarter of a century.”

Including the DAFM team, Capita Customer Solutions (CCS) employs over 1,200 people in Ireland in locations across Cork and Sligo, delivering customer engagement services to the utilities, telecommunications, media, travel, financial services, agriculture and public sectors and has recently been ranked as one of the top 100 employers in the country, alongside big-name companies like Google, LinkedIn and An Post.

Welcoming the Minister to the offices, Paddy Morrissey, Managing Director of Capita Customer Solutions, said: "We are delighted to welcome Minister McConalogue and are proud to have maintained our excellent level of service to have reached this milestone.

“Our team also carries out more than 23,000 on-farm audits annually, on behalf of Bord Bia. These cattle traceability systems and farm audits reassure both national and international consumers that the food they eat is produced to the highest quality and can be traced back to their original source”.

“Our DAFM team now proudly manages the movement of 4 million pigs and 2.45 million bovine registrations annually, with Feb 2021 being our busiest month to date with 630,400 registrations.”