Livestock farmers can trade store, dairy and breeding stock online, following the launch of an auction website.

Created by Hampshire farmer Dan Luff and web entrepreneur Jamie McInnes, SellMyLivestock enables farmers to trade directly with other producers. Designed for trade in cattle and sheep, the website automatically links to BCMS and Red Tractor data and finished stock will be included in the next few weeks.

With descriptions, photos, video footage and details of the animal’s vet and feed history, buyers get a view of their prospective purchase. “Over 125 farmers have run their figures through our calculator, indicating average savings of £23.20 for each animal sold,” said Mr Luff.

See also: The case for online livestock auctions in the UK

Although he admitted that many farmers preferred to sell through livestock markets or deadweight, many also wanted a third option. “At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to personal choice and the farm set-up,” he said. “But this platform offers an opportunity to be less of a price taker, with the potential to improve traceability and take cost out of the system.”

Sellers can set reserve prices, with ratings given for accuracy of their description and smoothness of transaction. Paul Temple, former deputy president of the NFU, has trialled the site. “At a point of declining beef returns, along comes a system of trading livestock that offers real cost saving benefit,” he said.

All trading is free in June, after which commission will be levied on sellers at 1.5%+VAT for store and breeding stock, with buyers paying the commission on finished stock, at a rate of £2 a head for cattle and 50p a sheep.