8 January 1999

Auctions hold key to control

AUCTIONEERS can help win back producer control in beef and sheep marketing, according to Banffshire farmer Alistair Nairn.

He and six other farmers have established SLIM, the Scottish Livestock Initiative on Marketing (News, Nov 27), which held a meeting in Perth on Wednesday for an invited audience from all sectors of the meat industry.

"We want auctioneers to become livestock agents offering a service to farmers covering live markets, electronic auctions and sales direct to abattoirs. We are seeing retail-led initiatives and it is high time we had something to return more price control to producers," said Mr Nairn.

Bob Yule, projects manager with SAOS, the umbrella body for Scottish farm co-ops, said SLIM was acting as a catalyst for price transparency and far greater co-operation among producers and farmer-funded bodies. &#42