By FWi staff

UNITED Auctions and Caledonian Marts have had a bitter exchange of words over the future of their auction sites in Stirling.

Both organisations run live markets in Stirling from different sites, and rationalisation is reported to be on the cards.

David Danson, chief executive of United Auctions (UA), told FARMERS WEEKLY that UA was in a healthy position having survived the worst of the foot-and-mouth crisis and was ready to negotiate.

But a report in last weeks Scottish press suggested that Caledonian was less keen on the idea of the firms entering into partnership on one site.

Its general manager John Broadfoot said: “If there was a requirement from our customers to go into a joint venture, I think there would be other options, rather than UA, that we would look at first.

“If an attractive offer was made we would sell the site, but our directors have stressed we would relocate within Stirling.”

Two auction companies had served the town well, said Mr Broadfoot. “There is a competitive edge here and stock come from far afield to be sold.”