22 June 2001

Buyers & sellers brought together

ONE East Anglian producer marketing group is performing a vital role in linking stock buyers and sellers during the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Formed five years ago, East Anglian Sucklers, which has 70 members, is working with producers and abattoirs to place cattle where they command the best price, according to director of the group Lorraine Pope.

"The group has always promoted East Anglian beef through abattoirs. Closure of live markets means this is now the only outlet for finished cattle. With producers permission, selectors are visiting farms to help place cattle with a suitable abattoir to maximise returns."

As well as marketing prime cattle, the group is also involved in placing stores and breeding heifers. Relaxation of movement restrictions means more store cattle are being transferred to finishers, but there is scope for increasing this trade, believes Miss Pope.

"Members have stores to sell, which are in demand from finishers. Group directors help with establishing suitable prices." &#42