30 July 1998
Row continues over best way to sell sheep

THE continuing row over the best way to sell sheep – live auction or direct deadweight – dominated proceedings at the biannual national sheep event at Malvern, Worcestershire.

John Thorley, chief executive of the National Sheep Association, said only a live auction system had the flexibility to deal with the variable supplies of lamb.

Arthur Haddrell, a Tesco technical representative, said until the industry could persuade retailers otherwise direct sourcing was the best way of ensuring consumer demands of traceability, assurance and welfare.

David Croston, sheep strategy manager with the Meat and Livestock Commission, pointed out in the last five or six years the live auction share of the market had fallen from 70% to 50%. He added that over-capacity in abattoirs was also working against the producer.

He warned producers that increasingly tight specifications would be required whichever market they targeted.

  • The Scotsman 30/07/98 page 28