Auction marts – Use them or lose them

By FWi staff

RED-MEAT producers have been warned to support auction markets and help them to change – or risk losing them.

Les Armstrong, chairman of the NFUs livestock committee, told a seminar at AgriVision that sheep and cattle farmers had to decide whether to support auction markets or sell primestock deadweight.

He said auction markets acted as a co-operative selling system and it would be a mistake to lose that.

Although a staunch supporter of markets, Mr Armstrong said improvements could be made by selling animals more efficiently.

He suggested there was a need for a more streamlined selling system that targeted animals to buyers needs, so the right product got to the right buyer as often as possible.

According to Mr Armstrong, there would be changes in the way markets operated, including tighter biosecurity and traceability rules, but markets were well placed to apply these.

But the 20-day rule would “strangle the industry” if it remained in place, he added.

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