Livestock Markets Key To Healthy Food Supply Chain

UK - The key role played by both the traditional and the new modern livestock auction markets with all the mod cons within Britain's food supply chain is being recognised by a growing number of people and organisations.
calendar icon 13 October 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

The National Federation of Meat and Food Traders (NFMFT), which represents independent butchers across England and Wales, has expressed strong backing for livestock auction markets.

"The decline in support - and numbers - of livestock markets has been a tragedy for independent butchers and we will support any initiative designed to safeguard their future," says NFMFT chief executive Roger Kelsey.

"There are still a number of traditional butchers who go to markets regularly to buy their meat on the hoof, and livestock auction markets form an important part of the food supply chain.

"They provide top quality animals to the trade at competitive prices and they are good for both producers and local independent retailers."

Mr Kelsey's views were supported by Nick Allen, Sector Director for EBLEX, who says: "Livestock auctions play a key role in the red meat supply chain, and the wider rural economy, helping producers to get a competitive price for their stock and processors to source quality animals. At the same time, they help to preserve a traditional rural way of doing business and provide a social network for farmers."

He adds: "The Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA), which also plays an important role in their success, working to properly maintain the markets and share good practice among sites across the country."

Norman Bagley, policy director of the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS), which represents small and medium-sized abattoirs that supply most of the beef and lamb for the ethnic trade in England and Wales, said the country's livestock auction markets provided the flexibility his members needed to meet their customers' requirements accurately.

"These buyers prefer to source the livestock they require from auction markets instead of on contract or direct from farmers because the markets give them more choice and they can choose the livestock they want themselves. Most importantly, they can buy according to demand," he said.

The NFU also fully supports livestock auction markets, with its chief livestock adviser John Mercer saying: "They form a vital part of the industry, providing producers with an important outlet for their animals and we need to do everything we can to safeguard their future."

Alastair Sneddon, chairman of the LAA, which represents the auctioneering firms which occupy and run the livestock auction markets of England and Wales, pointed out that the markets were providing thriving rural centres for towns across the UK.

"The market centres attract a wide range of other businesses, including land agents, vets and equipment suppliers, as well as providing an important meeting point for the country's farming communities," said Mr Sneddon.

"Their continued existence and development is essential for a healthy red meat industry in England and Wales."

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.