The Farmer Network this week hosted an open on- line meeting for farmers and auctioneers to discuss the challenges of re- opening auction marts to a greater degree as we fast approach the Autumn sales. At the moment most auction marts do not allow vendors in to the market. All livestock for sale must be dropped off and left without sellers entering the auction building. Only buyers have access to the sale ring.

Over 30 farmers and auctioneers took part in the debate with presentations from Chris Dodds, of the Livestock Auctioneers Association, Ted Ogden, CCM Auctions, Skipton and Glyn Lucas, Pedigree dairy auctioneer with H&H, Carlisle

Farmers were keen that auction marts worked with each other over the next few months, to optimise future sales, and to ensure that those sales were operated uniformly  under the same standards and regulations. If the farming community loses the ability to sell by auction this autumn, the effect on the farm business and farmers wellbeing could be catastrophic, particularly in isolated rural areas.

Adam Day, Managing Director of the Farmer Network concluded the meeting by saying that Auctioneers were having to “adapt and overcome” to a very challenging situation. It is clear that auction operators and their customers needed to work very closely in future to ensure that all live sales were run safely and within the set rules and regulations. There is a duty of care on everyone entering a livestock market to be careful as public health is of paramount importance and will be regulated by government.