Good day at the auction market

Despite the Covid pandemic, Scotland’s livestock marts saw the total value of throughput increase by 17.5 per cent on the year during 2020 to over £556m, according to the latest figures from the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS).

“Last year was undoubtedly one of the most challenging years for Scottish Livestock auctioneers since the dark days of Foot and Mouth,” said Neil Wilson, executive director.

He said the figures highlighted the critical role auction marts and companies played in delivering transparent market prices using the live ring as their unique price discovery environment.

“Live rings allow economies of rural communities and livestock producers to thrive, by delivering a fair market price back to these farmers, with payments that follow soon after,” said Wilson.

He said that following the experience of foot and mouth from 20 years ago, the IAAS had been aware from an early stage that it was crucial to keep markets open during Covid19 as a vital part of the food chain.

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This continuation, said Wilson, under very different rules to normal, had been pivotal in ensuring that farmers could still fairly trade their livestock.

He said that new customers had used the system and with Defra figures showing a 3.7 per cent drop in overall sheep production, it had been good to see that the number of sheep going through Scottish rings for slaughter actually rose by 10 per cent - reinforcing the claims that the mart system was worth hundreds of millions of pounds to the Scottish rural economy and its farmers.

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