Technology helping to keep livestock trade moving during exceptional circumstances

14th April 2020

LAA welcomes online platforms to support livestock trade during coronavirus pandemic

In line with its commitment to support the UK livestock sector and maintain the food supply chain during the evolving coronavirus crisis, the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) welcomes two new online platforms that are helping to support livestock trade via dedicated auction events and services.

Having guided the implementation of additional security standards and restrictions across its member companies, enabling markets to remain open and continue to trade safely, the LAA is now supporting additional channels to cater for all sectors planning to trade through livestock markets.

On 6th April, Farmers Guardian launched a new and improved online classification site, FGBuyandSell.com, providing farmers with another way of trading through their livestock markets. With free sign-up and online only listings, the updated site makes it easier than before to search, list and browse stock for sale.

Stephanie Ryder, Farmers Guardian’s head of commercial sales says, “The new site provides a platform for auction marts to serve their farming communities, helping them to trade breeding stock, dairy cattle and sales by private treaty that can’t currently be sold in the market.

“The markets play a key part in our industry, and it’s essential that we support them,” she adds.

The LAA also welcomes the launch of Auctionmarts.com, an auction platform from Newline ASP enabling auctioneers to provide their services online to producers and purchasers.

The system provides an online searchable catalogue showing items available from accredited auctioneers, with filterable categories and easy searching for lots.

Functionality includes lot descriptions, with multiple images, video, attachments, price guides and links to other websites. The bidder can create a watchlist of items of interest, and can place commission bids for live auctions.

A secure registration process is dynamically connected to the auctioneer’s database of customers, allowing bidders to securely bid on timed auction events hosted by auctioneers on the platform. Email notifications are received when a bidder registers, when they are outbid on a lot, or when they are the winning bidder when a lot ends.

A simple to use timed auction allows a bidder to enter a maximum bid, with the system bidding up to that maximum, using increments set by the auctioneer. The system also offers ‘anti-sniping’ and ‘buy it now’ options.

Chris Dodds, executive secretary of the LAA says, “In the current situation farmers should take advantage of the trade knowledge that their dedicated livestock auctioneer brings to the marketplace, especially for those classes of livestock that can’t be sold through the live auction ring during the current stage of this pandemic.”

He adds, “In many respects, this shows what a fantastic position we have had, and will return to, when the coronavirus situation changes. But during the current position, platforms such as these should be seen as a valuable, additional marketing asset.”

Mr Dodds concludes, “While undoubtedly technology has moved on exponentially, and these platforms may well be a welcome support after the crisis for some sectors, history shows us that there is nothing comparable to trading livestock in the live sales ring to get a fair price, as was evident in 2001 when farmers were quick to draw back to the auction mart.”