Builth Wells Market: Providing a vital service to livestock producers
29th July 2020
The Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) is delighted to see the livestock market at Builth Wells re-opening, at a time when the important role livestock marts play in delivering true market values through open and transparent competition has been highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sunderlands has recently purchased Brightwells’ minority shareholding and taken full control of Hereford Market Auctioneers (HMA), due to Brightwells making the decision to focus on other areas of business. Sunderlands has also taken over the running and management of Builth Wells market, in addition to running Talgarth market, having been assigned the lease by Brightwells with Powys County Council’s consent.
Built in 1910, some elements of the site will require updating, with some small pens unsuitable for modern cattle, so the sales at Builth Wells will focus on sheep only. The cattle pens will be converted to sheep pens, which, in time, will mean that the Builth Wells site can cater for 3,000 – 3,500 sheep under cover. The Builth area has the highest density of sheep in the world, so investment in this crucial service for livestock producers makes sense.
Builth Wells Mart has been closed since the beginning of lockdown (23rd March) until the first sale of prime lambs and cull ewes was held on Friday 10th July. Richard Hyde, Auctioneer at Sunderlands, commenting on the new arrangement, said, “We have been overwhelmed by the support since our reopening. The first sale back, on 10th July, saw 2800 prime lambs and cull ewes sold, followed by 5200 in the second week.
“We were actually building pens as stock arrived at the second sale to keep up with demand, and vendors were queuing around the car park twice. We had plenty of help from farmers arriving with stock, and the support was both inspirational and very rewarding. They’re happy to have their market back and it’s shown a real sense of community spirit.”
Chris Dodds, Executive Secretary of the Livestock Auctioneers Association adds, “The pandemic has underlined the fact that we have to rely on our own food supply, and we’re delighted that Sunderlands is able to deliver a vital link in that chain by keeping this thriving livestock market in operation. On behalf of all producers and the LAA, I’d like to extend my appreciation and thanks to the team at Sunderlands.”