Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farming: Marts Have Significant Role

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farming: Marts Have Significant Role

Article excerpt

Byline: By Anna Lognonne

FARMERS are being urged to do their homework before sending their animals either to collection centres or so-called "red" markets.

In the wake of the Surrey foot-and-mouth outbreak, the NFU has pushed for a return to orderly marketing and has supported the calls of the livestock auctioneers association to establish collections centres and "red" markets at the earliest opportunity.

"We recognise how important it is to avoid further spread of the disease," said regional food and farming adviser Fiona Campbell. "Equally though we need to establish pragmatic solutions that enable the livestock industry to deliver the high quality product demanded by our customers.

"The auction marts in the North-East have a significant role to play in this, by matching stock with an appropriate buyer.

"As a result, the NFU is now urging farmers not to just send animals to a collection centre and hope for the best. Instead, they should speak to their local auctioneer and understand the quality criteria that they are being asked to match.

North-East livestock chairman Malcolm Corbett, added: "I believe we are seeing the first steps towards better cooperation between operators in the North-East. Responsibility lies with both farmers and auction marts to improve the efficient marketing of stock. Going forward it is essential that all parties behave responsibly and help rebuild the confidence so needed in the livestock sector."

NFU North-West livestock delegate Alistair Mackintosh said: "Collection centres run by auction marts will be a way back into the market for many. It is important that there should be a co-coordinated approach to the marketing."

Sentiments echoed by NFU's chief livestock adviser, Peter King who said: "The feedback I've had from some auction marts in the North-West and Cumbria reinforces the value of the marts by matching the stock with the appropriate buyer. …

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