ALM: ‘Online platforms facilitating positive trade during Level 5’

Associated Livestock Marts (ALM) has issued a reminder of its commitment to the agricultural industry and farmers amid ongoing Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.

ALM member mart managers held a Zoom meeting yesterday (Wednesday, October 28).

Following this Eric Driver, ALM secretary, reported that trade had “remained extremely firm in the past week with a noticeable improvement in store and beef cattle prices with more buyer activity online”, while also noting “sheep prices had opened very strong after the bank holiday weekend”.

Commenting, Driver said: “There is no doubt that the heartbeat of the sales yard is around the ring and there is certainly a matter of urgency to get the rings reopened.

We fully understand we are in a national health pandemic but, having carried out best practice as provided by the government to date, find ourselves extremely disappointed to be put in this position.

“It has to be said we as mart managers will continue to work with our buyers and sellers to deliver a positive experience for all who wish to buy or sell stock online until we can restore ringside activity.”

Continuing, the secretary said that the online platform has it benefits and pitfalls, but he reiterated that mart managers are “working with farmers to overcome their fears, with the previewing of stock playing a major role in allowing buyers to physically view the stock”.

“We will continue to work with the Department of Agriculture and review the opening of the ring, but while we are under Level 5 restrictions, we must do everything to keep each other safe.

“The online sales system is working but could be better if the broadband was much improved in rural Ireland.

It must be said farmers are the backbone of the Irish economy and once again we the mart managers will work closely with our farmers to ensure they are getting the best market price for their stock.

“The trade over the past week reflects an ability to bid online while overcoming the hurdles/concerns with your local mart reiterating again prices have held strong and demand is very evident for all types of stock,” Driver concluded.