The launch event included a panel discussion with sheep farmer and podcast host Rebecca Wilson and beef and sheep farmer Mark Townley, alongside auctioneer Will Alexander of Bentham Auction Mart.
Hosted by the LAA’s Zanna Dennis, the panel discussed how market prices can benefit farming businesses, as well as exploring the benefits of the live auction ring beyond the point of sale and its crucial role as a community hub.
Ms Wilson commented during the discussion, “Having only gone back to the sheep on the farm a few years ago, it has been a real learning experience for me to understand what buyers want, and to talk with the auctioneer.
“That comparison between other lambs coming in, and being able to know what a good, finished lamb looks like, for me has been really important, and I wouldn’t have got that by selling through a different method.”
Mr Townley added, “For me, the benefits of using the market prices platform is deciding when to market your lambs or your old ewes, and generally looking at the market prices, and numbers in the auctions. It is a valuable tool to me. You have to market lambs at the right time of year.”
Mr Alexander cited the need for current information, with so many variables impinging on trade.
“Seven days is a massive timeframe where so much can change. It is also not a local area now, so what happens here [Bentham], can be affected by something that has happened in Devon or Cornwall, or Aberdeenshire,” he said.
Ms Wilson agreed, “If we have that technology there, and most of us to do a have a smart phone, it is so instant, and that is the timeframe that we actually need in agriculture to be making those decisions.
“We do have to make those decisions really quite instantly, because the margins are so small, a day difference in delaying, could make a massive difference to your overall income.”