Marts still premier venue for livestock sales in Ireland despite growth of online
Marts remain the premier venue for livestock sales in Ireland with over 1.7m cattle a year selling through local marts.
A national conference of ICOS mart directors and managers heard at a meeting in Portlaoise, with factories (1.6M) and farm to farm movements (1.2M) counting for considerably less than that figure.
“Marts can sometimes be stereotyped as a more traditional method of buying and selling livestock but they are still the shrewd choice for farmers who want to get a top price and a guarantee of payment," according to ICOS National Marts Executive Ray Doyle.
He says the marts have agreed that they need to encourage more farmers to actively conduct their own business in person at the mart by enhancing and evolving services as they have been doing for over 60 years.
“While agents and dealers provide a valuable service to some part time farmers and farmers with low time thresholds there is a cost when engaging their services but it should be realised that the auction process is best served with as big an audience as possible," he said
The continued popularity of marts come as thousands of Irish cattle are being sold every month on the Internet as the younger generation in particular abandon the cattle marts in favour of on-line dealing.
Farmers from every county in the country are selling livestock on the internet – lured by the convenience of being able to sell from their own yard and without the transport costs.