Livestock Live (LSL), which recently introduced technology for livestock bidding via video link, is set to launch a new service which will make it easier to buy and sell livestock online through the marts.
Called 'My E Mart', the product will see sellers upload videos of their livestock onto the app. The seller then chooses a mart to handle the sale.
Prospective buyers then bid on the animal, with bids based on an estimated weight. After the seller agrees on a sale price, the mart organises for the buyer and seller to meet.
The animal is then weighed and the price is amended based on the price per kilo. The marts facilitate the payment as normal and earn the usual commission for the sale.
LSL's farm management app secures all the information for the animal including tag number, its last TB test, ICBF information and Bord Bia Quality Assurance data.
Livestock Live CEO, Brendan Hannigan, says this move will revolutionise how marts operate. "The biggest problem the marts have is matching buyers and sellers. We will match the buyer and the seller for the mart. This will enable the animal to be sold on the platform and then the animal can be brought to the mart to be weighed and to be paid for.
"This solution won't require the mart to buy any hardware or software or have any overhead costs as they'll just be using their weighing scales, payment systems etc. We feel this will open up a lot wider audience to a lot of animals. We believe it will ensure the future of the marts."
The system also complies with government social distancing requirements as it requires virtually no interaction between buyers and sellers.
Video link sales
Livestock Live held its first online, video link sales in Carnaross Mart in Meath (April 6) and in Manorhamilton in Leitrim (April 8), which Brendan Hannigan described as "very successful".
"It's opening up a much wider audience to the marts," Mr Hannigan explained.
"Over 3,000 people logged on to look at our stream on the first day.
"Initially, it was slow as people logged on to the system for the first time with over 2,000 people registered between 12.00 and 4.00pm. There were people buying cattle in Carnaross from as far away as Wexford," he maintained.
It is understood that the marts will keep the systems in place after the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Buyers will be able to drop animals off at the mart and watch the bidding online, and will also have the option to go to the mart the morning of a sale, view animals in the flesh then bid for them online later in the day.
"More and more marts are looking to get involved. The marts are an institution in Ireland, so we hope to give them the future they deserve," added Mr Hannigan.
Tech company claims its buyer-seller match-up app will help secure 'the future of the marts'