Online sales route paying dividends for shorthorn breeder
An innovative online sales platform is helping a pedigree breeder in Galway achieve top prices, reports Martin Ryan
Pedigree Shorthorn breeder Tommy Staunton has a different way of doing business than most others in the sector, when it comes to selling pedigree stock from his herd.
Five years ago, the Kinvara, Co Galway man, decided that "there must be a better way of doing business" when he was disappointed by the outcome of the conventional type auction of some of his pedigree animals.
Nowadays, breeders compete online for the animals from his Caramba Pedigree Beef Shorthorn Herd and the majority of the animals offered in the select auction catalogue are being purchased by breeders from outside of this country.
Such is the success of his engagement with the use of online sales been that his average of €4,614 achieved in 2018 for the females from the herd was the highest for any Irish herd for several years, while a top price of €8,400 was reached.
It was the third time for the businessman and part-time farmer, who carries on the family tradition of the Shorthorn breed on the family holding in South Galway, to use the online auction system, the outcome of which has continued to go from success to success.
"When we first launched in 2016 the aim was to market our Beef Shorthorns to as wide an audience as possible without any of the sale cattle having to leave the farm until they were ready to move on to their new home," he explains of his reason for setting up the UK based website www.pedigreesales.co.uk.
"This has been a great success with many of our Beef Shorthorns going direct from our farm to their new homes in many different parts of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland.
"When we set about developing the site the challenge was to design a web platform whereby we could showcase our annual sale cattle. We knew that year on year we would only have a relevantly small number of animals in our sale," he says, explaining that the objective is to keep everything as simple as possible.