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Farmers facing increased mart charges

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A spokesperson for ICOS said most hardware set-up costs are €2,000-3,000. File Photo

A spokesperson for ICOS said most hardware set-up costs are €2,000-3,000. File Photo

A spokesperson for ICOS said most hardware set-up costs are €2,000-3,000. File Photo

Farmers are facing increases in commission charges as the majority of marts move to install online bidding systems.

With costs running into the thousands for marts and some seeing as much as 25pc of lots being bought by online buyers, the move towards online bidding, which was hastened amid the Covid-19 lockdown of marts, will put increased costs on sellers and buyers.

The level of commission at marts currently varies significantly.

Online bidding platforms are costing marts around €1,000-3,000 to install, with ongoing fees based on the number of sales and rings marts operate.

While some online bidding platform providers are capping the monthly charges at less than €100, the annual cost for some marts to operate online bidding could be in the region of €10,000.

A spokesperson for ICOS said most hardware set-up costs are €2,000-3,000.

"However, monthly software charges or daily rates levied by providers can result in monthly costs varying between €300-€500 depending on rings and throughput.

"No mart management has indicated [that it intends] passing all costs back to the farmer; co op marts provide the service of marketing livestock and this is now part of the new normal of the mart auctions."

However, a number of mart managers admitted to the Farming Independent that these cost would ultimately be passed back to buyers and sellers in the mart, be they around the ring or online.

Marts have already warned that some sites could face closure.

The twin pressures of lower stock numbers sold at marts and higher costs, particularly insurances premiums, have been exacerbated this year by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indo Farming