MARTS MUST BE ALLOWED TO HAVE BIDDERS IN THE RING

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28 OCTOBER 2020

ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham has reiterated his call to allow bidders in the ring at marts nationwide. “The complete shutdown of marts to bidders on foot of Level 5 restrictions proved disastrous at the weekend when one of the main online bidding systems collapsed. ICSA has repeatedly pointed out that many marts and their customers have problems with reliable broadband.”

“Suggestions that marts should not rely on one auction platform are not practicable and ignore the reality that the ultra-tight margins in marts do not allow the luxury of having more than one online system as a back-up, because installation is the biggest cost. In any event, thousands of farmers and agents are now effectively excluded from the livestock auction process because they don’t have the broadband and in some cases, the IT capabilities.”

“The Minister cannot allow the complete disruption of mart trading at the most critical time of year. Farmers desperately need to trade stock at present to keep their farming systems viable. It is critical that marts are fully functional to ensure that there is fair competition for stock. Keeping the meat factories open while closing the marts is completely at odds with the experience this year of Covid clusters and many farmers are questioning why the Government seem to be more favourable to meat factories than to marts.”

ENDS