Tom Wrench, head auctioneer at RFM, in actionA livestock market formed by 250 local farmers has brought the hammer down on its most successful year.
The Rugby Farmers Mart (RFM) at Stoneleigh Park was opened in 2008 and is now the largest in Warwickshire.
During the past 12 months stock numbers have increased while customers – both selling and buying – are travelling from across the country for the Monday sales.
Tom Wrench, head auctioneer at RFM, said 2013 was expected to be another year of growth.
“Stock numbers of store cattle, fat cattle and sheep rose throughout the year and the numbers of sheep were consistent throughout what was a difficult period in that market,” he said.
“Our market was originally aimed at farmers from around a 50-mile radius but we are now regularly getting them from Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Leicestershire and at times from Somerset, Dorset and Essex.
“It is always hard to establish a new business but the fact our reputation is growing allied to all the logistical advantages of Stoneleigh Park, means that we think we will continue to grow.
“The farming community across the country knows Stoneleigh Park very well so there is an instant recognition and people tend to know where we are, which also helps.”
The market was averaging around 1,100 head of store cattle a month in the final three months of 2012.
Wrench added: “We are planning some capital improvements for the next year including a new environmentally-friendly water management system and some other changes which will improve the service we can offer.
“There is also a great deal of work going on throughout Stoneleigh Park which will hopefully keep adding to the experience for our customers.”
The Farmers Mart replaced the old Rugby Market close to the railway station which was redeveloped in 2008.
Colin Hooper, Stoneleigh Park Estates Director, said RMF was viewed as a key part of the site going forward.
He said: “Our future is very much aligned to agriculture and a livestock market is a key part of farming life.
“We are really pleased to see the market thriving and developing so well after a strong start.
“Stoneleigh Park is at the heart of the farming community and that has been at the forefront of our thinking as we have drawn up our plans to revitalise the site as a science park focusing on agriculture and sustainability.”
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