Dairy calf producers are being urged to carefully select marketing routes to ensure the right calves are reaching the right outlet as GB Calf Week gets underway.
Markets are seeing more calves than ever, with the live sales ring providing a marketplace for all types, breeds and ages of calves, to meet all budgets, auctioneers have said.
Figures show in excess of 230,000 calves were sold through livestock markets across England and Wales in the last year, with that number rising year on year.
Market Drayton Market auctioneer Jonty Cliffe said there was a current imbalance in supply and demand, with direct supply chains not fully providing for calf producers.
However, he said the live sales ring continued to offer a market for every calf. “Providing a weekly outlet for calf producers, the livestock market works in all circumstances.
"Our producers are not limited by a grid system or categorisation by weight or whether their stock has made the grade."
The advice comes as GB Calf Week, a cross-industry campaign spearheaded by AHDB and the NFU, gets underway from 16-23 November.
The initiative aims to ensure that all dairy-bred calves are reared with care and for a purpose, as part of either the dairy or beef supply chains.
Will Alexander of Bentham Auction Mart said that auctioneers liaised with all relevant buyers, ensuring the right people were around the ringside for all types of livestock.
“This ensures the true value of the calf is achieved on the day, from the top-end heavy Angus bulls to the 2 to 4-week-old calves," he added.
"It is in our own interests, quite simply the more the calf makes, the more commission the auctioneer earns."
As the impact of the cost-of-living crisis hits home, Mr Alexander said this may well also filter down into the calf trade.
“We anticipate there will be increased demand from cheaper cuts of meat from the lower quality animals
“The livestock market is uniquely positioned to cater for all fluctuations in supply and demand, while delivering true values of the livestock sold."