Home markets 'thriving' amid port disruption

Livestock farmers have been urged to work with auctioneers and be aware of demand
Livestock farmers have been urged to work with auctioneers and be aware of demand

Farmers have been told to take advantage of the resources available through livestock auctioneers and benefit from a strong home market demand, amid the disruption at ports recently.

While export markets were temporarily closed due to the the new variant of Covid-19, the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) says a strong home market demand had provided a boost.

Auctioneers have been monitoring the situation, keeping farmers abreast of an evolving situation, exacerbated by the delays and disruptions at UK ports.

“In this circumstance, it is the new variant of Covid-19 that created the backlogs, delays and disruptions at our ports,” said Chris Dodds, executive secretary of the LAA.

“We can expect more of the same in the coming months, with the added red-tape, bureaucracy and paperwork required for exports."

Despite the challenges to the export trade, at least in the short-term, Mr Dodds said the strong home market points to the opportunities farmers can exploit, with the support of their livestock auction market.

“We have seen an excellent trade this week, and it is important this buoyant home market is supplied,” he added.

"This thriving local market will remain for the foreseeable future, particularly in light of the new tier announcements and travel restrictions.”

It comes as red-meat sales are booming as consumers cook at home, particularly with the closure of pubs and restaurants in most parts of the UK during the festive period.

“The consumer is taking great comfort in having access to home-sourced, high quality UK produce, basing their preferences on the provenance and high standard of animal welfare guaranteed in the UK,” Mr Dodds said.