A digital hub which was originally set up as a social farming forum has introduced two new online livestock sales platforms.
Livestock Lounge, established by Highland farmer and butcher Sandy Watt in 2019, is now offering both live weekly auctions and private sales services in addition to the opportunity to network, share knowledge and discuss topics such as animal health.
Mr Watt said the hub gave farmers and crofters control over promoting and selling their animals, and described the expansion of the site as a “natural evolution”.
“The past year has shown how adaptive the agriculture sector is, and receptive to buying and selling livestock online. Such sales will never fully replace in-person livestock auctions, although they can certainly be a safe and efficient addition to the industry,” he said.
“(The site) is an opportunity for them to showcase their animals 365 days of the year, similar to what they do at agricultural shows around the country every summer.”
The weekly timed online livestock sales allow buyers to bid on lots, each of which has a fixed reserve. These sales will attract commission of 5% while private sale pens are commission-free and allow sellers to promote livestock for a fixed price as private direct farm-to-farm sales.
Mr Watt runs the Swordale herd of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus cattle and is a partner in Swordale Farm Butchers which has a shop in Bonar Bridge.