North-east farmers’ co-operative ANM Group has hailed a successful year of trading so far with increased numbers of cattle and sheep going through its rings.
The co-op, which operates livestock markets at Thainstone near Inverurie and at Quoybrae in Caithness, said the number of livestock sold through its rings in the first half of 2021 was up 15% on the year before.
It said the prices received by farmers for their animals was also up with store cattle and prime stock values up by more than 14% on the same period in 2020, and store sheep and prime sheep values up by more than 14% and 24% respectively.
“Our mid-year figures are extremely encouraging despite the challenges we continue to face in the rural sector,” said ANM Group chief executive, Grant Rogerson.
“I have no doubt that our increase in average values is in part due to the continuing strategic investment by the Group in new technology and routes to market, and in our customer focused teams based at Thainstone and Caithness.”
He said the co-op’s ability to trade online, alongside traditional in-person livestock sales, had resulted in it maintaining excellent market share.
It also benefitted from “significant activity” in its other sales divisions with increases in the value of plant and machinery, added Mr Rogerson.
ANM head of livestock, John Angus, praised the success of the company’s online bidding system.
He said: “It is important for us to host live sales at our centres, however there is no doubt our online bidding system and online marketplace has played a vital role within the industry in keeping the trade and benchmark for all stakeholders over the past 18 months.
“As we look to the future, we continue to invest in our team to support our growing customer base across our trading areas, in routes to market, and our online bidding system, with a newly upgraded version recently launched.
“We will continue to look for opportunities to grow and diversify to enable us to serve our members and customers the best we possibly can.”