IFA President Tim Cullinan has welcomed the resumption of auction rings at the marts under the new Department of Agriculture ‘safe sale’ conditions and protocols.
He said while the protocols are detailed and restrictive in order to protect people, it’s a significant step towards getting this essential service back up and operating again.
The IFA President strongly encouraged farmers to support their local mart.
“Marts provide an essential service to farmers and the agricultural community in terms of the livestock trade.
“They provide open and transparent market price competition and security of payment,” he said.
“While online trading has been a great help and is certainly part of the future for marts, the closure and restrictions on the trade this spring have hit the livestock sector, marts and farmers.
“The spring is peak trading season for cattle and a lot of this trade has been lost.”
IFA commends the efforts of the marts and their representative bodies to re-open the services as soon as possible.
“It is essential we have a strong mart service for the summer and autumn periods.”
“Discussions have taken place with the Department of Agriculture and detailed protocols and procedures have been worked out, which hopefully will facilitate a smooth return,” he said.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said the marts, as an essential service provider, have a very strong case to make to Government for assistance due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
“IFA strongly supports the case for an amnesty on rates; Government assistance with insurance costs; grant aid for investment in IT; and online technology trading developments in the marts,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Central Auctions marts in Birr, Roscrea and Nenagh are using MartBids, an Irish Farmers Journal developed an app to facilitate marts who wished to hold online sales.
Commenting on the new bidding tool, Central Auctions general manager Michael Harty said,
“We’ve been through a lot over the last few weeks, but we’re delighted to be able to facilitate online sales for local farmers.
“We tried tender sales as we had no other option at the time, but they were torture and a lot of work for mart staff.
“The MartBids app is a gift and both sellers and buyers love the simplicity of it.
“It’s very transparent for both the buyer and seller and it’s also very easy to use for our auctioneers, which is very important for the smooth running of a sale.
“We have a lot of buyers still coming in to look at the cattle and I think that will still be the way a lot of people will do business.
“We are looking forward to getting back to some form of normality next Monday when we will welcome farmers back around Central Auctions rings.”