WA could benefit from online lamb sale

26 Oct, 2014 02:00 AM
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People will be able to buy and sell with objective assessments with a click of a button.

NEW AuctionsPlus CEO Anna Speer wants to increase the number of online livestock and wool sales in WA.

Ms Speer's local lamb online initiative is aimed at generating high volumes and creating a competitive market for vendors and buyers from all of Australia's lamb producing areas.

Ms Speer said although the sales are predominantly targeted at the south-eastern States due to seasons, WA can take advantage of the buying activity to sell and purchase lambs from other stock categories.

"WA is already online, with approximately five per cent of our annual cattle throughput and less than 1pc of our sheep throughput," Ms Speer said.

"I will be coming across to WA next month to talk to agents and growers to understand how AuctionsPlus can better service their needs.

“I am excited to engage with people from WA, to hear feedback from them on how we can improve, and provide them with more marketing opportunities and buyer competition for their stock and wool.”

Ms Speer said there were many benefits for WA farmers who used the online platform to sell stock.

Designed as an alternative marketing opportunity, the online platform engages a wider audience, is cost effective and the reserve takes out the risk for the vendor.

She said farmers were becoming more modernised and technology-savvy.

"People will be able to buy and sell with objective assessments with a click of a button," Ms Speer said.

"They will be able to buy their stock from the paddock, the tractor seat, or wherever they may be."

Ms Speer said she recognised the challenge of WA's vast distances on freight costs and stock wellbeing.

Selling online, particularly if presented in decks for buyer ease, is less stressful on stock and meant no transport costs to the yards.

She said buyers could access accredited information about the stock and view videos and photos to assure themselves of its quality.

"The aim is to create buyer competition, a good selling experience and aim for the best price for the producers, and in turn, deliver the right product to the buyer " Ms Speer said.

"Producers can have confidence to sell at their realistic reserves as stock remains on-farm until sold, lowering costs and reducing stress to the animals.

"Our target buyers for the store lamb sale are feedlotters, and those farmers with the ability to fatten.

"We have already had buyers express interest, particularly from feedlots wanting stock marketed by weight; and (we will supply) more information about this as we better understand what the buyers are after.

“They are sold through agents through the AuctionPlus online system.”

Ms Speer said she sees online sales providing producers, agents and buyers access to livestock of a similar specification in significant numbers.

"Potentially an opportunity in WA would be to look at focusing on larger lines of cattle from the pastoral companies in geographically challenging areas, where flexible deliveries and an option for forward contract could provide value to both the vendor and the buyer," Ms Speer said.

"Time will tell and I have a lot to learn from the people on the ground, and I am really excited to get over there and hear their stories."

Australia's largest online store lamb sale will be managed by AuctionPlus next month.

Ms Speer said all lamb producers and agents have the opportunity to take part in the inaugural farm gate store lamb sale.

In an industry first, it will allow all agents to market their client's store lambs in commercial lines in one online sale, increasing exposure to a much broader market.

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