Evidence should be submitted by February 28th 2020

Call for evidence on prospects for livestock auction marts in the UK

Researchers at the University of Exeter would like to hear from auctioneers, livestock owners and any other stakeholders who use auction marts as they research the unique contribution these businesses make to the UK’s rural communities.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund has commissioned academics at the university to undertake a study on the social benefit, functions of, and prospects for, livestock auction marts in the UK.

Researchers want to know what livestock auction marts contribute to the agricultural sector, the rural economy and communities and the countryside.

The research, carried out by the Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR) will examine how a viable, socially responsible and vibrant livestock auction mart sector can be encouraged and supported. As part of this work, the researchers are launching a call for evidence on the following key questions:

  1. What do livestock auction marts contribute to the agricultural sector, the rural economy and communities, and the countryside, the absence of which might be felt were they to no longer exist as business entities within our communities?
  2. What do you think livestock auction marts contribute to the social lives, health, and well-being of those who attend them, if anything?
  3. How might livestock auction marts be encouraged and supported in order to survive into the future? What opportunities might they explore over and above their purpose of facilitating the sale of livestock? (examples might be as a site for farmer health hubs or business advice, other sales events, or opening a café/restaurant)
  4. Can you name or list any examples of good practice that you have witnessed where an auction mart is successfully employing a number of functions over and above the sale of livestock?

Evidence should be submitted by February 28th 2020.

Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “We have commissioned this research following our work with the Livestock Auctioneers Association. We understand that Auction Marts are often at the heart of their agricultural communities, however, we are aware of the difficulties that many of these businesses are facing. We hope that this research will offer practical recommendations to help them prepare for the future and ensure their long term survival.”

Professor Michael Winter OBE, Professor of Land Economy and Society at the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter, said: “We are anxious to hear from all those with a stake and interest in the future of livestock market in the UK, to help us identify examples of good practice as markets adapt to changing demands and circumstances.”

Chris Dodd’s of the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) says that, “Although the basic principles of the livestock auction market are to ensure that a fair trade is achievable for all livestock producers, through the competitive and transparent bidding platform that the live ring provides, markets are also a vitally important link in the chain to ensuring we continue to see sustainable agricultural and wider rural communities. The social and mental health benefits provided by a vibrant auction mart business are often overlooked, but should not be underestimated. Many markets offer a wide range of services, especially on a market day, and it is clear that the farming community benefit from many of these. We welcome the opportunity of working with The Prince’s Countryside Fund to assist our members in developing a broad offering of services that can further benefit those within our rural communities”.

To find out more please visit:

http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/research/centres/crpr/research/projects/project/index.php?id=653

 

Please email evidence to LivestockAuctionMarts@exeter.ac.uk

Or send in writing to:

Professor Michael Winter OBE

Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR)

University of Exeter

Lazenby House, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PJ

 

If you have concerns/questions about the research you would like to discuss with someone else at the University, please contact:

College of Social Sciences and International Studies Research Ethics Committee:

ssis-ethics@exeter.ac.uk

If you have concerns/questions about the research you would like to discuss with someone at the Prince’s Countryside Fund, please contact:

Ellie Jesson, Operations Manager, The Prince’s Countryside Fund

ejesson@countrysidefund.org.uk

Closing Date: 12 noon Friday February 28th 2020.

 

Written evidence submitted to the Livestock Auction Mart Project will be used for both academic purposes and by the Prince’s Countryside Fund as part of their work in supporting livestock auctions.

Evidence submitted may be published in full or in part for academic reporting purposes and disseminated at academic conferences, seminars, etc.

Your contribution will remain entirely anonymous unless you wish to be named. When you submit your evidence please state clearly one of the following preferences:

•             I do not wish my name/organisation name to be included in any published results.

•             I am happy to have my name/organisation name included in published list of organisations/individuals submitting evidence but do not consent to quotes being attributed to myself/my organisation.

•             I am happy to have my name/organisation name included in published list of organisations/individuals submitting evidence and to having quotes attributed to myself/my organisation.

The information provided to us will not be used other than for the purposes described above and third parties will not be allowed access to it (except as may be required by the law). Your data will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act, which means data will be anonymised and kept securely, indefinitely.

For further information:

Professor Michael Winter OBE

Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR)

University of Exeter

Lazenby House, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PJ

 

The Prince’s Countryside Fund

Established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2010, The Prince’s Countryside Fund exists to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life. Through our partnerships and events such as National Countryside Week we celebrate and promote the value of the countryside.

The British countryside is a huge natural asset and its contribution to our everyday life cannot be underestimated. To help ensure its future The Prince’s Countryside Fund:

•             Provides more than £1m in grant funding every year to projects across the UK that help to provide a secure future for the countryside.

•             Leads their own projects, such as The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme.

•             Commissions research into issues affecting farming families and rural communities.

•             Advocates for the countryside and bring together individuals, rural charities and businesses to help tackle current challenges in the countryside

•             Help communities in crisis through our Emergency Fund.

•             The Prince’s Countryside Fund relies on the income we generate through our corporate partnerships, logo licensing, events and donations, grateful for the generosity of all those that support us.

 

About the University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university that combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. Exeter has over 21,000 students and is highly ranked according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, positioned 146th. Exeter is also ranked 12th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019, 10th in the Guardian University Guide League Table and 11th in The Complete University Guide 2019. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the University ranked 16th nationally, with 98% of its research rated as being of international quality. Exeter was named The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2015-16, in recognition of excellence in performance, education and research.  Exeter was The Sunday Times University of the Year 2012-13.

Date: 6 November 2019