A lack of buyer support has caused stock agents to back-flip on a decision to split weekly prime lambs and sheep at the Bendigo Livestock Exchange.
At this time of the year, the Bendigo livestock agents have split weekly market into lamb-only and sheep-only sales held on Monday and Thursday respectively.
The move, which is an annual one, is designed to ease the congestion during the busy spring turn-off period so stock can be properly prepared and displayed and yard staff are not forced to work excessively long hours.
The decision to commence the stand-alone markets was made earlier this month however the move was not welcomed by a portion of the Exchange’s regular buying group which has caused agents to reconsidered their previous decision.
Bendigo Stock Agents Association president, Rupert Fawcett said the discontentment among the buyers was significantly adequate to force the rethink.
It’s not safe for agents staff to be working 16-18 hours on these heavy days
“We were informed by several buyers representing some of our northern processors that they could not attend our Thursday market due regular commitments elsewhere at the likes of Wagga, and the fortnightly markets at Ouyen and Swan Hill.
Mr Fawcett said that it has been two years since Bendigo agent last split its sales “and things in those times with few buyers being engaged by some processors”.
“We’ve taken the view we believe the flush of our large spring yardings will be over soon. And we also we must listen to our buyers and keep them happy as they provide the competition for our clients.
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“It also must be said that Bendigo has in other ways split its sales by conducting special store lamb sales,” Mr Fawcett.
“One has already been conducted and another has been suggested which will, in a sense, ease the pressure on our main Monday market.”
However Stock & Land has been told the decision by agents to revise its thinking was not universally agreed.
“We have been bullied into this decision by a loud and influential element of our buying field,” one disgruntled agent said.
“It’s not safe for agents staff to be working 16-18 hours on these heavy days. We have a family life and its one of the reason we find it difficult to attract workers as the Monday sale cuts into the weekend.
“Our facility also isn’t largest enough to cater for yardings of 40,000 – several of the buyers who have said they couldn’t attend the Thursday mutton sales, did attend the special Thursday lamb sale.
“Go figure” he said.