The Mart documentary is definitely one to watch


A new BBC Scotland documentary series - which started on Monday 18 January 2016 - is showcasing the diversity of Inverurie-based food, farming and finance co-operative - the ANM Group.

Six half-hour long programmes have been produced by the BBC, following three months of filming at Thainstone Centre, which offer an unmissable insight into the day-to-day activities of the ‘Mart’.
The documentary follows the auctioneers and staff teams – as well as buyers and sellers - as livestock is drawn from all over the UK as the Centre comes alive for prestigious auction days and shows and sales.  The programme kicks off on Monday with narrator Denis Lawson expressing “Farming is a risky business and when it’s time to make money the stakes are high.”
With over 140 years’ experience in the industry, the ANM Group is the second largest agricultural co-operative in Scotland and one of the largest in Europe.  Although the core activity of livestock marketing is still at the heart of the Group, the series also examines its highly diversified interests – delivering additional value to its members - through vehicle, plant, machinery and equipment sales and events and catering to name but a few ensuring the industry is fit for the future.
John Gregor, Executive Director of the ANM Group, said: “We are delighted to work with BBC Scotland to get the message out there that Thainstone Centre generates a hive of activity where farmers and families come together to socialise whether it is for our regular sales or a steak in our Porterhouse restaurant.  It is also important that the series reflects that we are more than just a livestock auction centre and we are focussed to not only deliver additional services that are of value to our members but also be here for the community.” 

‘The Mart’ documentary started with episode one being aired on Monday 18 January 2016 on BBC One Scotland, 7.30-8.00pm and will run for six weeks.  The show is also available to view on BBC iPlayer.

Mon 18th Jan - Meet the Mart
 (Episode 1)

Farming is a risky business, and when it’s time to make money the stakes are high. It’s up to the auctioneers at Thainstone Mart to get the best prices they can for farmers across Scotland.  In today’s programme, farmer Andrew needs £2,000 plus for his prize winning calf Izzy Lizzy at the Thainstone Spectacular Cattle Sale. Can auctioneer John deliver? Sheep auctioneer Colin tries to roll back the years to his shepherd days and Rory the rookie gets a precious chance in the box – but it doesn’t go as planned…
Mon 25th Jan - Farming Is A Family Business (Episode 2)

Farming is a family business and in today’s programme, John needs to get top dollar for the Sievwright family’s calves when they go under the hammer. The pressure’s on Colin when his ten year old daughter Rachel asks him to sell her favourite lambs. And rookie auctioneer Rory struggles to get a local farmer the bids he wants. If he doesn’t pull it round, Rory is going to have one unhappy customer.
Mon 1st Feb - Going the extra mile (Episode 3)

Summer 2015 was a bad one for farmers across Scotland – and at a time like this everyone at the mart has to go the extra mile to help their customers. In today’s programme, auctioneer Finlay is under pressure to get top prices at the Pedigree Ram Sale. Will a fight amongst the Blackhall family’s sheep make them less attractive to buyers? And it’s all hands on deck when highly strung cattle arrive to be auctioned in Caithness: can the Mart team get local farmers top prices… and escape unscathed?
Mon 8th Feb - Rare Breeds and Fast Cars (Episode 4)

Thainstone Mart is one of Europe’s biggest livestock markets, and in today’s programme, Colin and his team face their most challenging sale of the year - Rare Breeds Day. A farmer selling sheep for the first time hopes a spray tan might boost his chances. And there’s a life or death sale at the car auction - will a Porsche go for enough cash to save an animal sanctuary?
Mon 15th Feb - Roast Potatoes and Roups (Episode 5)

Thainstone Mart is one of Europe’s biggest livestock markets, and in today’s programme, a Shetland farmer is relying on Finlay to get the cash he needs to feed his flock over the winter. There’s a crisis in the kitchen when a deep fat fryer fails with lunch minutes away and 900 portions of potatoes required. And auctioneer Charlie sells all the worldly goods of two farming brothers retiring after fifty years, but their trusty tractor lets them down at a crucial moment…
Mon 22nd Feb - Friends and Rivals (Epsiode 6)

Thainstone Mart is one of Europe’s biggest livestock markets, and in today’s programme, sheep auctioneer Colin visits two rival farmers desperate to outdo each other on sales day. The pressures on trainee auctioneer Rory when his brother comes to watch him in action. And on Shetland pony day – a seller worries his favourites won’t go to a good home. Can Colin come to the rescue?