Our co-operative values continue to deliver for our members and customers

Posted: July 4, 2024

BLOG: John Angus, Head of Livestock, Aberdeen & Northern Marts (a division of ANM Group)

As we reflect upon another busy spring selling season, values through our auction rings have remained buoyant as the number of members buying and selling through A&N Marts continues to increase. My reflection is that the throughput level itself, rising year on year, is the biggest single endorsement of how ANM Group operates as the leading co-operative within the entire auction sector.

Here at ANM, our main priorities remain with both our customers and our members, who we continue to provide with the best service and a host of benefits.

Our unrivalled and unique members’ benefits continue to be valued by the farming community which ANM Group has served for over 150 years. From reduced commission rates on offer to our members, to the individual independent advice on offer to each seller which is provided with only their interests at heart, being a co-op means that we can do things differently to others.

Gross livestock values were up by 12.7% in 2023 and our trading members have benefited from reduced commissions and caps to the amazing sum of £477,000. Comparing our average commission rate of 3.36% to the industry average of 4% our growing membership base has saved over £753,000 in commissions in the last trading year alone. This commission figure is the lowest in Scotland and for the first six months of the year continues at the equivalent of 3.35%.

As we always make clear, the more who join our co-op, and the more business we do together, the greater the benefits we can offer to our members in future years. For example, last year also saw a 14% uplift in our members’ investment scheme which offers premium returns of up to 5% for our members.

This season, we have seen selling values high across the red meat sector with sheep, especially, trading at record levels and increased volume. It has been encouraging to see rising focus on the auction as the best place to ensure every seller gets the best value on the day selling to the highest price not the only price. Trading results for the first 5 months of 2024 continue to improve with throughput up by 5.81% and commission income up by 5.59%. Average livestock unit values are also up by 7.49%, or £99.84 to level at £1,431.09.

It’s fantastic to see so many of our members and customers enjoying the social side of visiting the mart which is crucial to the health and mental wellbeing of everyone. The opening of The Bothy Kitchen in partnership with Harry Fraser Catering has re-ignited a buzz around the mart and we are delighted to be able to facilitate this hugely important part of the experience of buying and selling at the ring.

This co-operative fortnight is a time to celebrate the achievements and growth of co-ops across the country. I have no doubt that membership of our co-operative is a central part of the farming experience for so many, but with the benefits on offer it makes financial as well as social sense to use our ring.

As we are now in the quieter trading period, we take the opportunity to catch up with our customers and with a full season of attendance at agricultural shows planned, no doubt we will catch up with many of you then.

In the meantime, If I or one of the team can provide any advice on stock you may want to bring to a sale, don’t hesitate to call us on 01467 623700.