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Online Shop Window For Charollais Sheep Breeders

Update On :27 May 2016

Online Shop Window For Charollais Sheep Breeders

The new venture, launched in Norfolk, will give each of the Charollais Sheep Society’s 700 members automatic access to an exclusive portal via the Sell My Livestock website.

Photographs and descriptions of ewes, rams and lambs can be posted simultaneously on the websites of the breed society and the online marketplace, reaching thousands of potential buyers across the country without any disturbance to the animals.

The online adverts will carry the Charollais Sheep Society’s seal of pedigree authenticity, backed by full identity and parentage records as well as fertility guarantees for the rams.

Carroll Barber, the Wymondham-based breed secretary of the Charollais Sheep Society, said “We are excited to offer breeders a way to showcase their stock throughout the length and breadth of the country. It will enable them to tap into a vast new marketplace.

“It is great for the livestock industry to have such a modern up-to-date medium available. As a channel for selling livestock it will be complementary to the traditional auction, which, up to now, has been the only avenue to market for most members. This way members keep control and ownership of the selling process from start to finish.

“Buyers are willing to pay premium prices because we vouch for the fact that the animals they are purchasing are 100pc bona fide Charollais. “Uncertainties are removed from both sides of the buying-selling equation – everybody wins.”

Mrs Barber and her husband Jonathan’s family imported the first five Charollais ewes into the UK from France in 1976. The breed society was formed the following year and the robust, easy-lambing breed has flourished since then, with the UK population now standing at 60,000 pedigree Charollais, with 14,000-16,000 lambs registered each spring.

The society is run by Ceres Solutions, from Mr and Mrs Barber’s mixed farm outside Wymondham, where they keep a flock of 125 registered Charollais ewes. Andrew Loftus is commercial director of the Sell My Livestock website, which has marketed tens of thousands of sheep since its launch in 2014 – but he said he does not see it as direct competition to traditional livestock markets.

“There is room for both – and we are seeing a growing number of traditional livestock markets and auction houses making use of our site for their own sales initiatives,” he said. “A web-based sales option has several advantages. It is less stressful for the animals as there are fewer movements in the sale chain, typical transaction costs are less, and there is a vastly expanded marketplace.”

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