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Stackyard News Nov 2012

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Robert Addison is New LAA Chairman

The newly appointed chairman of the Livestock Auctioneers Association says he is looking forward to working hard to ensure livestock producers will continue to be well-served by both auctioneers and the market.

Robert Addison
photo © Jennifer MacKenzie

Robert Addison

The LAA has announced that previous Vice Chairman Robert Addison, who is managing director of Hexham and Northern Marts, in Northumberland, will assume the role of Chairman. The Association’s new Vice Chairman is Rodney Cordingley, of York Auction Centre.

Mr Addison, who has 28 years’ experience working as a livestock auctioneer, said he relishes the challenge of his new role and vowed to continue the good work of previous Chairman Gwyn Williams.

“Dairy and beef stock commanded record prices through livestock auction markets this summer. This helped many producers through one of the toughest summers on record, in terms of poor grazing and economic conditions.

“We’re expecting beef, dairy and lamb prices to hold firm for at least the next six months or so and we’ll be working hard to help producers to maximise their income from stock sold in auction rings across the UK throughout the winter, into 2013 and beyond,” he said.

“Livestock auction markets pull out all the stops to make sure that producers see a fair return for their stock. And we’ll continue to work hard to attract a lot of keen buyers and make sure that they have access to plenty of information about what’s available to buy.”

Mr Addison qualified as an auctioneer in 1985, after studying rural land management at Cirencester. He joined Carlisle-based auctioneers Harrison & Hetherington, eventually becoming sales director.

He became chairman of the Cumbria Association of Livestock Auctioneers five years ago and at the same time joined the LAA committee.

In 2010 Mr Addison moved to Hexham and Northern Marts and he now lives in Cumbria, with his wife and two sons, on a 100-acre farm. This is also home to his flock of 70 Greyface x Texel breeding ewes.

“I’ll be working closely with the LAA’s executive secretary, Chris Dodds, to tackle the key issues faced by auctioneers and the livestock industry, including TB and EID,” he said.

He believes that TB is one of the biggest threats facing the UK cattle industry and says that the LAA will be lobbying the Government to tackle the problem. “We have a valuable and objective viewpoint to add to the debate. This disease has a serious impact on producers and on the market place and it’s in the LAA’s interest to ensure that effective action is taken as soon as possible.”

Sheep EID is another area of considerable contention. “Again we’ll be working with the industry to ensure that the sheep database is of benefit to everyone within the industry.”

Mr Addison said the focus of his role – and that of the LAA – will be to continue to ensure good competition in the livestock market place. “We want to continue to offer producers a sales platform that allows them to realise a fair price for their stock,” he said.

“Livestock auction markets are doing well and the industry is looking forward to a prosperous future. For us, ensuring that our members and our customers continue to thrive means that we have to invest too. One example of this is looking at the training of auctioneers,” he said.

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