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Record growth for Rugby Farmers Mart

An agricultural business owned by 250 local people has enjoyed another year of record growth.

rugby farmers mart

Tom Wrench, Rugby Farmers Mart at Stoneleigh Park

The Rugby Farmers Mart (RFM) was founded in 2006 to replace the livestock market in Rugby, and started trading two years later at Stoneleigh Park.

It is now attracting sellers and buyers from across the country and recorded record sales in 2014.

Tom Wrench, head auctioneer at RFM, said it has been a tough year for the livestock industry as a whole with volatility in prices but was ending on a high note.

“I think that the outlook is optimistic, but it is always very hard to predict,” he said. “The volatility of the euro continues to be a problem as we are now very much trading in a global market and as a result we face unforeseen determinants as witnessed in the Horse Meat Scandal last year.

“We have grown in all areas and the signs are that will continue. For example, we handled the sale of 10,000 more lambs than in 2013 an increase of 40% on the year, and our sales of store cattle are up by 20 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

“We are a very young market compared to most, but our reputation is spreading and we regularly get buyers and sellers coming from as far afield as Essex and London and from North Yorkshire.

“We are owned by a range of people who wanted to ensure that a central market continued to operate to allow a forum for transparent trade. Many of them are farmers, but we also have others who are not directly involved in agriculture but are very much a part of rural life.

“Stoneleigh Park is a very good location which is well known in the agricultural world and that also helps us.”

The market employs 28 full and part-time staff and that is set to pass the 30 mark in the next 12 months.

Colin Hooper, Estates Director at Stoneleigh Park, said: “Stoneleigh Park has been at the heart of agriculture for more than 50 years and it is really good to see the Farmers Mart building into a very strong business.

“Stoneleigh Park is now being transformed into a science park dedicated to rural sciences, innovation and business, but it is important we retain direct connections with the industry and the presence of the Mart is part of that.”

 

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