New opportunities arise at North Yorkshire livestock auction

The new Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton
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Craven Cattle Marts (CCM) is encouraging more farmer cattle feeders and retail butchers to attend its weekly Monday sale of prime cattle at its auction mart.

Following the opening of the new Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton, located alongside the auction mart site of Stanforths Butchers, CCM believes that new opportunities have arisen for both vendors and buyers alike.

The Skipton store is the second Keelham Farm Shop, with the other outlet being located in Thornton, on the outskirts of Bradford.

The farm shop aims to source 25 cattle from local farms for both its stores, whilst Stanforths Butchers seek cattle every week for careful maturation and sale at both its Skipton shop and the local restaurant trade.

Keelham Farm Shop is a family-run business that has its roots in the butchery trade. It has sourced meat from Skipton auction mart for more than 40 years, and continues to purchase high-quality meat from local farmers.

“Our new shop is slap bang on the mart’s doorstep and we also process some of our prime cattle acquisitions through CCM Quality Food’s on-site meat production unit,” said James Robertshaw of Keelham Farm Shop. “So when we say we buy and produce locally, we really mean it – as you cannot get much more local than that!”

Jeremy Eaton, general manager of CCM, said: “In recent months, the trade for prime cattle has come under pressure and farmers who traditionally invest heavily in the spring in finishing cattle to fill yards have once again questioned the profitability of the system. With store cattle costs at a premium because of the relative national scarcity, making the most of high-quality prime cattle is very important.

“Looking at the Keelham model and consumer demand for a product connected to the region – and in some cases to specific farms – the opportunity exists at retail level to bring the farm or farmer to the shop to assist in conveying this message.

“We are within striking distance of major conurbations supporting a range of retail and farm shops, major processors and a number of independent abattoirs. The demand for quality, local, regional or breed-specific meat has developed over the last few years, but it would seem that the momentum has picked up pace of late and finishers should be aware that they once again could be a part of this.”

Skipton’s prime cattle sale takes place every Monday directly after the last cattle sale.

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