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Case Studies > Maintaining a vital rural service

Caledonian Marts, Stirling


Case Study Maintaining a vital rural service Caledonian Marts, Stirling www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Maintaining a vital rural service Caledonian Marts Ltd operates from the auction mart centre at Millhall, Stirling. The company carries on the long tradition of livestock sales in the area, stretching back to the heyday of the drovers in the 18th and early 19th centuries and beyond.

In those days, Scotland was virtually belted by river and bog from the forth to the Clyde with Stirling Brig' being almost the only dry crossing point for traffic between north and south. The great herds of black cattle from the highland pastures had to cross Stirling Brig on their way to feed the growing towns in southern Scotland and the ever-expanding cities of England. Great annual markets – called trysts – took place in the Stirling area, where drovers and buyers haggled over the price of cattle.

Firms of auctioneers emerged in the early 19th century, bidding replaced the haggling of old, and the fall of the hammer realised the true value of a particular beast. Fast forward to the present day. Auction marts, which from the 1880's to the 1990's were to be found at the centre of almost every market town, have now vanished from the majority. Stirling is now the only town in Britain to have 2 separate auction marts.

The farm produce chain in Britain, for commodities such as grain, vegetables, milk and fruit, is now dominated by supermarket buyers who can dictate the price they wish to pay, right down the chain.

Livestock farmers are fortunate in that they have the auction mart system. Just as it has from the early days of the drovers, the auction mart puts stock in front of several competing buyers – these could be agents for supermarkets, high street butchers, restaurant suppliers etc and makes them outbid each other for the stock they need. Caledonian Marts Ltd is proud to offer a first-class service to farming customers and buyers from throughout Scotland and beyond, and proud to do so in such a strategic, competitive and important location.

The mart was almost lost in 2015 when it faced financial difficulties, however the determination of its staff and new owners mean that the mart is now once again thriving and provides a valuable service and supply hub for the rural community.
Scottish Land & Estates
Stuart House, Eskmills Business Park, Musselburgh, EH21 7PB

t 0131 653 5400   e info@scottishlandandestates.co.uk   w www.scottishlandandestates.co.uk