ANM Blog – Q&A with Grant Rogerson

24/01/2020

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An unprecedented move has been made to reward shareholders at Aberdeen & Northern Marts (ANM) by offering enhanced commission rates for members of the co-operative. Here, Chief Executive Grant Rogerson explains why the decision has been made – and answers some key questions on how loyal customers will benefit.

The change that has been brought into play by ANM is substantial, without doubt transformational. What's the thinking behind it?

Put simply, we want to reward the continued loyalty of those who invest in the mart. ANM has been community-owned since 1872. This is a decision that we hope will highlight to everyone the valuable role the co-operative plays in the fabric of our rural communities. Throughout its history, the business has evolved and innovated. This is the most recent example of how we continue to do that. We want to build greater value for our members – and make it easier than ever to access the best commission rates in the industry.

There's no denying that we're experiencing challenging times throughout agriculture and, indeed, the wider rural economy. This decision, we believe, sends out an important message about the very real advantages of selling livestock through the auction ring, especially as part of a co-operative such as ours, where members will also feel the benefit of increased throughput via their dividend. The rates will also, I hope, alert potential customers and shareholders to the great wide-ranging benefits of using ANM to remarket their stock and by joining our co-operative, they will be working with one of the most vibrant markets in the UK.

How will the new offer work?

The reduced rates will only be available to shareholders in the co-operative. Commission rates are reducing on all stock - as low as 3% for all sales at Thainstone and Caithness auction marts from 1st January 2020. The maximum charge will reduce to 3.5%. It’s worth noting that to benefit from the reduced rates, members should ensure that their shareholding name corresponds with their trading name. Existing members with the minimum shareholding and above will be entitled to the new rates. For all other livestock customers, commission rates will remain at their current level, and these rates are already highly competitive in the market.

Will there be any change to the service provided at Thainstone and Caithness marts?

None. We will continue to provide inclusive provision of the eve-of-sale and post-sale lairage, stock preparation, tagging and advice on lotting provided by our experienced auctioneering team. We will continue to offer same-day settlement as well as short and long-term livestock finance schemes. As a co-operative, we are service driven, and our team will clearly continue to welcome customers who are members and non-members.

What has the reaction to the new offer been?

What we have to offer has certainly sparked a lot of interest, both among our shareholders and other customers, as well as in the wider agricultural and auctioneering world. People have naturally had questions about how things will work, but our co-operative members can see that this will have a positive impact on their day-to-day businesses and the real benefits of selling through the ring - and selling through us. Many people who have previously been customers have also made enquiries about investing and becoming shareholders.

Do you think other marts will be looking on with interest at how this develops?

Other companies work on different business models to ours, but we fully expect that this will provide wider leadership for the entire livestock market sector. There’s no doubt though that these commission rates set new standards in value for the farming community.

What does the future of ANM Group look like?

Strong. We’re making it more attractive for people to work with - and invest in - our co-operative, which opens an array of opportunities. We are looking to build on recent record share capital investments in the business with an accessible £500 minimum investment opening up the new preferential rates for new members. These changes are part of a move towards further enhanced benefits for members and really is just the start. The more members who use the mart services, the more we can support them and their business. That’s the unique benefit of our co-operative business model. We look forward to welcoming many new members to our co-operative.


Please click here to see the full table of livestock commission rates (Available to members from 1st January 2020)