They claim 90 – 95% of the cattle slaughtered by Irish beef processors, is sourced directly from Irish beef farmers. Often, cattle agents act as an intermediary in this supply chain. When farmers sell their cattle directly to processors, via a factory agent, the agent receives an estimated commission of between €5 - €10 per animal.
Supply chain fees
The remaining 5 - 10% of cattle processed in Irish meat plants are sourced by beef factory reps at livestock marts around the country. In this scenario, the seller and buyer pay a combined commission of up to €20 per animal.
With Tradeforus, farmers and processors bypass these supply chain fees and instead pay €2 per animal.
With 1.8 million cattle slaughtered in Ireland in 2018, a saving of even €3 per animal is worth €5.4m to the sector. Distributed amongst Ireland’s 78,300 beef farmers, who on average made a loss of €101 per hectare in 2019, these savings could be worth an estimated €70 per farmer.
“There’s no question that Ireland’s beef sector is in need of change. If we want to see the sector flourish, we must look for solutions to these problems now,” said Michael Broderick, cofounder/MD, Tradeforus.
“Our objective is the delivery of savings for farmers and meat processors alike. For both, we’re providing the means for more transparent transactions and making the whole business of buying and selling livestock more efficient.
“For farmers, we’re providing easy-to-use tools to form formal or informal producer groups. Even more importantly, we’re giving them back their time by revolutionising what is typically a very time consuming and uncertain trading process.
“Long term, Tradeforus’s online marketplace will have a big impact on the beef sector by remedying some of its major structural flaws. Of course, in the Covid-19 focused short term, the online nature of Tradeforus will allow farmers and processors to continue with business as usual while simultaneously benefiting from shared savings.”
Tradeforus is synced with the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Identification and Movements (AIM) database, which provides up to the minute animal movement information. The Bord Bia status of all animals is also recorded on the platform.
With their AIM profiles uploaded, farmers, individually or collectively as part of a producer group, offer their animals for sale at a set asking price via the Tradeforus marketplace.
On the other side of the transaction, purchasers submit a buying order for a specific animal type of a specific age, weight, and grade.
An independent trader, either a member of the Tradeforus team or a representative of a producer group, connects farmers to purchasers, facilitating a price negotiation and, ultimately, a sale. Once the sale is finalised, the efficient delivery of cattle is enabled by the platform.
Initially facilitating the trading of cattle only, Tradeforus will soon expand to incorporate the sale of other livestock, as well as forestry and marine produce.