Pedigree Sales: An Interview with Tommy Staunton
Catherine Cunnane, It’s farming editor, in conversation with Tommy Staunton, Galway, founder and CEO of Pedigree Sales Ltd.
Renowned cattleman and entrepreneur, Tommy Staunton, Co. Galway has helped change the way purebred cattlemen across the country and the UK do business.
The establishment of an online sales platform, Pedigree Sales, for its own use paved the way for a sectoral change, allowing breeders to “sell directly outside breeding on a national stage”.
He created the platform in 2016 to showcase, market, promote and sell young heifers and bulls from his pedigree herd, Caramba Beef Shorthorn.
By repeating the online sale of Caramba Beef Shorthorn in 2017 and 2018, he “quickly realized” that the online livestock business was a “super” way to market his own cattle to an audience. wider.
This has allowed him to achieve record breed prices year after year. 90% of cattle that changed hands went to new homes in the UK with repeat customers each year.
In 2017 he made a record female breed price of €5,200 for Caramba Rothes Kissable after it was sold to Scottish breeder Catherine Williamson.
In 2018, five heifers sold for an average of €5,350 and leading the sale that year was Caramba Rothes Lovable at €8,400.
According to Tommy, the heifer, which Tom and David Bradley-Farmer acquired for their Scottish Meonside herd, set a new breed record that remains unbeaten to this day.
Family Tree Sales
Then, in the spring of 2020, just as the Covid-19 restrictions came into effect, Staunton received a phone call from Henry Savage of the famous Trueman Limousin herd in Northern Ireland.
He inquired about the possibility of using the platform to carry out an online sale of young heifers.
Staunton facilitated this sale in August 2020 and another online sale on the platform, followed by top Simmental breeder Nigel Hogan, owner of the Rathnashan Herd, in October.
Staunton said This is farming:
“Both sales were a phenomenal success, driven by the quality of the cattle offered by these breeders.”
“Repeat sales of Trueman and Rathnashan have taken place again in 2021. We also held further online sales of Myles McDermott’s Rathlyon herd and Jim Quail’s Lynderg herd.”
“Innovating is never an easy thing to do. As pioneers in the UK and Ireland of selling livestock online, it has not always been easy.
“We had technological challenges at the start. Once we decided to expand our platform for the entire farming community to use, we launched a site redesign and development project. »
Tommy assembled a small team of tech professionals and began developing a new and improved platform to enable buyers and sellers to trade in an online marketplace dedicated entirely to the agricultural sector.
“We are very proud of the platform we have today – it is user friendly and we believe it is best in class for the services we provide now,” he remarked.
The mission from the start and still today has been to market, showcase and promote every animal or herd he works with to the best of his abilities in the UK and Ireland.
As the name suggests, the Pedigree Sales platform would align the business with purebred livestock only. This is certainly where he focused and still does through his elite section on the website.
The elite section of the platform is resolutely geared towards purebred cattle breeders, both those who:
- Are very prominent and firmly established;
- Those looking to establish a national or UK and Ireland-wide profile for themselves and their herd within the prestigious pedigree community.
The elite section of the site is where pedigree breeders can participate in organized sales or where multiple pedigree breeders would sell as part of a single themed event.
Alternatively, a pedigree breeder could hold a full-fledged sale if they had enough inventory to create an “attractive” offer for a one-time, single-vendor event.
The business section, which arrives in the second quarter of 2022, is the relaunch of its business section, which is added to the elite section.
According to Staunton, the business section will cater to a much broader audience and category of agricultural products, such as unique agricultural items or unique livestock sales.
The goal of the business section is to provide a self-managed, easy-to-use sales platform not only for pedigree breeders, but also for commercial/non-pedigreed livestock.
He explained that “this is a section of the website for all farmers”. “We offer a wide range of categories for users to buy and sell, from beef/dairy cattle to agricultural machinery, sheep, hogs and even poultry.”
All the unique features of the elite section will be available in the business section. These include:
- Auction history;
- Mapping of distances between seller and buyer;
- Ask a question option;
- Detailed descriptions field;
- Pedigree lineage option (if applicable);
- Direct upload of images and videos taken by yourself;
- Watch an article.
The business seller can set the closing date and time for their listing. They set their opening bid, reserve bid, buy it now option, and its new feature is the “make offer” option.
Tommy said: “The business section offers a high degree of flexibility, allowing a seller to make a sale at a time and date that suits them, without ever having to leave their farm, saving time and money. time, money and valuable resources.”
“There will always be something for everyone on the enterprise platform. As such, there will always be a reason to tune in regularly to see what’s on offer.
Pedigree Sales has an in-house development team, digital marketing team, sales support team and regional representatives in the UK and Ireland.
For the elite and enterprise option, its web development team ensures that the system is “bulletproof and always available”.
Additionally, it has a marketing department to ensure ads get “maximum” coverage via social media, newsletters. and blog posts.
According to him, “an essential ingredient” in all this is its “top notch” support team which ensures that all users of the site, whether buyers or sellers, can request immediate assistance in real time from an administrator. of the site.
He said they were familiar with the features of the site and had a “good degree” of agricultural knowledge.
Therefore, he feels they are “well placed” to help site users with any specific questions they may have.
He continued, “We pride ourselves on being responsive and providing genuine service to buyers and sellers that helps them close a transaction.”
“We want the site to build a reputation for integrity, transparency and ease of use. With this, our fees are designed with the end user in mind.
“Elite and Enterprise marketplaces currently offer a free listing option. Any transaction concluded is made directly between the seller and the buyer.
“We don’t charge any commission; instead, our low, fixed-price service fee only applies when we help find a buyer online.
Extended reach in UK and Ireland
The platform’s audience spans across the UK and Ireland. According to Staunton, a major driver of its elite users has been sellers eager to build not only the reputation of their herds, but also their own personal ambitions to sell internationally.
“This has been matched by our ability to market, display and promote cattle to potential buyers in the UK or Ireland.”
“This benefits both the seller and the buyer. Livestock can be sold directly from farm to farm, and you can make the move without needing the usual 42-day quarantine.
“Furthermore, we are delighted with the site traffic and level of interest so far in the UK and Ireland.”
“Our goal is to make every user experience an enjoyable one that will lead to repeat personalization. We will strive to build on our solid foundation, to build trust as a reputable company, a company operated with integrity and pride in what we do.
Upcoming sales and more information
Visit www.pedigreesales.com and create a free account; their support staff will connect to make sure everything is clear and help you with any listings if needed.
Visit his site and open a chat. You can also call their freephone number in the UK on 0808 1691 599. If you are in the Republic of Ireland, call 01 5415 946.
Other auction dates:
- The Blue Ribbon & Red Ribbon sale on Elite will end this weekend;
- Patrick & Noel Brady’s Grousehall Herd Discount Sale next weekend;
- Second sale of embryos and semen on May 15and2022;
- This summer, it will host the third elite sale (25th anniversary) of the Herd Trueman Limousin. The entire harvest of females born in 2021 falls under the hammer of pedigree sales.