Sell My Livestock
PRODUCT(S) AND/OR SERVICE(S)
Launched in June 2014, this unashamedly disruptive business has grown rapidly. It now has over 2,000 registered users who enjoy the ease of use, zero commission charges and a dramatically reduced risk of disease.
The system’s back-end functionality generates significant data and offers retailers opportunities to gain market share through the site’s unique ‘whole life assurance’ system.
Private investment and grant funding have supported the business so far, but our plans for phase two growth include the launch of a monetisable automated invoicing and payment system.
Livestock sellers can:
– Trade for free.
– Reach a nationwide audience. Transactions can take place at a time convenient to the buyer and seller, rather than being locked in to auctioneers’ timetables.
– Improve profit margins on the stocks they rear. A stressed animal can lose anything up to 8% of their bodyweight while being transported.
– Remove transport costs. Animals only need to be transported to the buyer, not to market, reducing overall haulier fees.
– No longer do sellers have to accept the best price they are offered on the day they visit the market, after paying for the costs of going to that market.
– Transactions take place on a no sale/no fee basis.
– Enjoy ownership of the transaction process.
Livestock buyers enjoy:
– Greater transparency during the selling and purchasing process. Farmers can trade directly with each other on the SML site.
– Easier and a much more comprehensive access to an animal’s complete genetic history via SML’s application which combines real-time industry and government data. One of our key features is that we can offer whole life assurance.
– Access to stock from around the UK.
– Alerts when the stock they’re looking for is uploaded, reducing the need to make trips to markets.
For retailers and consumers:
– The risk of disease is reduced. This is critical in an industry crippled by a string of animal health crises in recent years and currently struggling to cope with TB in cattle and MV in sheep.
– Provenance is revolutionised. The aim of our whole-life assurance feature is to give the supermarket the ability to tell a customer which animal a piece of beef came from, where the cow was born raised and slaughtered and what it had been fed with and any diseases it was treated for.
– We aim to deliver benefits to shoppers through a smoother and more efficient supply chain. And for the provenance conscious shopper, whole-life assurance will bring confidence that the animal has been reared sustainably and humanely.
SUBSTANTIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE
– Website has operated for 15 months.
– The system links to a Govt database which allows cattle farmers instant access to an animal’s breeding and movement history.
– The system has the capacity to link to a key industry database, which will enable retailers to offer consumers ‘whole life’ assurance.
– We are planning to launch an automated invoicing and payment system later this year.
– SML has seen private start-up investment of £150,000 to date and a further £48,000 of funding through an LEP ‘Bridging the Gap’ initiative and £5,000 from Defra for its contribution towards TB eradication.
– £2.2m of traded stock has passed through the site in 2015.
Exposure and awareness
– SML has >2,000 registered users.
– It has attracted widespread media coverage in the mainstream media, including R2, R4, ITV.
– SML’s advisory panel includes a former Minister for Agriculture, A former Vice-President of the NFU and the current head of farming at the Soil Association.
USE OF PROCEEDS
We intend to use additional funds raised to develop:
The recruitment of a successful commercial manager who will be tasked with:
– Consolidating and developing relationships with retailers and meat processors.
– Generating revenue through the ‘Farmpay’ system.
– Selling bespoke portals to niche operators such as breed societies.
– The app needs further enhancements.
– Further technical and legal development for Farmpay.
– Creation of an API to communicate with 3rd party software and applications.
Profile raising and engagement:
– Further PR activity is planned such as exhibiting at livestock events linked to new product and function launches.
– Direct engagement with defined groups, such as Young Farmers and breed societies.
– Regional roadshows are also a pre-requisite of communications activity given the tradition of face-to-face engagement in the agriculture sector. They have proven to be beneficial, but are time-consuming and can be costly.