Meating global market
CATTLE producers in the Clarence Valley may get the opportunity to expand their markets.
Grafton Regional Saleyards is currently seeking EU (European Union) accreditation, following requests from selling agents.
Terry Goddard from Clarence Valley Council said the move would open up another market.
"It's something that's been kicked around for about 12 months, but because we went through the process of looking at what we do with the saleyards, it got put on hold," he said.
Mr Goddard said the saleyard was hoping to hear back about its application for EU accreditation within the next four-to-six weeks.
"Once we've got the management plan adopted (by Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service), there's a further stage where we have to make sure the agents and the staff are briefed on the requirements," he said.
"So there's probably another four-to-six weeks' work after that."
David Farrell from Farrell McCrohon Stock and Station Agents in Grafton was positive about the move and said the accreditation could open up a whole new market for local producers.
"At the moment, if they (cattle) are EU accredited on the farm, when they come to Grafton saleyards they instantly become non-eligible because Grafton saleyard is (not accredited)," he said.
He said a good number of cattle herds in the Clarence Valley would already be eligible for EU accreditation.
However, Mr Farrell said at the moment there was no reason why producers needed to be EU accredited because they couldn't sell their cattle to the EU unless they took them out of the area.
Mr Farrell said the Clarence Valley was in a good position to produce enough cattle to supply another market.
Last year, Grafton saleyards held 67 sales, with almost 58,000 head being sold.
Clarence Valley Council also upgraded the yards at a cost of $206,000 and improved access for trucks entering the yard from Armidale Rd.