A new era in livestock trading has begun with Havelock North company StockX going live this week with what it bills as New Zealand's first independent online marketplace for livestock.
The new digital sales channel connects buyers and sellers nationwide through a safe, secure and transparent auction-based marketplace, in what becomes a super-advanced form of online bidding, the company spurred by the interest of agencies in something which put the market effectively into one digital paddock.
Effectively it stretches from one end of the country to the other, is open to all farmers, stock agents and processors, while the company's staff of nine are able to remain in Hawke's Bay, and farmers can even auction stock while they're on holiday overseas.
Company managing director Jason Raebuck says: "We've had someone buying and selling stock while they're on holiday in Fiji."
Showcased initially at Fieldays in June, StockX serves agents, farmers and processors.
"We have digitised livestock trading and we are bringing a new view to the industry which is inclusive, intuitive and intelligent," Roebuck says.
"It's great to see the strong interest in the marketplace to date."
Independent livestock broker PWA general manager Jesse Dargue says StockX represents a significant opportunity for the rural sector and is urging other livestock agents to sign up to the platform to realise it.
"The risk is that multiple livestock companies try to re-invent their own solution first, rather than getting behind a system that encourages industry participation and adds value to businesses by providing a wider market through an easy-to-use, intuitive trading platform," he says.
"StockX being independent is also important and a point of difference in the New Zealand market," he says. "The success of any online livestock marketplace will depend on whether it's simple to use and can reliably handle large numbers of stock and transactions with transparency."
Roebuck says the question is often asked as to whether New Zealand will eventually see the end of the traditional stock sale and shutting down of the saleyards, but he believes there remains a need for "all forms" of selling options.