Tesco is supporting another move intended to preserve the role of auctions in the livestock marketing system. Category manager Steve Murrells says the multiple is "committed to reaching agreement quickly" with Assured British Meat on participation in a new scheme to be launched on March 1 by ABM and the Livestock Auctioneers' Association. The project brings auctions in England and Wales into ABM's integrated assurance scheme which in theory will enable supermarkets to accept stock bought at the ringside knowing safety, welfare and traceability standards match those of direct procurement systems. Tesco has already launched a pilot scheme in the more sophisticated Scottish industry, allowing its Aberdeen based supplier McIntosh Donald to source some cattle from live auctions. Extending the practice to England and Wales could, if other retailers follow, avoid a logjam in the market. Many livestock producers refuse to deal directly with the multiples' processor suppliers. {{MEAT }}

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