Fram Farmers, the farmer-owned inputs purchasing and crop marketing business, has launched a finance service to help members better manage their capital and cash flow demands.
The co-operative responded to requests from members by developing a service which assists with access to finance, helping farming businesses overcome the inevitable capital demands and spikes in cash-flow that occur throughout the year. Following approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the initiative has been launched to members.
The new service has been developed in conjunction with Flexi-Funding, a Leeds-based and FCA authorised credit broker, and Hitachi Capital Business Finance, one of the UK’s leading asset finance lenders.
Commenting on the service, Nick Hindle, financial controller at Fram Farmers [pictured]said: “Securing access to finance is a major issue for many businesses and is likely to become even more critical for those in the farming sector, as Brexit impact begins to take effect and financial institutions may tighten their lending criteria, as well as the potential difficulties faced by farming businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Fram Farmers is a not-for-profit member-owned cooperative, so members have the reassurance that these new facilities offered by the cooperative are created specifically for them and can be trusted.
“As a large, well-known and trusted business-to-business lender with excellent understanding of the farming and food sector, Hitachi Capital Business Finance is an obvious choice to enhance the service we offer our members.
“This relationship allows Fram Farmers Finance to help members maximise the benefits and financial savings they derive from belonging to the co-operative. We are delighted to be able to offer this service and are confident this will be of great benefit to our members.”
The new initiative has been created by the cooperative for members who do occasionally experience a tightening of their cash-flow position and may either be forced, or feel compelled, to deal directly with suppliers because of that. The cooperative warns that arrangements now offered by some suppliers are not transparent, lock farmers into revolving credit and can end up costing much more, as well as being restrictive and potentially difficult to exit.
Mr Hindle added: “Fram Farmers Finance is one way that the cooperative can help members maintain a prompt payment record, continue to source everything they need through their cooperative and benefit from significant savings on their input purchases.
“This is really important to us – we have rigorously benchmarked Fram Farmers prices against those available in the wider market and demonstrated a 9.76% saving across 15 key inputs.”