Farm buying group announces record £800,000 rebate for members

PUBLISHED: 08:20 12 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:20 12 September 2019

Jon Duffy, chief executive of AF Group. Picture: Denise Bradley

Jon Duffy, chief executive of AF Group. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant, Norfolk 2017

A Norfolk-based agricultural buying group has grown to its “strongest point yet” – allowing it to deliver £800,000 back to members in its largest-ever crop protection rebate.

Lindy Blanchard, head of crop production at AF Group. Picture: AF GroupLindy Blanchard, head of crop production at AF Group. Picture: AF Group

The payment by AF Group, formerly known as Anglia Farmers, is the latest in a series of regular contractual rebates, offered on products and services including fertilisers, machinery, and mobile contracts.

It follows AF's year-end announcement in June that it was returning £1.6m in value back to its members, including its first ever discretional general rebate of £300,000, due to its increased financial strength after a period of streamlining and efficiency improvements.

The group, based at Honingham Thorpe outside Norwich, sources more than £275m of goods every year for more than 3,500 shareholder members.

Lindy Blanchard, head of crop production at AF, said: "Over the last couple of years, we have invested in our business and focused on efforts that will directly benefit our members.

"As a result, we're delighted to offer this spring crop protection rebate. Our strategy has laid the foundation for stronger supplier relationships which is delivering more value back to our members.

"We will continue to negotiate the best terms and plan supply in order to help members manage one of their highest variable costs. This level of support enables businesses to plan with confidence and our rebate is another example of our integrated approach working for members and suppliers alike."

AF Group chief executive Jon Duffy, said the announcement highlighted the importance of farming businesses taking every opportunity to strengthen their position during the uncertainties facing the industry.

"Making sensible decisions is key," he said. "We've worked with thousands of members to understand their business models and identify where we can offer more value. Brexit continues to cause uncertainty but there are aspects of your business that can be controlled."

He added: "In 2019, we have already created a great deal of value in the supply chain and transferred that back to our members.

"As the year has passed, we've grown AF to its strongest point yet. For our members, this means they can continue to expect exceptional support and value for their business and I look forward to more of the same in 2020."

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