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20 June, 2006 - 17:48 By Staff Reporter

Farmers’ buying power revved up

A purchasing powerhouse representing East Anglian farmers took its buying clout to £90 million last year – only its third year of trading.

A purchasing powerhouse representing East Anglian farmers took its buying clout to £90 million last year – only its third year of trading.

Anglia Farmers Limited set out to become the best agricultural products purchaser in Britain and is achieving its vision. The Norfolk based business had a turnover of £58.6m in the 12 months to January 31 – up 10 per cent on the previous year.

While increases in input prices played a part, the largest proportion was from new members and existing members increasing their commitment into new product areas.

This trend has continued into the new financial year with turnover in the first three months up 13.3 per cent on the same period last year. The net surplus for the year, to be retained in reserves, was just over £50,000 and net assets stood at £910,000.

Negotiating prices for other groups such as the Oxfordshire-based Orion Farming Group, Samco & Shrim from Bishop’s Stortford and Marcam & MDS Supplies in Cambridgeshire, boosted Anglia Farmers’ buying power to the £90m milestone.

The collective purchasing power of agrichemicals at £24.7m represents 8 per cent of the UK agrichemical market. Fertiliser purchases reached £19.6m and seed £4.6m. Joint feed turnover was £7.5m and there was further growth in general livestock products.

Anglia Farmers also showed growth in fuel and gas with volumes up and turnover up 20 per cent at £12.53m. Of particular note were miscellaneous products (building materials, telephones, electricity etc.) which were up 20 per cent to £8.06m and machinery (servicing, spares, tyres etc.) was up 2 per cent to £6.46m. These last two areas are now core to the group and deliver considerable savings to members.

Chairman George Bell said: “When you consider the two predecessor companies of Anglia Farmers – Mid-Norfolk Farmers and Loddon Farmers – had a combined turnover of £40m in 2002, we’ve come a long way in three years.

“Increasing size challenges our ability to maintain the quality of service to members, but the trend of the annual member satisfaction surveys point to service levels improving from an already high level, not falling. Membership is growing as the considerable benefits of group purchasing are demonstrated.”

 

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