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14 June, 2017 - 23:43 By Tony Quested

AF Group boosts turnover against backdrop of lower commodity prices

AF Anglia Farmers Jon Duffy

Farming powerbroker AF Group has reported continued growth with turnover increasing £3.3 million to £234.2m in the past 12 months.

The group – Anglia Farmers Limited and its four wholly-owned subsidiaries – achieved an operating surplus of £760,360 and a net surplus of £229,821 after payments to members and tax. The growth was against a backdrop of lower commodity prices in the agricultural sector, although these are rising in the current year.

Anglia Farmers Limited generated £230.1m turnover and recorded a net surplus of £255,413 after payments to members.

AF Affinity Limited’s turnover passed £8.3m and it returned a net surplus of £85,686 to the group. AF Affinity offers purchasing services to non-agricultural businesses through Affinity and to lifestyle farmers through FarmBuyer.

AF Biomass Limited, professional straw merchants within the energy, food and farming sectors, saw sales increase to over £4m and it recorded a net surplus of £60,880. The business supplies straw into straw-based power stations including the newly-commissioned Snetterton Power Station.

AF Finance Limited, a pooled collective investment scheme, loaned £4.3m to members and returned £9,140 to the group from retained interest and fees.

AF Logic Limited was introduced during 2016 following concerns from members about continued consolidation of the crop protection supply chain. Trading commenced part-way through the 2016-2017 financial year. The business achieved over £1m of sales in its first half-year of trading, which only covered the autumn spraying season.

The group’s society, Anglia Farmers Limited (AF), has more than 3,100 members across the UK farming over 1.02 million hectares. The membership accounts for 57.4 per cent of the UK’s sugar beet, 28.9 per cent of potatoes and 13.1 per cent of wheat crops.

New CEO Jon Duffy said: “AF members are in a unique position, being both customers and owners of the business. I am clear in my approach that AF needs to add real value to our members in the shape of saving time and cost.

“We’ll do this by sourcing the right product or service, with the right advice, delivered smoothly and efficiently with ease of administration. Collective buying power is essential in our business. Members need to collaborate with their input requirements to allow AF to negotiate deals on behalf of our customers.

“AF is entering into effective dialogue with our partners of choice for the benefit of the membership and collaboration between members and suppliers is vital.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: AF Group CEO Jon Duffy 

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