Thursday, December 14, 2017

Solid performance in challenging year from Fram Farmers

December 1, 2017 by  
Filed under News & Business

Farmer-owned cooperative Fram Farmers achieved a group operating surplus of £184,362 before tax during the financial year to 30 June 2017, reveal the company’s latest results – up from £141,000 on 2015/2016.

Now in its 57th year of operation, Fram Farmers provides the purchasing, grain marketing and administrative function for over 1,400 farming businesses throughout the UK who collectively farm over 400,000ha, enabling them to obtain better value from the supply chain.

The company’s policy of returning all manufacturers’ rebates in full to members means farmers collectively received payments totalling £436,000 to help offset their membership fees, said chairman Rodney Baker-Bates.

Positive cashflow

Addressing the cooperative’s AGM in Framlingham, Suffolk, Mr Baker-Bates said it had been another challenging year. But Fram Farmers achieved a positive cashflow from its operations and the performance of the group provideed a strong base for the future.

Framtrade – the wholly-owned retail subsidiary which supplies oil and gas products to more than 4,000 members of the public – achieved a pre-tax operating profit of £271,484 (£273,520 2015/2016), adding to Fram Farmers’ balance sheet.

The group’s capital and reserves rose to a record £3.460m – up from £3.302m in 2015/2016. Mr Baker-Bates said it meant suppliers could be confident they would be paid on time and in full, enabling the cooperative to negotiate more competitive terms.

Despite an increasing trend for members to place orders closer to the time that inputs are required, commitment to the cooperative remained strong. This was reflected in a 4.8% increase in the number of invoices processed during the year, to 214,036.

More convenient

Paperless statements, which were introduced in April 2016 to provide greater convenience, are now chosen by more than half of all Fram Farmers members who also benefit from the ability to view live account balances online.

The purchasing department made good progress during the year, with turnover increasing by 6.3% and the volume of products sourced rising by 4.4%. The livestock department grew at over 20% while the insurance department saved members an average of 30% on their premiums.

The arable inputs team developed increasingly strong relationships with stakeholders during the year – securing key inputs and negotiating competitive deals, while adding value to the independent agronomist sector.

Collaboration between crop marketing department and marketing partner ADM Direct saw the total annual volume of grain traded through the society reach 195,000t. At 116,500t, commitment to the combinable crop marketing pools was close to its highest-ever level.

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