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5 reasons to join an agricultural buying group

28 April, 2020
Uncertainty is a by-word for agriculture as it constantly battles with the weather, commodity prices and changing consumer demand. Add into the mix once-in-a-generation events like Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s clear there are plenty of headwinds for farmers to navigate. Navigating them alone can be difficult and risky, which is why there has never been a better case for farmers to come together and find strength in numbers. To demonstrate that we are better together.
The AF Group can offer you far more than it’s buying power. Consider us an extra arm to your organisation. We can take away the time and stress of sourcing the best products for your needs, so you can focus on your farm business.

5 ways joining AF can improve your business

1. Reduce Costs

At AF, we buy smart. Our team use their expertise and market insight to buy for you at the right time, helping you to reduce costs and support margins. Working with over 1,000 supplier partners, we negotiate on your behalf to ensure the products you need are available at prices which benefit your business.

Working collaboratively with our suppliers supports all those connected with our business, resulting in us being able to return £1.6 million back to our members last financial year.

2. Market Insight

You want to spend time focussing on farming, not on whether you should be buying your commodities today or tomorrow to get the best price. That’s why our qualified team do it for you.

AF have a blend of industry and product specialists who have unique access to market information and commodity pricing, allowing us to leverage advantage for our members.

To ensure that we can focus on your needs, we have individual business units with qualified buyers. Our Crop Production team are FACTS and BASIS qualified, whilst our Livestock team hold SQP and CIPS qualifications.

By combining industry knowledge with market intelligence, we’re able to ensure our members our as informed as possible to help them make the best decisions possible for their business.

3. Supply Chain Management

AF extends beyond simply a price-driven offering. Over the years, AF have formed strong relationships with a host of suppliers across a range of products. Working collaboratively with manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and you, we’re able to optimise operations to maximise speed and efficiency within the supply chain.

We’re well placed to negotiate with the supply chain the delivery of products to suit your needs and time-frames.

Something you may not realise, is the range of products we can source for you. Of course, we have you covered on all your farm business needs such as fertiliser, crop production items and livestock feed, but we offer so much more. We can source cars, negotiate machinery hire, we even offer favourable phone and internet tariffs.

4. Planned Purchasing

Understanding our members’ needs is at the core of AF. Following your individual requirements allows us to work closely with our key suppliers to help you purchase strategically. This includes forward fixing as well as commitment pools.

Forward fixing prices means that we can purchase for you whilst prices are low, increasing your profit margins. This is particularly beneficial on products such as fuel and fertiliser.

Additionally, we can help members manage cash flow by offering deferred payment.

5. Ease of Administration

AF enables you to concentrate on what you do best: farming.

Our highly skilled administrative team check and process monthly invoices into a single consolidated account, allowing you to view exactly what you’ve purchased. We can improve efficiencies further with monthly eBilling which replaces paper invoices with a single electronic document. This is issued 48 hours earlier than by post.

Our eAccounts allows you to import your AF invoices into your Farmplan, Landmark, Sage or Xero accounts package, too.
Not only that, our expert team can also manage your payroll for you.
But don’t just take our word for it! AF member, Jeremy Oatey, explains the benefits of being part of the UK’s leading agricultural buying group:

Jeremy Oatey AF testimonial from The AF Group on Vimeo.

At AF we understand that no two businesses are the same. That’s why we offer membership tailored to your needs. Our Full and Associate membership categories offer you all of AF’s services along with shareholder membership in AF.

If becoming a member of the UK’s leading farmer-owned buying group is of interest to you, please complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.

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If you have any queries or would like to find out more please get in touch. 01603 881881Honingham Thorpe, Colton, Norwich, Norfolk NR9 5BZ
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