The AF Group has announced its first general rebate, delivering £300,000 to members from the profits gained after streamlining the business. This, combined with the £700,000 members received through product rebates, reflects the dramatic progress the business has made over the last 18 months.
“We have focused on the core parts of our business that will directly benefit our members,” said Jon Duffy, CEO of AF, “and I am delighted that we have now delivered the first rebate in our history. Our ongoing progress in restructuring and refocussing the business has laid the foundation for a robust business capable of delivering sustained growth on behalf of our members.
“In 2019 we will continue to offer better deals and better relationships in the key areas that our members need. AF have worked hard to increase our efficiency and focus on service, and we’re delighted to share the financial benefits with our customers.”
The AF Group (formerly Anglia Farmers) sources more than £270m of goods every year for more than 3,500 shareholder members. The general rebate is on top of regular contractual rebates, offered on products from fertilisers and machinery to mobile contracts and crop protection services.
“We have built up strong relationships in the supply chain,” added Mr Duffy. We don’t manufacture or import – we facilitate the supply of goods and services. We spend time understanding individual business models. Where there’s value to be created, we’ve implemented that value for the benefit of our members.”
Mr Duffy highlighted the need for farming businesses to make sensible decisions in order to weather the financial uncertainties of Brexit – or to put themselves in the best position to capitalise on its opportunities.
“Brexit has caused a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety for many in the industry,” said Mr Duffy. “However, there are aspects that you can control. Your business model, for example. Is your business as robust and cost-effective as it can be in the face of Brexit? Are you well positioned to capitalise on any opportunities that arise? These are things that we do have control over, and it’s imperative that business leaders in the farming industry consider how they can continue to produce value.”
Despite the unpredictable political and economic landscape, AF are confident that 2019 will bring opportunities for farming businesses.
“In 2019, we will continue to create value in the supply chain and transfer that value to our members,” added Mr Duffy. “By continuing to innovate and joining with valuable partnerships, I believe farming businesses will be able to achieve measurable success in 2019.”