Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Milkflex loans facility rolled out to dairy farmers nationwide

Pictured at the launch were Kevin Bellamy, Global Sector Head for Dairy in Rabobank, Billy Kane, Chief Executive of Finance Ireland, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed and Eugene O' Callaghan Director Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.
Pictured at the launch were Kevin Bellamy, Global Sector Head for Dairy in Rabobank, Billy Kane, Chief Executive of Finance Ireland, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed and Eugene O' Callaghan Director Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Finance Ireland, supported by funding from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Rabobank, has announced that it plans to make the MilkFlex loan product available through participating Co-Ops across Ireland.

The new facility will offer flexible, competitively priced loans to dairy farmers with repayments linked to movements in milk price.

The new facility will build on the success of the initial MilkFlex product, which was also supported by ISIF, Rabobank and Finance Ireland, and which provided €64m in loans to dairy farmer members of Glanbia Co-Op since launch in July 2016.

Key features of the MilkFlex product

  • It will provide milk suppliers in the Republic of Ireland with a funding product that helps protect cashflows from the impact of milk price volatility.
  • It will feature in-built ‘flex triggers’ that can adjust the repayment terms in response to movements in milk price and disease outbreak.
  • Repayments will also be adjusted to allow for seasonality.
  • These features combine to provide cash flow relief to farmers when most needed.
  • It will be facilitated through participating Co-ops around Ireland, with Finance Ireland originating the loans backed by finance provided by ISIF and Rabobank
  • It allows for investment in on-farm productive assets to support an existing or growing dairy farm enterprise (including dairy livestock, milking platform infrastructure and land improvement).
  • New categories, relating to milk production, are being included in the MilkFlex national rollout that were not available in the past such as:
    • Investment in on-farm energy efficiency and renewable energy
    • Environmental Investments
    • Agricultural technologies that deliver on-farm efficiencies.

When first launched in 2016, MilkFlex was only available to suppliers of Glanbia. Total applications received from Glanbia farmers were over €110m.

MilkFlex Loans will be subject to underwriting criteria and the interest rate charged will be a variable rate of 3.75pc above monthly Euribor, set at a floor of zero.

Billy Kane, Chief Executive of Finance Ireland said the national roll out of MilkFlex is a direct response to demand from Co-Ops across the country who saw how innovative and farmer friendly the MilkFlex product was.

There are new investment categories - energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmental and agricultural technologies, relating to milk production in the national rollout.

Finance Ireland will host a series of workshops with Co-Ops around the country over the coming months to provide information to supplier farmers interested in making an application for funding from the product.

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Applications will be assessed and approved by Finance Ireland.


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