17 August 2001

Attention turns to group buying

MORE farmers are recognising the benefits of group purchasing, according to recently released figures from co-op Framlingham Farmers.

Spending on inputs by the Suffolk-based firm on behalf of its members jumped to £32m in the year to June 30, 2001, a 12% increase on the previous 12 months.

Although inflation and rising membership had some impact, the figures also reflect greater appreciation among farmers that bulk orders mean cheaper inputs and less paperwork, says chief executive Roger Adshead.

"A buying group gives farmers much greater purchasing power than they have as individuals. And instead of receiving invoices from a number of different suppliers, members receive one monthly invoice from Framlingham Farmers."

Marketing figures for period hit £10m, similar to 2000, with the co-op selling 130,000t of cereals and oilseed rape. Membership now stands at 480 farmers with about 81,000ha (200,000 acres) of land. &#42