24 August 2001

Consortium makes online trader bid

A CONSORTIUM of farmers claims it has put forward a "substantial bid" to buy Farming Online, Britains oldest agricultural internet portal.

The consortium, which involves a core of 80 producers, said it wants the portal to host farmer groups that do not have their own web-based forums. It also wants to develop the site to allow users to trade agricultural supplies on the internet.

Consortium coordinator Antony Oliphant, of Aubourn Farming, declined to reveal the amount of money involved in the buy-out proposals. But it is understood that some of the 80 farmers involved have agreed to invest up to £10,000. "We have put in a substantial bid," Mr Oliphant confirmed.

Founded in 1995, Farming Online claims to have 30,000 users. Owners FOL Networks are selling the site so they can concentrate on other business interests. &#42