19 May 2000

Shares for Farmers First

FARMERS who feel over-powered by supermarkets and under-supported by government are being urged to take advantage of an opportunity to forge their own future.

The people behind Farmers Ferry, which shipped 1.1m live sheep to the Continent last year, have formed a new business, Farmers Fresh, to provide UK carcasses for the EU market. On July 1, shares will be offered in Farmers First plc, a holding company for Farmers Ferry and Farmers Fresh.

Speaking during a Farmers Union of Wales visit to view the companys cutting plant at Kenilworth, Warks, Terry Bayliss the man behind Farmers Ferry said: "There is likely to be a minimum share holding of £250." As some of the first carcasses were cut he said he expected to raise in the region of £400,000 but would like as much as £2m.

"The aim is to get farmers more involved in what goes on beyond the farm gate. It is an opportunity to get away from the clutches of supermarkets, which are crucifying farmers, and to increase sales and price." &#42