Ag web-site logs off

13 July 2001

Ag web-site logs off

GLOBALFARMERS, the online agricultural trading platform, has gone into voluntary receivership with debts of about £6m.

The Edinburgh-based company suspended trading on its web-site at the end of last week just 18 months after pledging to revolutionise the market for farm supplies.

Managing director, Jonathan Land, said: "It is disappointing, but I am positive about the companys future. But like many internet start-ups the debt levels run-up to begin with had become unwieldy," he said.

Mr Land said Globalfarmers needed to clear its borrowings and come up with a format that would take the company forward.

He claimed there were plenty of interested buyers and said he expected the company to be snapped up by the end of next week.

A spokesman for receivers Ernst & Young said it was "still a good business proposition" and expressions of interest had been received.

Speculation about the companys future mounted since it laid-off half its workforce – 40 staff – in an attempt to stem cash burn six weeks ago.

Even so, debts continued to grow. The foot-and-mouth crisis hit revenues further.

Although Mr Land believes the future for farm trading will be internet-based, farmers have been slow to buy supplies using web-sites.

A recent survey of FWi users found that two-thirds use the internet everyday, but were reluctant to trade with each other online.

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