Glanbia Co-operative Society, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Rabobank and Finance Ireland has announced the planned creation of a new €100 million ‘Glanbia MilkFlex Fund’.
The fund will offer flexible, competitively priced loans to Glanbia milk suppliers with loan repayments, which can vary according to movements in milk price.
This is the first fund of its kind to offer Irish farmers access to finance through non-traditional lending structures, the purpose of the Glanbia MilkFlex Fund is to provide Glanbia milk suppliers in the Republic of Ireland with an innovative funding product that helps protect farm incomes from the impact of dairy market volatility.
A key feature of this innovative loan product is that it will have inbuilt ‘flex triggers’ that can adjust the repayment terms in line with movements in Glanbia Ingredients Ireland’s (GII) manufacturing milk price, thereby providing farmers with cash flow relief when most needed.
Speaking at the launch, EU commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Phil Hogan, explains, “I am very pleased to launch this new initiative aimed at providing access to flexible, competitively priced finance for dairy farmers. This new model of funding for milk suppliers is an international first and will mitigate the investment risks for milk suppliers. The Glanbia MilkFlex Fund comes as a welcome addition to the Fixed Milk Price schemes offered by Glanbia. It will be a valuable tool in assisting dairy farmers to manage income volatility, which is particularly challenging for family farms across the EU. Using innovative financial instruments to help farm families across Europe is a key priority for me and the Glanbia MilkFlex Fund can serve as an important pilot project in the drive to roll out such instruments.”
Simon Coveney, minister for agriculture, food and the marine, comments, “I welcome this initiative which will help suppliers cope with global dairy market price volatility. While any decision to invest must be based on sound financial planning, it is important for farmers to be able to access affordable financing in a timely manner. I welcome the creation of this innovative funding mechanism and the role of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund as a co-investor, alongside Rabobank, Finance Ireland and Glanbia Co-operative Society in making it available to Irish dairy farmers.”