Average Glanbia dairy loan sought exceeds expectations

The ongoing dairy crisis has not dampened many dairy farmers plans to invest in their farms and initial interest in Glanbia’s Milkflex loan service has been reported as “very positive”.

Conor Boyle of Finance Ireland, the company charged with running the loan service, said that interest in Milkflex, which offers farmers an investment fund totally €100m, in the scheme was very positive and that 1,300 dairy farmers have expressed initial interest in the scheme.

“We had 1,000 dairy farmers are our information meetings in May and there are more happening at the end of July.”

He declined to say how many dairy farmers had started the formal process of applying for investment funding, but did say that they were very happy with the amounts of money being applied for.

Farmers can apply for anything between €25,000 and €300,000 and Boyle said that initial expressions of interested showed that the average loan amount being requested would be more than €75,000. “This is a lot higher than we expected.”

While he said it was early days in the scheme, he said farmers were taking it “very seriously” and that the quality of applications was very high.

Under the scheme, once a farmer makes an initial application through Finance Ireland, a farm visit is then conducted where all aspects of the farming enterprise are reviewed.

Glanbia launched MilkFlex in March this year, which has inbuilt ‘flex triggers’ that can adjust the repayment terms in line with movements in Glanbia Ingredients Ireland’s (GII) manufacturing milk price.

The loans can be drawn down for investment in on-farm productive assets to support an existing or growing dairy farm enterprise (including livestock, milking platform infrastructure and land improvement), but not land purchases.

Milkflex has a total fund of €100m.