Lending to dairy farmers now surpassed €100 million – Finance Ireland

Finance Ireland’s lending to Irish dairy farmers has now surpassed €100 million and is growing, the entity has claimed.

Finance Ireland has also confirmed that MilkFlex loans are now available as a standard lending product from the company, with average loans to farmers worth approximately €100,000.

They can be used for a wide variety of dairy farm investment purposes and requires no asset security from borrowing farmers.

Finance Ireland also confirmed that dairy farmers from 17 different co-ops have taken loans through the MilkFlex scheme for uses ranging from the purchase of refrigerated bulk tanks, environmental investments to milking parlours through to refinancing bank debt.

Developed by Finance Ireland and supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Rabobank, the loan facility was designed to provide Irish milk suppliers with “a funding product that helps protect cashflows from the impact of milk price volatility”.

The loans have a standard term of eight years but may be extended by up to a maximum of a further two years if volatility triggers are enacted.

The interest rate charged on the loans is a variable rate of 3.75% (Annual Percentage Rate 4.18% APR) above monthly Euribor, set at a floor of zero.

Speaking today, Billy Kane, chief executive of Finance Ireland, said:

We have already signed up 17 co-ops and we expect to confirm new additions to that number in the coming months.

“Our team has personally visited over 1,500 farms to discuss their borrowing requirements.”

Applications are assessed and approved by Finance Ireland. As with any lending application, Finance Ireland requires a clear business case in order to justify support of the lending decision, the firm has said.