MilkFlex proving popular among Lakeland suppliers

A quarter of all applications under the second round of the MilkFlex scheme have been submitted from suppliers of Lakeland Dairies, according to the cooperative.

MilkFlex was established in 2016 to provide dairy farmers in the Republic of Ireland with an innovative loan arrangement which insulates the borrowings from price volatility as well as disease in the herd.

Since the second phase of MilkFlex opened last year some 800 applications nationwide have been made – with over 210 being made by suppliers of Lakeland Dairies.

Lakeland Dairies has been hosting a series of information workshops across the Lakeland catchment area recently where farmers had the opportunity to get a better understanding of how the innovative loan scheme works.

The workshops took place in Cavan, Kells, Castleblayney, and Mullingar over the last week.

Commenting on the society’s involvement in MilkFlex, Lakeland Dairies chairman Alo Duffy said:

“We are delighted to be able to facilitate our suppliers with the MilkFlex loan and we are encouraged to see such a strong uptake.

“It is an innovative tool for farmers to borrow money at competitive rates to help facilitate critical on-farm investments. Tools that help hedge against volatility in the market are to be encouraged,” he said.

MilkFlex also offers greater competition for farmers in terms of financing and offers farmers another route to funding should they require it.

MilkFlex is managed by Finance Ireland with funding from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Rabobank.

MilkFlex has built-in ‘flex triggers’ whereby a farmer can adjust their loan repayment terms in response to volatile movements in milk price or disease outbreak, which could typically put farm finances under pressure.

The MilkFlex loan scheme can be used for on-farm investments or to help refinance existing merchant or bank debt.

The interest rates are 3.75% with all loans having an eight-year term.

For further information on the MilkFlex Loan Scheme, those interested can contact Finance Ireland on: 01-6470255.

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