The AF Group is to pay members a general rebate for the first time since it was formed as Anglia Farmers over 15 years ago.

The general rebate, worth £300,000 to its 3,500 members, comes through savings from streamlining the business in chief executive Jon Duffy’s first year in post. It is on top of the regular product rebates, worth £700,000 to members over the same period, on buying products ranging from fertilisers and machinery to mobile phone contracts and crop protection services as part of the Group’ £270 million of purchases.

“We have focused on the core parts of our business that will directly benefit our members,” says Mr Duffy. “I am delighted that we have now delivered the first rebate in our history. Our ongoing progress in restructuring and refocusing the business has laid the foundation for a robust business capable of delivering sustained growth on behalf of our members.

“We have built up strong relationships in the supply chain,” he adds. “We don’t manufacture or import – we facilitate the supply of goods and services. We spend time understanding individual business models. Where there’s value to be created, we’ve implemented that value for the benefit of our members.

“In 2019 we will continue to offer better deals and better relationships in the key areas that our members need. AF has worked hard to increase our efficiency and focus on service, and can now share the financial benefits with our customers.”

Mr Duffy emphasises that farming businesses need to make sensible decisions in order to weather the financial uncertainties of Brexit, or to put themselves in the best position to capitalise on its opportunities.

“We will continue to create value in the supply chain and transfer that value to our members,” Mr Duffy concludes. “By continuing to innovate and joining with valuable partnerships, I believe farming businesses will be able to achieve measurable success in 2019.”