The benefits of agricultural buying groups

10 September 2018

The principle of a buying group is that farmers collaborate to get better deals on buying in bulk. Groups can work in different ways, but most are owned by the members and are not for profit organisations. While buying groups have to cover their costs, they are still able to pass considerable savings on to the members who are usually shareholders in the business. 

Additionally, many of the agricultural stores and machinery dealers for spares and repairs will give buying groups a greater discount than individual farmers because they know they’re going to get paid by the group.

Ouse and Cherwell (O&C), which is based in Brackley, South Northamptonshire is a local buying group. O&C members do not have to put everything through the group, it is up to the individual member how much or how often they use it. This means that members can keep their individual relationship with suppliers if they wish. 

Geoff Snell, farmer and Vice Chairman of O&C explains why he is a member of the Buying Group:

“My father joined as a family partnership over 30 years ago, and after working away from the family farm, then coming back nearly twenty years ago, I see the significant benefits of belonging to O&C. 

We feel reassured to know there are more sets of eyes looking at the figures, ensuring suppliers aren’t charging us more than they should be on products. Plus, receiving the invoices from all suppliers along with a supporting statement makes bookkeeping and VAT reconciliation easier.

We reap the rewards of the office team supporting us with getting competitive prices on all major commodities including fuel, fertiliser, sprays, seed, feed and animal health. I estimate the direct savings we make per year on commodities on our 500 acres are over £2,000. This figure doesn’t take into account the savings we make on utilities, fuel cards, insurance, building materials or bank fees. Unlike some buying groups, O&C doesn’t charge a levy on expenditure and only has a low monthly charge which gives us excellent value for money.”

For more information, please visit Ouse and Cherwell's website or contact Helen King on hking@ellacotts.co.uk or 01295 250401.

Ouse and Cherwell Agricultural Buying Group Northamptonshire