Joe Healy is the new chair of Collaborative Finance CLG, the company that is responsible for Cultivate farm loans.

The former IFA president took on the role at a recent EGM of Collaborative Finance.

Farmers can access Cultivate loans at 110 Credit Union branches around the country.

There has been strong growth as the loan packages have been steadily rolled out across the country. Loan applications doubled in the first half of 2021 compared to the previous year.

Up to €50,000 can be borrowed, with short to medium term (seven years) repayment periods. Loans can be for capital expenditure or cashflow.

Demand for credit

With Ulster Bank exiting the market, the Credit Union is becomingly increasingly important as a lender to farmers. With rapidly escalating input prices, many farmers may be looking for short- to medium-term credit over the coming months.

Galway dairy farmer Healy became IFA president in 2017, and has been credited with steadying the ship following the events of the previous six months, which had rocked the organisation to its core.

He was president of Macra na Feirme from 1995 to 1997, and has served on the boards of FBD plc, Bord Bia and Copa Cogeca.

“I’m looking forward to helping the Cultivate brand grow as farmers look for alternative ways to finance the development of their businesses,” said Healy. “As a farmer myself, I know the importance of locally provided financial services, especially with the closure of rural bank branches all around the country.

“I’ve been very impressed with the people involved in Collaborative Finance and am excited to work with them so that the organisation reaches its potential and makes a real impact in families and communities across the country.”