Macra welcomes the launch of the Glanbia Milkflex Fund, which is an innovative initiative involving collaboration between Glanbia Co-op, the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, Rabobank and Finance Ireland.

The fund will offer flexible, competitively priced loans to Glanbia suppliers with loan repayments varying according to movement in milk price and seasonality.

Speaking after the Glanbia launch, Macra na Feirme national president Seán Finan said: “I welcome the announcement of details of this very innovative MilkFlex funding product from Glanbia and its partners. The €2.5m of a total fund of €100m that has been set aside for new-entrant dairy farmers is important and welcome. Where there is a demand from young farmers exceeding the €2.5m, this demand should be catered for by the fund.”

Macra na Feirme, on behalf of young farmers, has identified the issue of access to affordable credit as a huge issue for many months and years. Young farmers who are starting out in the industry don’t have the required security to draw down loans in most cases, which inhibits and restricts opportunities to grow and expand their farm businesses.

Finan concluded: ‘‘The Glanbia Milkflex Fund is a new model which breaks the traditional tie between land and loans, but allows young farmers to expand and receive funding with repayment capacity based on a sound business plan and production with more flexible repayment terms based on milk price and seasonality of supply compared with other products currently available on the market. I now call on other co-ops to implement similar types of initiatives.’’