Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

Dairy Farmers urged to think more about managing risk


  • 82 per cent of farmers are less likely to undertake risk management strategies in the future.

Dairy farmers are being called on to think carefully about plans to mitigate future risk to their businesses, following new research from Barclays.

Results were surprising that more than three in four dairy farmers (82 per cent) surveyed for the study said that they are reducing the risk management strategies despite the turbulent markets of the last few years.

The research released today to mark the start of the National Dairy Event & Livestock show also reveals the steps milk producers are currently undertaking to prevent risk. Two thirds (69 per cent) are forward buying inputs, 49 per cent are arranging fixed rates for loans, 13 per cent had fixed the exchange rate for the single payment and finally more than one in 10 (12 per cent) had signed up to fixed price selling contracts.

Commenting on these results, Euryn Jones, National Agricultural Specialist at Barclays said: “Whilst it is encouraging to see a good number of dairy farmers adopting strategies to manage risks in their business now, it’s worrying that so many are planning on doing less in the future”.

Of the farmers interviewed, the biggest perceived threats for dairy over the next five years are low prices (54 per cent), price volatility (31 per cent) and rising commodity prices (39 per cent).

Euryn Jones continues: “Farming businesses are constantly working in a volatile environment, both physically and economically. Such volatility inevitably leads to risks for the business, and farmers need to consider how to mitigate such risks, wherever practical. In recent years farmers have experienced significant economic and weather-related unpredictability, but such uncertainty appears not to have encouraged increased interest in adopting risk management strategies.

When lending to a farming business, the farmer’s approach to risk management is one of the considerations that a bank will take into account when assessing the proposition”.

Research methodology:
Barclays commissioned a survey with National Farm Research Unit of 300 farmers across England and Wales, of which 111 were dairy farms. Interviews were conducted during August 2010.

About the event:
Barclays Agriculture are the principal sponsors of the National Dairy Event and Livestock Show, which will be opened by HRH Princess Royal on Tuesday 7 September, the first day of the two day event to be staged at the NEC, Birmingham. After her official duties, HRH Princess Royal will tour the event, meeting with farmers and some of the 480 trade exhibitors, before moving to the Livestock Hall where 220 cattle exhibits representing seven different breeds will be competing for the supreme interbreed championship.

Among over 14,500 visitors, the Dairy Event and Livestock Show will be welcoming delegations of international guests from more than 30 countries. The event offers a major opportunity for exhibitors to showcase the UK’s highly advanced and technological livestock industry in modern spacious facilities, and a full range of exhibitions covering all aspects of ruminant production – dairy, beef, sheep, goats and native breeds — enhances its appeal to all visitors.

About Barclays Business
Barclays Business is the business banking arm of Barclays. It has over 700,000 – customers that are a mixture of start ups, sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.

Barclays Agriculture provides specialist service to farming business in all agricultural sectors throughout the UK.
Barclays services to farming businesses include:

    • A specialist agricultural relationship manager who understands their business
    • A choice of business accounts that they can tailor to their needs
    • Day-to-day business banking support through an award winning team of Business Managers who are available over the telephone for everyday and urgent banking needs during the daytime, evenings and weekends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.