Credit Union Cultivate loans coming soon
Six Credit Unions in the Kerry/Cork region have come together to develop a new Farm Lending product called Cultivate.
The Credit Unions who are collaborating on this new offering are;
Killarney Credit Union
Listowel Credit Union
Cara Credit Union
Ballincollig Credit Union
Bantry Credit Union
Kanturk Credit Union,
Their new Credit Union farm lending offering will be branded under the name “Cultivate” and the plan is to have it launched in early Spring 2019.
The Credit Union farm lending project is modelled on a pilot initiative by four Credit Unions in County Galway who launched the Cultivate brand. This was followed by a group of five Credit Unions in Clare / West Limerick, a group of four north Cork Credit Unions – Synergy Fermoy, Mallow, Mitchelstown and Youghal and most recently a group of seven Credit Unions in the Midlands. This brings the number of Credit Unions offering Cultivate Farm Loans to 20 in Ireland.
Since its introduction, Cultivate has proved very popular with farmers with over €10m in loans issues to farmers. The Cultivate farm loans are for a wide variety of purposes, everything from working capital, cash flow, farm development, livestock purchase, farm machinery purchase, rural enterprise funding, and start up farm finance.
Credit Unions are a not for profit movement and are all about serving their loyal membership. Credit Unions have been embedded in local communities for over 50 years where all profits go back to support the community and its members, this is one of the key reasons Credit Unions have been consistently rated the number one organisation in customer satisfaction surveys.
The Kerry/Cork group of Credit Unions have identified farming as a sector they wish to serve and offer a definitive package of loans to farmers. Farming is seen as very important sector in the region. In addition to generating income inside the farm gate, farming also is very much the lifeblood of the rural community where every euro earned by farmers has a multiplier effect in the rural economy.
Brendan Heneghan, former Regional Manager with Teagasc, is the project manager of the Cultivate brand. Over the coming weeks, each Credit Union will host a meeting of stakeholders to get the views of farmers and the farming sector on what is important in relation to farm credit.
Brendan said “Going out and consulting with the stakeholders is the first and most important step in the project. The stakeholder group is made up of the farming organisations, Teagasc, Agri business’s, IFAC and other farm accountancy groups, Livestock Marts and the Farm Relief Services” he concluded.
The feedback from the consultation combined with detailed market research will be invaluable in identifying the needs of farmers. Farmers value the face to face relationship and the “personal touch” a credit union has to offer where a farmer can come in and discuss his or her proposal.
The Cultivate farm loan package will offer up to €50,000 loans for a variety of purposes in line with the stakeholder/market research feedback. The term of the loan can be up to 7 years.
Farmers want to deal with people who have a knowledge of agriculture and understand farming. Credit Union farm loan officers will participate in a bespoke 5-day course on Farm and Finance organised by Teagasc in association with Pallaskenry Agricultural college.
Information on Cultivate farm loans can be got from any of the participating Credit Unions.
For further information, please contact:
Pa Laide, CEO, Cara Credit Union
CEO, Killarney Credit Union
Manager, Listowel Credit Union