Finance plays an essential role in every business, including the food and fibre sector. Related to this are matters such as debt management, tax management and business structures.
Usually you can see a way ahead when working with your accountant and bank, but sometimes you feel financially stuck. You may want to discuss this with someone and we’re here to help.
Below is information about some assistance we may be able to help you tap into.
Farm Debt Mediation Scheme and Hardship Fund
The Farm Debt Mediation Act was passed into law on 13 December 2019, and the Scheme – with an associated hardship fund became operational on 1 July 2020.
Under the Farm Debt Mediation Act 2019, secured creditors must offer mediation before taking any debt enforcement action against farmers or eligible primary production businesses.
The scheme uses neutral and independent mediators to help farmers and their creditors work through debt issues. The aim is to provide a negotiation process that is:
This will help farmers and creditors agree on how to proceed. MPI administers, promotes and monitors the scheme. The Mediation Hardship Fund helps farmers who want to use the Farm Debt Mediation Scheme but can't afford the cost. Farmers in extreme hardship can apply to have their mediation paid for by MPI. You can find more information on the Farm Debt Mediation Scheme and Mediation Hardship Fund on their website.
Farm Business Advice Fund
The Farm Business Advice Fund provides up to $6,000 for independent advice to those farmers facing financial pressure to help them identify strategies to move their business forward. The Rural Support Trust will provide up to $3,00 depending on an assessment of need and the relevant bank will match that dollar for dollar.
Rural Support Trusts take an application from, or on behalf of, a farmer or grower who might qualify for assistance. Both the bank and farmer or grower will agree on the expert instructed to provide assistance and the terms of reference for the work.
The consultant will provide a report, which will be given to the farmer or grower and their bank.
This initiative involves ASB, ANZ, BNZ, Heartland Bank, Rabobank, SBS Bank, TSB and Westpac.
If you would like to know more please contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.