Feeling the pinch?
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.
Funding to get advice for struggling farmers
Source: Joint statement by the National Council of Rural Support Trusts and New Zealand Bankers’ Association, 25 February 2020
This is an initiative funded by banks and the government offering support for farmers and growers struggling with business debt.
The government has allocated $200,000 for the Farm Business Advice Support Fund, which is managed by Rural Support Trusts.
For a qualifying farmer or grower, the Fund will provide up to $6,000 to pay for financial or business advice from an independent consultant.
The National Council of Rural Support Trusts and New Zealand Bankers’ Association signed the agreement for the Fund back in 2020. Under the agreement, the RSTs will provide up to $3000, depending on an assessment of need, and the relevant bank will match that dollar for dollar.
RST National Council chair Neil Bateup says the fund is for a farmer or grower who is feeling pressure. “This might be because there’s been some change or their bank has indicated they need to discuss their debt situation. The hope is that there may still be options available so that the wishes of all parties can form a solution for going forward.”
“There’s a recognition it’s in everyone’s best interest for a farmer or grower to have up-to-date business and financial plans,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Roger Beaumont. “This will inform conversations between the farmer or grower and their bank.”
Rural Support Trusts will take an application from, or on behalf of, a farmer or grower who might qualify for assistance.
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.
Farm Debt Mediation Scheme and Hardship Fund – from 1 July 2020
The Farm Debt Mediation Act was passed into law on 13 December 2019, and the Scheme – with an associated hardship fund will become operational on 1 July 2020.