ANM Group unveils bright plans for 2016
Leading farmer-owned co-operative, the ANM Group has announced its plans for 2016 at last night’s annual general meeting held in Thainstone Exchange at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie.
The plans include a grant of £678,000 from the Scottish Government to support a knowledge transfer program in partnership with the Irish Farmers’ Journal, Scotbeef Inverurie abattoir update, a £44,000 reduction in business rates, a new integrated digital auctions/sales solution project with the University of Aberdeen and a contribution of £2,000 towards an educational trip to New Zealand for 20 young farmers from Scotland.
Pat Machray OBE, ANM Group Board Chairman, said: “As Scotland’s leading co-operative business, we are proud to be able to deliver such an exciting line up of announcements here tonight. Despite difficult market conditions, we are committed to continue providing our members with a range of benefits by being proactive in all areas of the business as we remain fit for the future.”
The highlight of the night was the Group’s announcement that it has secured the financial support of the Scottish Government to deliver an ambitious knowledge transfer programme. This joint project, over a four-year period, will be led by ANM and the Irish Farmers Journal. The objective is to improve the technical performance and profitability of livestock farmers in the region through dissemination of best practice, with the vision to lead a livestock revival in the North and North East of Scotland, to be a source of technical information and innovation and to help livestock producers grow and prosper. The launch event is planned for the 30th May and is open to all interested members, customers and stakeholders.
John Gregor, Executive Director of the ANM Group, said: “We are very excited about this pioneering project and how ANM Group as a leading farmers’ co-operative will play a significant part in the improvement of livestock farming in the North and North East.”
The new abattoir development, in partnership with Scotbeef Inverurie and part of the wider expansions of the Thainstone Centre by ANM Group, has seen a significant amount of work taking place over the past 12 months. The two companies have been working together to deliver a cost effective design for the new abattoir which suits the site’s topography and fulfils the requirements of all stakeholders including planning and regulatory authorities, customers, suppliers and staff. The current expectation is that this will be finalised ready to commence construction in line with the completion of the Thainstone infrastructure works.
The Group also announced that it has achieved a reduction in its business rates - currently £302,000 per year - by £44,000 per annum until the end of 2017. In addition, it will receive a sizeable rebate on rates paid from previous years.
Grant Rogerson, Executive Director of the ANM Group, revealed last night that the co-operative will be working with the University of Aberdeen in a funded knowledge transfer partnership project to research, design and develop an integrated digital auctions/sales solution for ANM Group. More details of this project will be released as it moves forward and takes shape.
To support the future of the farming industry, the Group is contributing £2,000 through its ANM Charitable Trust towards an educational trip to New Zealand for 20 young farmers from across Scotland. The trip will serve as a great opportunity for the younger generation to learn about a variety of farming operations in the North and South Island.
Following a very successful BBC programme – ‘The Mart' – the Group has also agreed with BBC Scotland to film a second series, with filming due to commence in May. The second series is set to be aired in January 2017.
John Gregor, continued: “We have made a number of positive announcements here tonight - some of these significant - and moving forward, the prospects for 2016 are promising with many exciting plans and ventures in the pipeline. As a co-operative, it is our priority to ensure we continue to focus on delivering a professional, quality service with honesty and integrity to all of our members and customers.