Horticultural supplier Fargro has launched a finance division to provide a variety of lending facilities to horticultural companies, including asset finance.

The division will be working with two vendor finance partners to support businesses with leases and hire purchase for equipment, the refinancing of existing agreements, equity release on assets and property-backed loans. It will also provide commercial lines of credit, which can sit alongside customers’ existing borrowing facilities.

The Fargro Finance launch was spurred by what the company said was growing demand for flexible finance “in a sector where cashflow can be greatly impacted by seasonal fluctuations”. The aim is to provide an alternative to traditional banking facilities which “rarely [take] the crop cycle into account in repayment terms”.

The division will put an emphasis on face-to-face broker relationships, eschewing what the company called “impersonal call centres” and online interactions.

“We know from our strong relationships with UK growers there is an urgent need for more flexible finance options in a sector which is at the mercy of seasonal fluctuations,” said Fargro managing director Richard Hopkins.

“Traditional financing options for horticultural firms are often not effective due to a lack of understanding of the sector and the seasonal fluctuations which have such a big impact. We are launching Fargro Finance, to support growers in financing their business with seasonally phased repayments.

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“We are at the forefront of the move towards automation and smart tech to improve horticultural efficiency, but we also understand that financing investment in new technologies can be a struggle, particularly when growers have to rely on standard finance options. We’ll be putting personal relationships back into business finance.”

Fargro’s products includes infrastructure, equipment and supplies for all segments of the horticultural business, from growth to handling and presentation. It also operates energy services such as bulk supplying of fuels.