Specialist finance for venison producers launched
Published:  19 July, 2017

Lloyds Bank has unveiled a new range of finance options for the UK venison industry in an effort to help boost domestic production. 

The packages include medium- to long-term lending to help farmers buy livestock, housing and equipment; asset finance to help with purchasing and upgrading facilities; and working capital solutions, such as repayment holidays, to improve cashflow, meaning farmers do not need to pay for their livestock until they are producing income.

The product is available to experienced deer farmers who are looking to consolidate or grow, established farmers looking to diversify into the venison sector to increase sources of revenue, or farmers looking to enter the deer farming market for the first time.

Lloyds Bank is launching these initiatives to help “meet the specialist needs of specialist sectors”. In 2016 it launched Pullet Finance, a range of financial supports that help to alleviate working capital pressure for UK egg producers and the poultry industry.

Andrew Naylor, UK head of agriculture at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “The increase in demand for venison has created opportunities for UK farmers, but starting or growing a farm is not always straightforward.

“There can be a period following the establishment of a new herd where the deer are calving, then maturing, but not yet generating income. Our venison finance products will alleviate working capital pressure and free up cash that would otherwise be tied up in new livestock.

“Based on our deep understanding of farming and the nuances of the venison industry, we are meeting a specific need in a niche sector. We hope this specialist finance will support and encourage farmers to expand in a growing market or start a new venture.”

According to the Venison Advisory Service (VAS), the UK venison market is predicted to grow by 10% in 2017, but there are concerns that high operating costs mean many farmers struggle to grow their herds or start new ones – and are failing to keep up with demand.

VAS research showed that around one-third of venison sold in the UK is imported, although many processors and buyers would prefer to source and stock home-produced venison.

John Fletcher, director at VAS, added: “The UK venison market is growing significantly, with demand currently exceeding supply. This has created a real opportunity for those considering setting up a commercial deer farm as a business venture or an additional revenue stream. It’s great to see Lloyds Bank creating tailored products to support these farmers.”