Dr Daniel Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, has officially opened new offices belonging to AtlasFram Group in Framlingham. The UK’s foremost farmer-owned purchasing and combinable crop marketing cooperative, AtlasFram has been based in the Suffolk town for more than 50 years.
The ceremony was also attended by Richard Ashworth, MEP for the South East of England, Leader of the UK Conservative Party delegation to the European Parliament and a member of the Agriculture Committee, together with more than 200 members of the AtlasFram Group, Suppliers and Stakeholder groups.
A large, expertly-managed farmers’ cooperative, AtlasFram purchases farm inputs and markets combinable crops on behalf of its 1250 shareholder-members who collectively farm more than 350,000 hectares throughout the UK, enabling them to obtain best value from the agricultural supply chain.
One of the largest employers in Framlingham and the surrounding area, AtlasFram previously operated from offices in the town’s New Road, where it has been based since 1977. It purchased the purpose-built offices in Station Road at a very favourable price during 2013 and then spent several months configuring them to meet the specific requirements of the business, which employs almost 50 staff, most of whom live locally.
Richard Anscombe, Chief Executive, stated: “Our new offices represent an excellent investment of members’ money and symbolize the forward momentum which has built up within the AtlasFram Group over the last three years, during which time we have grown substantially. In addition to providing a home to AtlasFram for the next generation and a professional environment which will support AtlasFram’s vision, strategy and growth, they offer excellent working conditions for our dedicated team and improved facilities for hosting internal meetings, welcoming members and facilitating third-party events. We will also be making rooms available to some local not-for-profit organisations, helping put back into the community of which we have been a part for more than half a Century."
Dr Poulter commented: “It gives me huge pleasure to represent this area of rural Suffolk, of which AtlasFram Group is a key part. Agriculture is the backbone of the country and I have been delighted to see how AtlasFram has grown over the years, fulfilling an increasingly key role within the farming community throughout the UK. Richard and his team have done an excellent job of developing AtlasFram, which has gone from strength to strength and will become even more important to its farmer members in the future, providing them with collective strength within the agricultural supply chain and an increasingly global economy."
An innovative, forward-thinking farmers’ cooperative, AtlasFram Group operates transparently and delivers all financial benefits back to its members. Its unique area-based funding scheme, which provides a known cost of membership and rewards commitment, has helped membership to grow significantly in recent years. The business now attracts professional arable and livestock farmers from all over the UK who recognise the value of belonging to a large, expertly-managed farmers’ cooperative which is operated entirely on their behalf.
AtlasFram currently purchases £190 million of products and services annually. They include approximately 45 million litres of fuel, 110,000 tonnes of fertiliser, 100,000 tonnes of livestock feed, agrochemicals to the value of £30 million, together with a wide range of other farm inputs, including agricultural machinery, tyres, workshop equipment, electricity, building materials, animal health products and mobile phones.
The innovative farmers’ cooperative employs a team of product specialists who work solely in the best interests of members. They provide expert advice on a wide range of farming-related issues, advise when to place orders to obtain the best discounts and ensure that products are delivered on time, to the right location. Members receive just one monthly invoice which shows all purchases, further reducing the time and cost of administration.