Simon Pickering is a BNZ Asset Finance Specialist with an interest in agribusiness.
One of the overriding themes of any lending decision we make is that all the deals are done with an eye on the future — the idea being the minimisation of undue risk. When we’re setting up a loan structure, the time frames involved mean we’re setting up repayment schedules for periods that are usually years down the track. Predicting the future is hard. But if we take a look at some of the issues the agribusiness sector is facing, we can make some very well informed decisions all the same.
For farmers or agricultural contractors, the ability to plan ahead is often hindered by things outside of their control. The most obvious example of this come thanks to two poor seasons in a row for dairy farmers who’ll likely be squeezed for cashflow as a result. The trick is to build this uncertainty into your plans, and asset finance is a great tool for helping deal with the ups and downs of our industry.
But the future-pains aren’t the exclusive domain of dairying, we’re seeing farmers in other parts of the agribusiness sector who are finding it increasingly difficult to employ skilled machinery operators for three months of the year. This points to a real need for simplified processes when it comes to bringing in foreign operators to fill the gap. If you’re a contractor, this applies to you too.
Health and safety considerations are another aspect of the future that everyone in the agribusiness sector need to plan for. Law changes and the formation of Workplace NZ are both changing the landscape in which we’re doing business. People need to be aware of all the different aspects of the health and safety regulations lest you fall foul of some heavy fines that are now handed out within the industry for injuries that happen at work.
Believe it or not, BNZ can also help in this regard. BNZ has a strong association with the Rural Contractors Federation and we’re heavily involved in various industry discussions. So if you’re an agribusiness contractor who’s struggling with all of this and you’re not in the federation, we can put you in touch with people who are so they can share best practices.
Come talk to us about all parts of your business and find out how we can help you plan for the future with the right lending facility, the right products and, above all, the right people.