‘I couldn’t go back to individual suppliers now I’m a member of Orion’
Robert Raimes knows all about the benefits that farming co-operatives can bring.
As a farm manager in Lincolnshire he had been a member of one, so when he moved to Hampshire to help run his wife’s family farm, he soon made the decision to join another.
That’s when he found Orion Farming Group.
Robert said: “I was familiar with the buying group principle, so I thought it would be a good thing for us to be part of. I found Orion – there are others down here – but I wanted to be part of one that could provide a full range of inputs including feed, fuel, fertiliser, chemicals and vet meds.
“Speaking to Orion gave me the confidence they could do that, and at the best prices.”
What clinched the deal for Robert, however, was the single invoice members receive detailing their spend, but leaving them with just one monthly payment to make.
“The single invoice is just brilliant,” Robert said. “We no longer have to deal with a long list of suppliers at the end of the month.
“I find the whole thing a joy and very straight forward. It takes so much stress away from the end of the month. I couldn’t go back to individual suppliers after being a member of Orion.”
Robert and his wife run a mixed arable and beef operation near Alresford in Hampshire, growing wheat, barley and rape, along with 150 hectares of stewardship and a 50-head suckler herd.
The couple also manage four hectares of vineyard, producing English sparkling wine.
Robert admits that sometimes, this can lead to some strange requests.
“Occasionally, I will put a vineyard order in for a dozen or so chemicals that they don’t recognise, but I’ve never had any problems,” he said.
“They’ve never got it wrong. I just ping Orion an email and within two days, often less, my order is here.”
Cost was also a big factor for Robert when choosing to join Orion. Typically, compared with farmers not in a buying group, our members save:
- 25% on livestock equipment and animal health products
- 20% on fuel additives and lubricants
- 20% on building and maintenance supplies
- 11.5% on machinery and vehicle parts
- 10% on general supplies
- 5.5% on fuel
- 5% on feed
- 5% on chemicals
- 4% on fertiliser and seed
“Before I was using a combined agronomist and chemical supplier, but since joining Orion I buy chemicals through them and use an independent agronomist,” Robert said.
“That has wiped about 20% off my costs, which across a year is a very significant sum.
“Between that and the convenience of the scheme, I really would recommend Orion Farming Group. Why not find out if they can do the same for you?”
To find out how much your farm business can save with Orion Farming Group, get in touch via our contact page or give us a call on (01865) 390011.