The farmer in charge of one of Scotland’s fastest growing organic dairy farms is looking to expand his range of dairy products, forge new business relationships and better manage his cashflow thanks to a tailored Invoice Finance facility from us at Optimum Finance.
For farmer Bryce Cunningham, owner of Mossgiel Organic Farm in Ayrshire, dairy farming is more than a way of life, it’s a passion. But it comes with its challenges, not least in managing cashflow from the moment the product is delivered, to the point at which he gets paid. With an Invoice Finance facility however, Bryce is not only able to manage his cashflow more effectively, but also looking to expand his current operations.
Mossgiel was founded on the principle of creating a truly sustainable dairy. Alongside its herd of 45 Ayrshire cows, it is also the platform for a co-operative that includes five other Scottish organic farms: “We act as the bridge between the farming families and our buying supporters,” Bryce explains, “handling the pasteurisation, processing, bottling and delivery.”
The farmers’ organic milk is sold to a broad range of customers, from single bottle doorstep deliveries through to local businesses and larger retailers. Two years ago, it won the tender to supply the nurseries and primary schools of East Ayrshire with the first zero waste, zero emission deliveries of 100% organic milk anywhere in the UK to a local authority.
Having such a broad range of customers comes with an equally broad range of credit and payment terms - anything from seven to 60 days. To fund the gap between delivery and payment, Bryce began looking at Invoice Finance on the advice of an intermediary: “We had someone in to help with our accounts and they’d had experience of Invoice Finance before and recommended we spoke to Optimum,” Bryce explains.
Interestingly, and while it is often the larger customers who are blamed for putting the squeeze on smaller suppliers, Bryce hasn’t found this to be the case: “How quickly we get paid is usually more to do with the systems our customers use,” he explains. “Those that are more digital, and more compatible with our own, are usually the quickest to pay, whereas those who are still using primarily paper-based systems take longer to pay their bills.”
As well as giving Bryce instant access to cash, he has also been pleased with the levels of customer service provided by the Optimum Finance team: “The team is always on hand to answer any questions I have, and are very responsive. While it took me a few weeks to settle into the rhythm of things, and understand how it works, Invoice Finance is now an essential part of running a successful business, and I don’t have to worry about not getting paid or paying my own suppliers on time.”
Mossgiel Organic Farm currently produces something in the order of 1.6 million litres of organic milk every year, and has an ambition to be producing 400,000 litres of milk every month in the next 10 years.
Bryce is especially proud not only of the quality of their milk, but also their commitment to sustainability, using re-usable only packaging and all-electric delivery vehicles. He has also resurrected some of the ‘old-fashioned’ ways of the past, including the return of glass bottles in preference to plastic.
“We pride ourselves on thinking outside the churn to bring as much of our award-winning milk to as many folks as possible,” Bryce concludes. “We have an ambitious plan to expand our business and the range of products we sell and having an Invoice Finance facility from Optimum Finance will no doubt support us on our future journey.”