How to buy your livestock feed through AF

natasha edwards

Natasha Edwards, AF Livestock Inputs Procurement Manager

We have a wide variety of farms and farming styles amongst our Members, therefore the way in which we purchase feed varies. Some of our Members have invested in 30+ tonne bulk bins with a bagging chute or auger, allowing them to accommodate full artic loads, whilst still giving them the ability to fill 25kg bags. At the other end of the scale, other Members order one tonne of compound in bags once a week.

How do you purchase?

Quantity aside, Members can purchase their feed in three ways:

  • On a spot basis – you can book an individual load at market rate, albeit with an AF discount.
  • Through a contract – we can book your straights, blends or compounds forward for a period of time. Most often we book a summer/winter ‘run’ or a 12-month contract. (You can also do this with your bedding requirements)
  • Via a raw material book.

AF manages two raw material books, one in East Anglia and one in the South West. Purchasing approximately 11,000 tonnes per year on behalf of 45 dairy, beef, sheep, pig and poultry farmers with the aim to minimise exposure to market volatility through spreading risk across the 4 quarters of the year.

Members of these feed groups make a 12-month commitment on straights, blends and compounds, allowing us to book tonnage forward. Our aim is to minimise exposure to market volatility by spreading risk across the year, helping us to remain below average.

How does it work?

As Livestock Inputs Procurement Manager, I monitor markets closely and consult daily with senior traders across the industry to ensure that an impartial view of the market is formed and cover is taken on raw materials, when prices are judged to be favourable. A milling fee and haulage uplift is negotiated annually and a quality, finished product is delivered at consistently competitive prices. Each Member is invoiced separately.

This strategy does not guarantee that the raw material book will hit market lows, but it does ensure that prices remain consistently below the market average. This is a model we are looking to cover in other areas of the UK, so please do register your interest with your Livestock Inputs team.

How much could you save?

While it is difficult to provide exact figures, due to the variability between farms and the volatility of the current market, the value statements below show the merit of both books:

Other benefits of the book include saving your precious time, closely monitoring the fast-paced markets as we do that for you whilst also giving you the ability to rest assured of a great quality product whilst ensuring consistent, excellent service! And of course, the more of you that join the book, the more attractive the pricing becomes!

Whether purchasing through a feed group, booking a contract or placing a spot order, it is worth remembering that all AF members have access to impartial advice through your AF Livestock Inputs team.  Find out more by calling 01603 881 938 or email