Suppliers' FAQs about Agri Procurement Alliance (APA)

APA is an exciting new initiative, formed by the three largest agricultural buying groups in the UK, AF Group Ltd, Fram Farmers Ltd and Woldmarsh Producers Ltd, all with equal shares focused on delivering excellent value, service and knowledge to our respective members.

All three groups, with our own unique operational methods, all have one common aim. This is to provide maximum value to our farmer and landowner memberships, through a combination of quality, price, delivery, and service to best meet those members’ needs.

It is APA Ltd’s assessment that some market sector supply chains (manufacture, importation, and distribution) are evolving. APA Ltd was established in recognition of these market developments, having identified the new opportunities they present to the respective memberships of APA. These may involve maximising volumes, collective and streamlined planning, or introducing our groups to previously unavailable discussions.

Each buying group is a unique organisation. This diversity is part of APA Ltd’s strength and we believe merging would weaken each group individually.

In time, it is believed that other groups may choose to participate in this initiative.

Every shareholder holds an equal proportion of the equity. All shareholders will nominate two directors to sit on its board. The directors are:

  • David Horton Fawkes – AF CEO
  • Iain Gardner – AF Chairman
  • Heather Claridge – Woldmarsh CEO
  • Andrew Price – Woldmarsh Chairman
  • Andrew Knowles – Fram Farmers CEO
  • David Sheppard – Fram Farmers Board member

Stuart McKenzie, former CEO of Woldmarsh Producers Ltd will chair APA.

To preserve the individual identity of each cooperative for their Members, while using the combined influence and purchasing strength of the memberships to secure better value for farmers from the supply chain.

For some time, the agricultural supply sector has seen consolidation. Whether at manufacturing, distribution or outlet level, the options available have mostly contracted. Observing this and with encouragement from within the supply sector, the founders of APA Ltd have created a mechanism for a more focused and efficient procurement approach. This will also address the legislative pressures, both at a European and national level, that have limited or removed access to products or directed effort toward specific outcomes.

Despite the group’s combined significant growth in terms of membership numbers, cooperation provides an opportunity to make a step change in size, that individually each group is not capable of making in the foreseeable future. APA Ltd is confident that this will elevate discussions to another level.

This organisation will set strategy for the purchase of specific products as agreed by the shareholding groups. By discussing and making agreements at the most senior levels, it will utilise the collective purchasing strength of all its members.

Once agreed, volumes, timetables and purchase options will be communicated to the individual groups who will communicate these to their respective memberships in the usual way. Through this collective approach, all members will see a benefit.

On a day-to-day basis, little will change. AF will continue to serve our Members as we always have done.

APA Ltd will provide AF with another level of market intelligence.

All founder members see APA Ltd as a means of strengthening our memberships’ influence, therefore seeing memberships flourish and organisations growing in stature.

APA Ltd will enhance knowledge sharing, technical skills development, and expertise for colleagues within the three organisations.

A collective volume and value from each of the groups will be created. Success will be measured through KPIs.

All suppliers should see this as a positive move for streamlining operations and creating opportunities. Fewer discussions will be required to make agreements and the deals will continue to have the backing of the existing groups.

With effect from 26th April 2023.

Any and all, where the group recognises an advantage through collective effort. However, at this early stage of development, the group will be focussing on fertiliser.

Where the groups collaborate, yes. The individual groups will also utilise their national and local market knowledge to deliver member benefits, as they always have done, where it is appropriate to do so.

Yes, where it is to their members’ advantage, this will continue with their own staff as usual.

Yes, APA Ltd will supply this to the AF Fertiliser team which will then be shared to our Members through the usual methods used.

AF will continue to handle our Members’ account as we have always done.

No. Members’ contracts will be between them and their usual group who should be their point of

Not directly, although CF’s decision is symptomatic of the changes being seen throughout the supply chain. As supply options diminish, each individual group needs to be alert to these changes and keep members aware of the options available.

APA Ltd will establish robust and diverse supply chains, looking at initiatives such as green ammonia and micro fertilisers. APA Ltd will aim to be at the forefront of fertiliser technology.

This is a new initiative involving all the large groups, who have a common aim. SATURN achieved much, teaching those involved a great deal about what collaborative efforts work and those that often do not. APA Ltd is intended to deliver more than Saturn was able to achieve, through its improved structure and close collaboration.

No. This is anticipated to be cost neutral initially. With time the benefits sought will deliver added value to you and fellow Members.

APA Ltd allows Woldmarsh, AF and Fram Farmers to co-operate in compliance with competition law.