Wednesday, 24 January 2024 10:25

Good scheme

Written by  Milking It

OPINION: Take a bow, Farm Debt Mediation Scheme.

A couple who have been through farm debt mediation say the process was a huge help and relieved a lot of pressure. Facing foreclosure last year, dairy farmers Steve and Carol (names changed to protect their identity) agreed to take part in the scheme.

Their debt loading wasn't actually that high - about 51% debt to equity ratio - but they weren't making profits for about three years. So, in the end they went to bank mediation.

"We were absolutely petrified but our mediator, Tony Wilding, was so good - he completely took the fear away," they say.

Run by the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Farm Debt Mediation Scheme gives struggling farmers the chance to work through debt problems with their bank, using independent mediators.

By law, banks must offer mediation before taking any debt enforcement action against farmers or farm businesses. Also, farmers can ask for mediation at any time.

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