Southern Farmers Ltd is your local farming co-operative, buying solely for our members – not for profit.
Southern Farmers Ltd (SFL) is a not-for-profit agricultural buying group based in the South of England. The company is member owned and governed by a board of directors made up of current members. The purpose of SFL is to assemble a body for bigger buying power as well as offering a simplified accounting system; together saving time and money for farmers and those working in the agricultural industry.
Once you become a member of Southern Farmers you can visit any of our approved suppliers and book to our account, walking away with the goods with no payment in store. Alternatively, you can phone us in the office and a member of our purchasing team can place an order on your behalf. The supplier will send your invoice to us which we process to your individual account. At the end of the month, we collate invoices from each of the suppliers you visited in that month and send you one statement with one total sum. You can raise any queries with our accounts team who will help you find a resolution. We collect the total sum in the month following invoice date via direct debit which we forward on to the relevant suppliers.
Southern Farmers charge an annual administration fee of £125 + VAT which we collect biannually and invoice fees which range between 0.35% – 2.5% depending on the product invoiced. Admin charges are a minimum of 95p and are capped at £25 as a maximum charge per invoice. These fees enable the company to operate.
Our simple ordering and administration process saves members valuable time whilst providing one organised monthly parcel of relevant documents and the peace of mind that every fee is reported on the statement. We estimate an annual throughput of £5,000 will produce a monetary saving for our members as well.
SFL works with suppliers to cover a wide range of areas relevant to running a business in the agricultural industry with our largest including fuel, fertiliser, and utilities. Please take a look at our suppliers list to find the various product types we cover.
Managing Director & Company Secretary
With a family of fruit growers behind her, Brigitte took the decision to join Southern Farmers back in 2001, initially in accounts, followed by group negotiator before becoming company secretary back in 2012. In June 2014, Brigitte was appointed to the board of directors, becoming Managing Director.
When not running the company, Brigitte enjoys tending to her bees, showing her horses, and spending time with her family.
A familiar voice to all, the membership are well aware of her passion and dedication to the company. Brigitte is very forward thinking and always happy to have a chat with any member.
Accounts & Office Manager
Purchasing Team Leader
Accounts & Electricity Administrator
Purchasing Team & Supplier Liaison
Accounts & Electricity Assistant
Purchasing Team & Member Liaison
Purchasing & Membership Administrator
David comes from a long line of farmers dating back to the 1530s and currently farms in North Kent with his wife. Originally farming potatoes and vegetables, David now farms arable crops with the help of contractors for the local anaerobic digestor plant, along with industrial lets and solar arrays. When not farming, David enjoys walking, travel, history, reading and wine.
After joining the membership in 2007, he took the role of director in 2016, and became chairman in 2021.
Senior Independent Director
In 1962, two agricultural buying groups, Rother Valley Farmers and Sussex Farmers were created. Grown around kitchen tables, these groups were the first of their kind in their area. The passion and the ethos that helped build these companies are the underpinning principles that we stand by today.
In 2000, the two companies took the decision to combine their knowledge and buying power to form a new buying group, now known as Southern Farmers Ltd. Each company contributed around 500 members which together facilitated better group negotiations and a bigger buying power overall.
Up until 2008, Southern Farmers was sharing an office with a local machinery ring, but as the company continued to grow it was decided that Southern Farmers would expand and utilise the entire office. This allowed the team and the paper based filing system to run much more efficiently!
In 2013 we were awarded Heathfield & District Agricultural Show Best Agricultural Stand Under 12m winner for our stand which starred produce from all our membership.
Yet again, Southern Farmers was outgrowing the office here in Rolvenden, this time we added an extension to the building to house our new meeting, storage and filing rooms. This offered the opportunity to host meetings with suppliers, and enabled us to store all our paperwork here in the office.
Southern Farmers is still based in the very same office that it was created in back in 2000. With an annual turnover of over £40M, we now offer a range of products to our membership and continue to work steadfastly on their behalf. The team of 13 in the office are as passionate and dedicated as those founding members who created Sussex Farmers & Rother Valley Farmers over 60 years ago.
Serving the farming community since 1962.
Experienced staff, with a passion for the agricultural industry.
Offering a range of products across all sectors.