ASB has launched what it says is New Zealand’s first "rural environmental compliance loan", which it is targeting as a "low cost funding option to assist farmers to get the balance right between productivity and environmental sustainability".
ASB general manager rural Mark Heer said the new product was aimed at farmers looking to invest on-farm to upgrade their environmental compliance systems.
The new loan was "competitively priced" at ASB’s cost of funding with no additional customer margin applied.
"ASB recognises the farming sector is the driving force of the New Zealand economy and that it is important that New Zealand’s farmers get the balance right between productivity and environmental sustainability, and organisations like ASB help them to achieve this," he said.
ASB said recently it's growing lending to the rural sector by more than any of its major rivals with rising numbers of dairy conversions helping.
The new loan had been developed in response to feedback from our rural customers.
“Farmers consistently tell us that they are doing their best to ensure that their farms are operating to the highest environmental standards. However, the reality is that there can be considerable costs associated with upgrading systems, including the fencing of waterways, which are all part of operating an environmentally-responsible farm.
“At the same time, local government regulations have been tightening around the management of effluent, nitrate leaching and water usage on farms so farmers must ensure they are compliant or risk fines. Farmers are facing all these pressures while at the same time trying to focus on the productivity and profitability of their business.
“In offering this new loan, ASB wants to be part of the solution by providing farmers with a low cost funding option to get their farm to where it needs to be to remain compliant and profitable. This will make sure that New Zealand farmers maintain their global advantage and maximise opportunities.”
Loans are available to New Zealand farmers for environmental compliance purposes up to a maximum of $200,000 and over a maximum five-year term.