February 4, 2023

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Virgin Money launches UK’s first dedicated fund to help farmers move to net zero

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Virgin Money has launched a new £200m fund to support farmers in their transition to net zero, by offering lower cost loans that can be used to invest in changes which reduce on-farm emissions.

The Agri E Fund is the first fund offered in the UK dedicated to supporting farmers with the investment and carbon audits required to help them achieve their net zero target.

Loans are available with 0% arrangement fees when a farmer completes a carbon audit and is borrowing over £50k to invest in emission reducing initiatives, like renewable energy, energy efficiency initiatives or activities that reduce greenhouse gases.

The agriculture sector has a key part to play in the UK’s transition to a net zero economy. While farming contributes approximately ten per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions, the significant land resource within agriculture provides the opportunity to capture and store carbon over and above the sector’s level of emissions, helping to enable the wider economy to transition to net zero. The sector has set itself the ambitious goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the sector in England and Wales by 20401.

Agriculture is one of Virgin Money’s biggest business sectors which it has supported over many years. In a recent survey2 of its agricultural customers, 72% of respondents said they wanted to see specialist banking products tailored towards sustainability, and 82% said that reducing climate emissions was important to improving their sustainability. The survey also revealed that the marketplace is helping to drive the pace of change, with almost a quarter (22%) of farming businesses saying they had been asked by their own customers to provide evidence of their actions to reduce carbon emissions.

The Agri E Fund also encourages the uptake of carbon audits, which are becoming increasingly important in the agriculture supply chain, by making the completion of one a condition of the loan. A carbon audit produces a comprehensive…

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2022-06-02 00:02:59

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