Professional straw merchants, sourcing straw for the energy, food and farming sectors

Earn an income from your straw

About AF Biomass

AF Biomass are straw merchants sourcing straw for the energy, food and farming sectors. The straw we market is used in straw-fired power stations, for animal feed, for animal bedding, and used by vegetable growers.

AF Biomass operates across the whole of England and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the farmer-owned co-operative, The AF Group . Our services include straw contract management, baling, loading and haulage.

Known and trusted in the straw marketplace, AF Biomass has strong relationships with both its suppliers and its customers.
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Why should I sell to AF Biomass?

Valuable Income
AF Biomass offers a valuable income for your straw
Secure Payments
Secure payments can be made and growers can benefit from pool payments through the year with a guaranteed price.
Dedicated Contractors
Dedicated contractors available to bale and chase your straw if it is sold in the swath.
High Stacking
High stacking service of up to eight bales in height to reduce wastage.
Subsidised Finance
Subsidised finance scheme for those growers who would like to put up a straw barn to reduce wastage further.

Why should I buy through AF Biomass?

AF Biomass offers a wide range of straw types in a variety of bale sizes

We offer payment dates and delivery schedules to match individual customer requirements

Both delivery with our own vehicles and customer collection are available

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Straw Barn Scheme

AF Biomass are offering straw suppliers who are AF members the opportunity to build straw barns, financed over a three-year period through AF Finance Limited at 0% interest rate, subject to eligibility criteria.

Why should I get involved?

The straw barn scheme is purpose-designed to minimise the losses of straw caused by wet weather.

Straw bales and sugar beet are traditionally the only crops stored outside with very little protection from the elements. Large, square straw bales start to deteriorate very quickly. The top bales of the stack are the most vulnerable.

For example, barley baled in August would not be suitable for power generation beyond mid-October.

Losses are typically around 20% of the tonnage in a normal year on unrpotected outdoor stacks, a percentage loss which would not be acceptable in any other sector of agriculture.

The straw barn

The high-quality straw barns are sourced through the AF Buildings team. As an example, a 464m squared barn does not need planning permission. Capacity of these barns are circa 450 tonnes although other barn sizes are available.

What is required to get involved?

Suppliers are asked to sign a three-year supply deal with AF Biomass on their straw. The loan, repayable within two or three years, will be deducted from the grower's straw pool payments.

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Our Directors


Robert Alexander
Robert farms at Pulham Market, South Norfolk, where he manages the family unit of 256ha. He Also manages a further 760ha over six farms on contract farming arrangements. All farms are based around heavy land farming rotations, including wheat, barley, OSR, vining peas and sugar beet. Prior to working on the family farm he worked in New Zealand for 12 months and then spent the next nine years working for John Deere UK.

Julian Swift

Julian Swift is a director of Griffin Farming Ltd and the owner of Belchamp Farm Services Ltd, one of the two JV parties in Griffin. Julian has been running contract farming agreements for customers since 1988. Julian has extensive experience of farming both within the UK and the US where he worked for four years for a farming company in Iowa involved in maize and soybean crops using non-inversion, min-till and no-till methods.
Julian Swift

Gavin Strathern

Gavin has worked as a contract farmer for over 25 years, developing a wealth of knowledge in the industry. Utilising this experience, Gavin is able to offer expert advice and tuition for AF Biomass and its team. Gavin is a parish councillor who is married to Liz and has three children.

Jon Duffy

Jon is Group Chief Executive Officer of The AF Group.
Jon Duffy