Company Name: Stable

Summary: Stable is a groundbreaking online marketplace that enables farmers to transfer the risk of volatile prices and costs, to investors willing to share in the risk in return for a fee.

Background

For the last 40 years the EU has protected 12 million farmers from global commodity markets with subsidies, import tariffs, price and production support. Over the last 10 years that has changed dramatically. European farmers are increasingly paid for environmental contributions, rather than price support and as a result they are seriously exposed once more to global market forces.

There is an immediate need for farmers to manage (or ‘hedge’) the effects of volatile commodity markets, but most farmers are put off by costs, complexity and risk.

Stable has addressed these concerns, by designing a groundbreaking new product for farmers, rather than financiers.

The Product

Stable uses groundbreaking web technology to deliver a simple, quick and simple experience to Dairy, Livestock and Arable farmers. It is as simple as insuring your car and farmers just answer 3 simple questions:

  • How much do you wish to protect?
  • How long do you want protection?
  • What index price do you wish to protect against?

The farmer pays the premium and if the AHDB index price falls or costs rise, then their lost income is replaced.

Using Stable, farmers are able to transfer some of the risk of a price fall, (or cost rise) to investors in return for a fee.

The Stable team is led by Richard Counsell, a farmer and former Barclays Bank Entrepreneur of the Year, with a growing team of world-class Mathematicians, Data Scientists and Economists.

Partners

Although simple enough for farmers to use direct, Stable is also partnering with accountants, banks, consultants and land agents to build out a nationwide network of partners that can advise farmers on its features and benefits.

On working with Farm491 and the RAU:

After discovering Farm491 over Twitter, Richard quickly become a member.  “The exclusive access to farming data and support from academics is a major attribute of the enterprise hub and one that attracted me immediately. Farm491 is one of the UK’s most sophisticated and advanced facilities for pioneering agritech research and innovation, helping many start-up businesses, like Stable to flourish and grow.”

Main challenge of being an entrepreneur:

The mathematics and algorithms behind the marketplace have taken 2 years to perfect. Richard says that “making something highly sophisticated but presenting it in a simple and accessible way has been difficult – but a challenge that the experienced team has thrived upon. The next crucial step will be building familiarity with farmers via our partners. I’ve never been so excited about the opportunities for British farming right now, but as an industry we must embrace a more business focused mindset. Volatility is one of the biggest threats to the industry and it’s not going away. We need genuine innovation and practical tools to meet the threat head on, instead of constantly looking to highly distracted politicians to sort it out for us.”

You can find out more at www.stableprice.com

Meet the Founder: Richard Counsell

Stable is the brainchild of award winning entrepreneur, farmer’s son and Nuffield Scholar, Richard Counsell. A previous winner of the Barclays Bank and Sunday Telegraph’s Ecommerce Entrepreneur of the Year, Richard has run global technology businesses in both the UK and US. It was while working in Chicago, that he became fascinated with how many US farmers were using and benefiting from financial risk management tools designed to manage volatility.

This inspired Richard to develop a new solution, designed from the ground up for farmers rather than financiers.  This affordable simplicity makes risk management accessible to farmers from every sector and size. After receiving advice and support from academics at Universities including Harvard, Liverpool, Wellington and Lisbon.

Want to join Farm491?

Becoming a member couldn’t be simpler, you pay a monthly membership and that’s it.