Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK: Co-operative sells farm business for £249million.

09:53 04 August 2014

The Co-operative was voted most ethical company

The Co-operative was voted most ethical company

The Co-operative’s 118 years of crop-growing came to an end today with the sale of its farming business to the Wellcome Trust for £249million.

The struggling mutual will use the proceeds to pay down debt and invest in its remaining operations, which include food shops, funeralcare and insurance.

The deal involves 15 farms, including three packing sites, and almost 40,000 acres of land. The Co-op said it was pleased to have found a buyer that will continue to invest and develop the farms business, which dates back to 1896.

The sites grow a variety of cereals, including wheat for bread flour, and a number of fruit and vegetables, such as potatoes, cider apples and peas.

However, the enterprise was not considered a core business to the Co-op as it supplies only a small proportion of the food sold in its stores. The move follows last month’s sale of its pharmacy stores to Bestway for £620 million.

The Wellcome Trust, which is the world’s second highest-spending charitable foundation, has a property estate valued at around £1.8billion.

Danny Truell, chief investment officer of the Wellcome Trust, said the organisation valued stewardship over quick profits and had extensive and successful interests in UK property and farmland.

He added: “The Trust’s philosophy is to provide long-term investment for the businesses and property we hold in good times and in bad.

“We will take this approach to running Farmcare Trading as a going concern, giving a business that is already strong and successful the support and resources it needs to grow, to the benefit of employees, tenants, partners and local communities.”

The Trust has pledged to maintain existing services for local communities, such as the educational programme for children - “Farm to Fork”.

The sale includes more than 100 residential properties and 27 commercial buildings. The farms are at Aberdeenshire, Ashby St Ledgers, Blairgowrie, Borders, Carnoustie, Coldham, Down Ampney, Goole, Highland Court, Langley Brook, Longforgan, Louth, Rockingham, Stoughton, Tillington and Wykeham.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Gnr Brendan Williams Marks Tey

The commanding officer of a 21-year-old serviceman killed in a crash on the A120 in Marks Tey on Saturday has paid tribute to his “strength of character and popularity.”

Norfolk Horn sheep

Police are investigating after six sheep were found injured in a dog attack in Bredfield, near Woodbridge.

Tasha Salmon introduced Ben the elf in her household this year and daughter Mylie is loving seeing what antics he has been up to

Naughty elves have been holding toys captive, redecorating Christmas trees and swinging from the lampshades over the past week.

Reserve manager Samantha Gay at Knettishall Heath. Photo by John Ferguson

Two Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserves have received a combined £20,000 gift from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme - raised by the 5p bag levy.

Sudbury town wardens Lewis Perry and Bradley Smith with the thousands of cigarette butts collected in the special bins during the past 6 months

A campaign to prevent smokers from dropping thousands of cigarette butts in Sudbury’s streets every week is being hailed as a “huge success”.

Sudbury town council planning committee discusses the bus station move proposal

Concerns about safety, traffic congestion and the loss of parking spaces have prevented council members from supporting current plans for the relocation of Sudbury bus station.

South Suffolk MP Jame Cartlidge has planted an oak tree near Boxford to highlight the work of the Woodland Trust in his constituency.

An oak sapling has been planted in Boxford by south Suffolk MP James Cartlidge to highlight the importance of conservation work in the area.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24