Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

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

Highways England chiefs have closed the Orwell Bridge this morning after Met Office forecasters warned of gusts of up to 65mph on the A14.

A family have paid tribute to the “fearless” and “fun loving” Katie Bent, who died after a crash in Bardwell.

Emergency services are evacuating 64 homes after concerns a building may collapse in Greenstead Road, Colchester.

Suffolk police have received more than 130 weather related calls reporting fallen trees and downed power cables as Storm Doris blasts the country.

Hundreds of people are without power, cables have come down close to a school, parks have been closed and trees have fallen in parts of west Suffolk.

Power cuts and fallen trees are causing disruption to homes, businesses, roads and railways across Essex today as high winds hit the county from Storm Doris.

There isn’t usually a downside to being a guest of honour at Wembley, and former Ipswich Town hero Simon Milton is relishing his trip there for this Sunday’s EFL Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24