The Co-operative Farms

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The Co-operative Farms
Type Industrial and Provident Society, business of a Consumer Co-operative
Industry Wholesale
Products Farmer
Parent The Co-operative Group

The Co-operative Farms was the trading name of Farmcare Limited, a subsidiary of The Co-operative Group.[1] It is the largest farmer in the United Kingdom.[2]

The first farm was acquired at Roden, Shropshire in 1896 in order to supply potatoes to local societies' stores.[3] By 1918, the then Co-operative Wholesale Society already farmed a total of 32,648 acres (13,212 ha) across England.[4]

Following the merger of CWS and Co-operative Retail Services in 2001, CWS Agriculture became known as Farmcare.[5] It was rebranded as The Co-operative Farms in 2007.

On 4 August 2014, the business was sold to the Wellcome Trust for £249 million, to reduce The Co-operative Group debt following its financial crisis in 2013, and now trades as Farmcare Trading Limited.[6] At the time of the sale, The Co-operative Farms owned 39,533 acres (15,998 ha) of land organised as 15 farms, and more than 100 residential and 27 commercial properties.[7]

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  1. ^ Registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965, No. 28966R
  2. ^ UK'S BIGGEST FARMER PULLS PLUG ON GM TRIALS. FOE Demands Halt to "Unscientific" Tests Friends of the Earth, 30 March 1999
  3. ^ The foundations The Co-operative Farms (retrieved 21 August 2009)
  4. ^ The war years The Co-operative Farms (retrieved 21 August 2009)
  5. ^ Mutuals Public Register Financial Services Authority (retrieved 21 August 2009)
  6. ^ Wellcome Trust acquires the Co-operative Group's farms business for £249 million
  7. ^ "Co-op sells farms business to Wellcome Trust for £249m". BBC. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 

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