Agricultural co-operatives are the second largest business category across the UK co-operative and mutual sector, second only to retail, according to the latest annual report from trade body Co-operatives UK.
The latest in the series of annual reports – Co-operative and Mutual Economy 2023 – estimates that UK co-operative businesses generated a collective £40.9 billion in revenues in 2022, up from the £39.4bn in 2021. Almost 70% of the total or £28.5bn comes from retail businesses such as the John Lewis and Co-op chains. Agriculture is the second biggest category at £8.4bn, generated by 483 co-operative businesses.
When building societies, financial mutuals and employee-owned companies are added, total turnover increases to £87.9bn. The NFU Mutual alone had revenues of £2.01bn.
“We’re predicting, not least based on 179 years of co-operation, that as we enter the fourth industrial revolution, we really are coming full circle, and that co-operation is going to be at the heart of economic growth,” comments Rose Marley, chief executive of Co-operatives UK.
“Everywhere in modern business, from AI to farming and culture to data, there are co-ops. “We’ll show the growth and the movers and shakers in terms of sectors. Will it be housing, tech, pubs, clubs… workers, communities, consumers? This report will evolve over coming years as we look to explore how co-operatives positively impact on the nation’s social fabric as well as economic benefits.”
|Name||2022 turnover (£m)||Membership|
|3||Mole Valley Farmers||615.46||107,000|
|4||Dale Farm Co-op||591.64||1,468|
|12||United Oilseeds Producers||175.89||3,580|
|18||Yorkshire Farmers Livestock Marketing||89.63||254|
|19||Scottish Pig Producers||79.27||93|
|20||Long Clawson Dairy||66.13||119|
|25||South Caernarvon Creameries||71.53||143|
|26||Clynderwen and Cardiganshire Farmers||67.03||7,257|
|28||South Armagh Farming Enterprises||24.05||3,003|
Source: Coops UK