The Co-operative Group has confirmed it is to sell its Farms business as part of a wider strategic review of all of its businesses.
It is also considering the future for its Pharmacy business.
In a statement, the retailer said: “The Co-operative Group has decided that its Farms are non-core and it has started a process that is expected to lead to a sale of the business. In addition, it is exploring options for the future of the Pharmacy business; this could include the sale in whole or part of the business.”
The Co-operative has one of Britain’s largest farming operations. It currently farms around 50,000 acres of land in England and Scotland and has been farming since 1896.
It grows a variety of cereals, including wheat which goes into Co-operative packet flour, and a growing number of fruit and vegetables including potatoes, cider apples and peas.
The Co-operative Farms also own four packhouses where it washes and packs fresh produce ready to be delivered to its stores.
The Co-operative Group’s Pharmacy business is the third largest pharmacy chain in the UK with 750 outlets and over 6,500 employees.