Co-operative to sell English vineyard3rd March, 2014 by Lucy Shaw
The struggling Co-operative Group is to sell its vineyard in Gloucestershire four years after planting vines on the site.
According to ukvine.com, the move is due to a plan on the part of the troubled group to sell its farms, which are not considered a “core” part of its business.
“As part of the wider strategic review of all of its businesses, The Co-operative Group has decided that its farms are non-core and has started a process that is expected to lead to a sale of the business,” the group said in a statement.
Just over 6,0000 vines were planted at the group’s six-acre farm in Down Ampney near Cirencester in 2010 with the aim of producing own-label English wine set to form part of the “Grown by Us” range.
The first vintage was due to be made this year, mainly from the white Ortega grape.
The group, which is set to announce losses of £2 billion in results for 2013 due this month, has been farming at the Down Ampney estate since 1918.
Rival supermarket Waitrose and independent wine merchant Lathwaites also have established vineyards in England.
The Co-ops farm business dates back to 1896 and covers 50,000 acres of land in England and Scotland.