The Wellcome Trust announced in August that it had purchased the Co-operative Group's farm business for £249m. The business has been purchased as a going concern and is a thriving farm business. Chris Hildyard, an agricultural surveyor at George Webb Finn, commented: "The Wellcome Trust's purchase of Farmcare Trading Limited, emphasises the ongoing trend from major investors (both home and abroad), in acquiring agricultural land. The acquisition was a good fit for both parties, as the Trust pledges to invest in the business as a going concern, as well as maintain schemes such as Farmcare's educational 'Farm to Fork' programme."
Agricultural land has become increasingly desirable and land values are increasing. With financial returns on more traditional investments remaining low, more and more people and businesses are looking for an attractive investment. Agricultural land is not an increasing resource and with more and more people to feed its value is obvious.
Chris Hildyard has commented further that: "British farming has been hit by low prices across most enterprises this year,
yet another major investor shows huge confidence in its long-term potential. Despite stocks and shares returning to favour, the markets remain volatile and agricultural land offers something tangible that still has the potential to out-perform other mainstream investment asset classes whilst providing good capital growth."