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HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

Meaning of trade: mutual trading and members clubs: mutual associations: specific activities: agricultural co-operatives: model constitution

What was originally the Central Council for Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation and later ‘Food from Britain’ drew up a model constitution and set of rules for bodies which are set up with the intention of conducting business on mutual terms, which meet the requirements in BIM24020. Although Food from Britain has been abolished, many co-operatives still use the model constitution. The model constitution and rules provide that:

  • only members may enjoy the facilities of the services provided by the co-operative;
  • if the co-operative is a marketing agency, it sells on behalf of the growers, and ownership of the produce never passes to the co-operative;
  • the member contracts to market a given quantity of produce through the co-operative, or to provide a given quantity for processing;
  • any surplus may be distributed to the members in proportion to the business they have done with the co-operative in recent years.