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HMRC internal manual

Company Taxation Manual

Particular Trades: mutual concerns: agricultural co- operatives

Agricultural co-operatives meet the criteria for mutual concerns if their constitution provides that:

  • only members can use the facilities and services they provide, and
  • if it is a marketing agency
    • it sells on behalf of the growers and never owns the produce,
    • members agree to market a certain amount of produce through the co-operative or provide a certain amount for processing,
  • any surplus is shared out among members according to the amount of business they have done with the co-operative recently.

If a co-operative buys produce from members who grow it, then sells it to a third party, the trade is not mutual. However, if a co-operative sells the produce as an agent for the members and makes a surplus from the service, the trade is mutual as long as it passes the other tests for mutuality.