Members of Mole Valley Farmers, England’s largest farmer-owned co-operative, can receive extra benefits with the launch of a shareholding membership.

For a one-off fee of £150, members of the Farmer Shareholder initiative will qualify for a discount of up to 3% on all purchases made in any MVF branches or over the telephone.

Inputs including compound feeds, grass and cereal seeds and animal medicines will also qualify for rebate of up to 2%, paid in MVF gift vouchers, during the trading year (October to September).

Existing ordinary shareholders who join the scheme will have their bonus entitlement backdated to October 1 2006.

Trading shareholders who upgrade by August 1 will receive entitlements backdated to April 1 2007.

Co-op members who hold 15 ordinary shares at £150 are eligible to become Farmer Shareholders, though anyone with a DEFRA holding number can become to member.

A spokeswoman said the membership fee would go towards funding the scheme.

David Burke, chairman of Mole Valley Farmers, said the co-op was keen to share the financial benefits of sales growth with its shareholders.

“We felt it was important that members are directly rewarded for the amount of business they do with the company.”