23 August 2002

Welsh co-ops merger is off

AN AMBITIOUS merger plan between two west Wales agricultural co-ops has been called off.

Clynderwen and Cardiganshire Farmers and Carmarthen and Pumpsaint Farmers had planned to join forces to create a business with a £40m annual turnover.

At the heart of the proposal was the long-term viability of both businesses and improved buying power.

But this week it emerged that the merger had been postponed, probably indefinitely, because of what has been described as a "number of unresolved issues".

Vernon Edwards, who is retiring as general manager of CCF at the end of the year, was unwilling to shed light on the decision.

But, he said: "In all businesses there are certain circumstances that are different, in this case there were a number of issues on which it was not possible to agree. Whether or not talks will continue at a later stage is debateable."

CCF made a remarkable financial recovery in the year ending Sept 30, 2001, increasing its livestock feed sales and achieving a record turnover of £31.6m. &#42