Founded in 1911 as a farmers’ co-operative, WCF is now run as a private company. Many of the previous co-operative members are shareholders, while the company’s employees also hold a stake. The company runs a number of niche retail operations, selling products ranging from ladies clothing to dog beds and collectible thimbles. WCF also still distributes fresh fruit and vegetables and seed potatoes for the horticultural market, and operates three fuel and heating oil distribution businesses. Under chairman Bill Thomson, the Cumbria group achieved sales of £172.7m in 2008.
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