Directory of Co-operatives
Hatston Industrial Estate
Birsay Farmers is based on the Hatston Industrial Estate in Kirkwall, is a supply co-operative supplying members throughout the Orkney Islands.
The co-op started in 1958 as a fertiliser buying group called Birsay Bulk Buying Group with only 12 members. However due to popular demand it soon expanded into buying other farm requisites. Other farmers joined to get the benefit of the better pricing and in 1968 Birsay Farmers was born out of the original group.
Since then the company has continued to grow and now has over 750 active members and an annual turnover of £5 million. It is now one of two major agricultural retailers on Orkney selling everything the farmer needs from Wellington Boots to Feed & Fertiliser. It is also open to non members and is well used by the general public.
It is still run on the co-operative principles with low margins and any profits returned to the membership as a dividend on purchases.