Lincs-based agri seed business Cope Seeds & Grain announces new owner following management buyout

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The Lincolnshire-based agri seeds business Cope Seeds & Grain has a new majority owner following a successful management buyout.

Managing director Gemma Clarke has bought out the majority stake from the previous owner Trevor Cope, who founded the business back in 2003. 

In her current role since 2008, Gemma has built Cope Seeds & Grain into the UK’s largest organic seed producer, championing low input varieties and supporting regenerative farming practices.

Gemma Clarke, MD of Cope Seeds, said: “I’m confident we can continue to grow the business in line with our vision, making sure farmers are getting the best varieties and advice for a new era in agriculture.

“With the spotlight on sustainability, for the environment, and for farm businesses, we are creating more bespoke buy-back contracts for our leading organic and conventional varieties, giving farmer’s market security.

“Covid-19 has exaggerated the need for robust, transparent supply chains and we’re excited to be launching new varieties, new contracts, and new industry initiatives to help to support British food and farming as we transition to a new subsidy framework and prioritise the environment even more.”

After 47 years working in the seed industry and 18 years in the business, Trevor Cope will remain involved in Cope Seeds as chairman, working in an advisory role for Gemma and her team.

“I’m proud that my daughter, Gemma Clarke, has decided to facilitate a majority share buyout of the business. She has developed strong working relationships with the company’s existing customer base while overseeing considerable growth in new clients and continues to develop our relationships with a number of continental plant breeding partners,” added Trevor.

Trevor explained that in recent years Gemma has overseen a move to new state of the art offices in Sleaford and appointed new sales staff to join the established Cope Seeds team. “Gemma identified that for the business to grow and develop it needs to look at new areas and directions to keep pace with the ever-changing face of agriculture.

“I am very confident that Gemma will achieve her goals and the company and its staff will prosper under her leadership,” concluded Trevor. 

To learn more about Cope Seeds and Grain, visit

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