Associated Co-operative Creameries

Scope and Content

Records of the Associated Co-operative Creameries including minutes of board meetings.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first meeting of the Associated Co-operative Creameries (ACC) was held on 12 July 1960 and was registered on 20 June 1961 under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act. It was drawn together from officials from the Bishop Aukland Co-operative Society, Darlington Co-operative and Industrial Society and the Stockton Co-operative Society. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a way to make the federalisation of the milk trade in the co-operative movement possible. A federalised dairy trade was seen as a better solution for their respective societies’ dairy businesses than the contemporary practices of merging and take-over bids which seemed to be dominating the milk processing and distribution business.

The rationale behind choosing federalisation was that it would " give [to the three societies] economic use of capital, economies in distribution, better supervision and economy of staff, better sales promotion, and the opportunity to tender for contracts throughout the area served."

The Board was composed of two Board members and one official from each society. Mr LA Hurt of the Stockton Co-operative Society was voted chairman and Mr T Ironmonger of the Stockton Co-operative Society was voted manager of the federal.

For financial support, the Co-operative Wholesale Society Limited was invited to back the ACC and they accepted, buying fifty per cent of the shares and requesting two places on the Board.

The object of the society was decided as being: to carry on the business of wholesale and retail dealers in dairy products and to develop and improve supplies and services to co-operative members of the member-societies of this society, and to carry on the business of a storekeeper, general dealer and universal provider of good and services, and, in particular, to buy, sell, manufacture, produce, process goods and consumable articles, chattels and effects of all kinds, but wholesale and retail, and generally to engage in any business, trade or industry, which may seem to the society directly or indirectly conducive to the interests or convenience of the registered societies comprising this society."

The federal assumed responsibility and management of each society’s dairy trade, including staff and premises. Its main functions being to process milk into a range of dairy products for distribution to co-operative societies. The federal later became part of the Co-operative Wholesale Society’s dairy processing and distribution Milk Group, after a series of mergers in which the societies composing the federal were acquired by the Co-operative Wholesale Society (now the Co-operative Group) in 1992. ACC’s processing arm of the business was later sold to Dairy Farmers of Britain, a farming co-operative, in 2004.

Sources: Associated Co-operative Creameries minute books 1960-1967. The Co-operative News. The Mutuals Public Register.

Access Information

All open materials can be viewed by prior arrangement, Monday- Friday, 10 am- 5pm. Contact the Archivist at: National Co-operative Archive, Co-operative College, Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AS. Email: Website:

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Heather Roberts, Archives Assistant, September 2013.

Related Material

Records of the Darlington Co-operative and Industrial Society are held in Durham County Record Office.

Records of the Stockton Co-operative Society are held at Teeside Archives.