Mormon commerical activities are spreading worldwideGeorge Clerk

Woodwalton, a small village in Cambridgeshire, is a surprising place to find the headquarters of a large farming company.

It is even more surprising that this farming company, Farmland Reserve UK Ltd, is a subsidiary of AgReserves, a multinational farming company effectively run by the Mormon Church.

If one looks up Farmland Reserve UK on Companies House one can see the company’s previous name: “Church of the Latter-Day Saints.”

According to a land registry spreadsheet from May 2015, Farmland Reserve UK Ltd owned 7,716 acres making them one of the top 100 landowning companies in England and Wales. Their most recent financial report attributed land worth nearly £54 million and buildings worth almost £17 million.

Older articles give the Mormons even more land. One from 2011 put them in the top 10 of UK landowners, which would have put them in the same bracket as institutions like the Crown, the Church and National Rail.

Why do the Mormons own so much land in Cambridgeshire?

In short, AgReserves, the multinational company of which Farmland Reserve UK is a part, is one of the moneymaking institutions financing the Mormon’s charitable activities.

AgReserves, based in Salt Lake City, operate in more than 30 states around the world, previously the US’s largest producer of nuts and own the nearly 300,000 acre ranch in Florida, one of the US’s largest.

Farmland Reserve UK therefore exists in order to make money that can be used in the Mormon’s charitable activities across the world.

In 2012, for example, the company made a donation of £31.6 million ($50 million), to the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. Over half of this was spent on building meeting houses in Southeast Africa and another $3,349 million on a Temple in Accra, Ghana.

Every year since 2016 additional donations of £1 million have been made to the Church for the furtherance of their charitable activities.

The Woodwalton estate has been owned by Farmland Reserve UK since 1995. Although Farmland Reserve UK used to own more land, for 13 years they have been selling off scattered land parcels and focusing around ‘one major farm centre in Cambridgeshire,’ as the financial report says.

This consolidation ‘will enable the running of a more efficient operation that will generate sustainable funds for future Charitable work.’

During 2011 the trustees of the company approved the purchase of parcels of land in the region to the value of £9 million.

Cambridgeshire farmland is some of the most fertile in the country: East Anglia is the most productive crop producing area of the country.

One article from nearly ten years ago noted that the mission statement for the company, printed out next to a picture of Jesus, read: "Our business is farmland. Profit motivated: No Excuses. Managed for profits. Increased productivity. For investment; for strategic and welfare resource, world-wide based."


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Other areas of endeavour for the Mormons in the UK include property in London. In 2019, Property Reserve Inc – another subsidiary of the Mormons - purchased Alder Castle on 10 Noble Street, for $129 million. At the time of purchase tenants included Lloyds Banking Group and asset manager MSS Capital.

The Mormon Church is a Christian restorationist movement, founded by Joseph Smith in the late 1820s. Over 16 million people worldwide belong to religion, which sees itself as restoring the early Christian church supplemented with additional revelation, including the Book of Mormon.

Farmland Reserve UK Ltd did not respond to Varsity’s requests for comment