AGM and Electing Board Members:
Due to the ongoing covid infection rates, it was decided to again hold the AGM online via zoom. This was set for Friday 1st October in the evening hoping it would be a time when people could be free.
We had a good event, and though attendance was low it met our quorum requirements. We signed off on minutes, accounts and auditors and had an interesting presentation of activities. It was great to have the elections voted through. Jon Nichols and Minni Jain who have been guest directors were voted on, Ian Nicholson, Lucas Schoemaker and Stella Parkes were re-elected and Gabriel Kaye was also re-elected after not being a director for a year. As she was one of the founders it was good to have her back holding the consciousness of the 10 years of Land Trust work and development (it is also good to have Chris Stockdale as a director, as he has been part of it from the first board meeting). We thanked all those who support the Trust’s work with regular (or irregular) donations, it is such an important moral and financial support and makes a real difference to what the Trust can achieve. We are also delighted to have Springham Farm come into the Trust thanks to Roger Ross with his enabling partnership and finances. We looked forward at the opportunities over the next five years and our emerging strategy 2021-26, feeling we have done justice to our 2018-21 strategy. The AGM was followed by the Family of Farms day which is reported on too. Slides from the AGM presentations will soon be available on our website.
A few years ago we wrote to members about the Trust’s budget and keeping farming rents low. This is important for us as we wish to really enable farming. Some idealists have suggested that not only should rents for biodynamic farming be zero, but that the Community through the Trust should be providing a basic income for farmers. With the Government changing farm subsidies and basic farm payments reducing over the next few years farm viability will be increasingly challenged, especially while the public is led to believe that food should be cheap. (Currently average household spend on food is about 12% of income – in the 1950s it was nearer 50%) Obviously other factors have changed too, such as the percentage spent on housing, never the less, the comparative cost of food has plummeted at the expense of the quality, the health of the nation and the care of nature and the countryside.
That aside, the BD Land Trust wishes to enable the farmers on Trust farms to develop a healthy viability and good food production for the local community. We can do that by supportive leases and low rents. This means that the central source of income to run the Trust is low. As we get more land, this grows and enables more work. However, the ongoing support of members of the community through regular donations makes a very real difference. We would like to continue to encourage those members who can, to support our work financially, with some form of donation, it makes a difference. We have been calling this the Sustainable Income donations.
If you can make some form of regular contribution we would love to know and you can do it through our website, via the donation button on the Autumn newsletter, or email us for the bank details to make direct payments (bank info not available on the website due to fraud risk), cheques also possible, if you prefer. If you would like to talk more about this do ring Gabriel on 07870 535912. We are so grateful to all those who make donations, thank you.
Published by: Amber Lawes-Johnson