The Biodynamic Land Trust’s new 2017 Business Plan has been developed to enable the Trust to secure more seed-funding for projects and set up a system for funding investments in combined partnerships where farmland is supported by a form of business income.
Why a new plan? The Biodynamic Land Trust started on 2011 on the basis of a feasibility study and a five year plan. By working on its vision, strategic planning and annual budgets, the Trust is now in a position to launch the next phase of activity to fulfil its mission: securing more land into community ownership for healthy ecological biodynamic farming.
Please view the Biodynamic Land Trust 2017 Business Plan in full.
Biodynamic Land Trust Business Plan 2017 key points
To preserve land for healthy soil, healthy communities and healthy food, one farm at a time.
Biodynamic by preference
All of the Trust’s five farms are on a biodynamic journey. The tenant farmers of Notlands in the Orkneys are biodynamically- trained farmers; both Oakbrook Farm in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and Huxhams Cross Farm in Dartington, Devon, are set to complete Demeter-certification by 2018/19, while Brambletye Fields, part of Tablehurst Farm in Sussex, and Rush Farm of Stockwood Community Benefit Society in Worcestershire, have both been Demeter-certified for many years.
The Biodynamic Land Trust has not made Demeter certification an obligatory clause of its farm tenancies due to possible related funding constraints. However, it seeks biodynamic farmers for all its land. Discussions about the value of biodynamics form part of of the discussion with all potential tenants because it is a proven and effective farming model that develops soil fertility, locks carbon in the soil to alleviate climate change, minimises external inputs, and is appropriate to the needs of community farming.
The Trust recognises common cause with other branches of ecological farming and is one of 80 food and farming organisations supporting A People’s Food Policy.
Previously, the Trust generated a new community-share offer for each specific land project. Now the Trust is entering its new development phase, it aims to raise £705,000 through community share offers on its existing farms, encouraging more community investment in each of its projects.
Its current community share offer has a target of £150,000 for Huxhams Cross Farm, of which a third has already been raised for investing in farm and multi-use buildings, and more still to come for building and land investment.
Once these aims and funds have been consolidated, the Trust seeks to collaborate with partner Community Benefit Societies (CBSs) to bring more land into community ownership. These partner CBSs will possess business assets (for instance income from rentals) to ensure the Trust receives a return on its investment. This is a model that has been proven to work with Rush Farm and Stockwood CBS.
The Trust is creating a Land Whispering programme to develop a citizen network to spread the word about the need for commonly-owned land to protect the land, produce nutritious food, and foster the livelihoods, meaningful activities and wellbeing of healthy communities.
For more on Aims, Vision, Objects, SWOT analysis, history, finance, operations, marketing, and how the Trust’s secured land is ring-fenced and asset-locked, please view the Biodynamic Land Trust’s 2017 Business Plan in full.
30 September 2017: The Biodynamic Land Trust will present its Business Plan 2017 at its AGM at Marling School (Music room), Cainscross Road, Stroud, GL5 4HE
Friends and members are warmly invited to hear about the Trust’s new business plan and ask questions at the Discussion part of the meeting (9.45 for 10am – 12 noon). Members can vote to approve this development at the AGM (12 – 1pm).
Please book a place including light lunch by emailing natasha @ biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk
Training in Land Whispering is offered after the AGM from 2 – 5pm at the same venue. Please book a (free) place to by emailing natasha @ biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk