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Farming Co-Op launches £400k funding bid

14 March 2020

The Ecological Land Cooperative (ELC) has today announced the launch of a major funding round to raise £400k through the ethical investment platform Ethex.

ELC, the only social enterprise in England and Wales to offer small-scale farms to ecological land users, is aiming to use the funding to develop 18 new small farms on six new sites by the end of 2023. This would bring the total of the ELC’s small farms to 30.

Established in 2009, the ELC offers affordable, low impact, small farms, encouraging new entrants into the sustainable farming industry to address an ageing population of farmers, barriers to land ownership and unprecedented environmental concerns.

The ELC was launched to regenerate rural areas, putting healthy food and healthy planet centre stage. As well as stimulating the farming sector, the co-op helps to improve soil health, boost biodiversity and invigorate rural communities.

Recent research shows that nearly half of the land in the UK is owned by just 25,000 people, less than 1 percent of the population. Much of that land is dominated by industrial methods of production that comes at great cost to the natural world.

Oli Rodker, Site Development Director of the ELC said: “For far too long land ownership has been concentrated and land skills have been lost. We need more people involved in ecological food production and more people working the land in rural communities.

The climate crisis and nature crisis tell us we need to act urgently to improve how we manage land. ELC’s passionate and innovative farmers can do this, while producing the healthy food that we need. Small agro-ecological farms allow for a better understanding of nature and are cornerstones in reversing environmental ruin.

By backing our vision and investing in our 2020 share offer you are giving us the chance to create more farms, protect land and speed up this transition to agro-ecological land use. By supporting us you are supporting rural communities, nature and the climate.”

Colin Tudge of Real Farming Trust said: “Nothing would transform Britain’s and the world’s fortunes for the better than land reform. Use of land for the public good, and the good of the biosphere; the transfer of ownership and control from corporates and far-flung landowners, to communities. In Britain, the Ecological Land Cooperative is seeking, bit by bit, by democratic means, to bring about the necessary reform. Here truly is an opportunity to invest for everyone’s benefit, now and - especially - for the long-term future.”



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