The Scottish Farm Land Trust aims to increase access to land for small-scale, ecological agriculture by purchasing land to be held in trust and rented fairly to new entrants and young people.
We're delighted to announce the appointment of our new Development Coordinator, and first employee, Cara Gillespie. Cara started with us just last week and is busy getting her feet under the SFLT desk. She brings a wide range of skills and knowledge to the role, as well as a passion for increasing access to sustainable local food.
We look forward to reaping the benefits of this new capacity for all our members and supporters and thank again all those who supported our Crowdfunder and made Cara's appointment possible.
Cara will be working 15 hours per week, across varying days and times, but aims to respond to enquiries within a day or so. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and looks forward to hearing how SFLT might be able to help you.
We're very excited to be recruiting for a part-time Development Coordinator to help build our organisation. Now more than ever we can see how important local supply chains and resilient farming methods which are linked strongly with their local community are. We're looking forward to hiring our first staff member to help us support agroecology across Scotland.
Corona virus has highlighted how vunerable our food system is to shocks, and how now more than ever we need to re-localise our food systems and build resilience in the way we do agriculture through agroecological farming methods. Over the next few months we're planning to employ our Development Coordinator to support more people access land for agroecology. In the meantime, please join our board!
We are looking for people who are committed to and passionate about agroecological farming. Ideally, you will have experience of serving on Boards and committees, however we would also be open to accepting applications from those new to sitting on boards. We're looking for people who have excellent communication and collaboration skills, organisational abilities, proactive and enthusiastic, and bring excellent problem-solving skills. Understanding and experience of governance processes for Community Benefit Societies would be useful.
The expected time commitment would be approximately 8-12 hours per month. We're particularly looking for people to take on the following roles / with relevant experience:
We're so happy we made our fundraising target through the crowdfunder! Thanks so much to everyone who donated, offered rewards, promoted our campaign to their friends and colleagues. We smashed our target of £10,000 and got to £18,000, with 189 supporters.
What happens next?
We're now working on our plans to employ a Development Worker, and will release more information about this in early Spring 2020. We're planning to apply for match funding so that we can increase the capacity of the Development Worker and also pay for legal advice on lease templates, and brokering agreements with 2-3 landowners and tenants over the next year or two. Please sign up to our newsletter or facebook to be kept up to date with our activities.
Become a member
We are a Community Benefit Society led by our members. Our membership is open to the general public and anyone sharing our values of access to land and agroecology. If you're interested in becoming a member please read more here and apply!
Here's some comments from our crowdfunder supporters:
Today we're launching our crowdfunding campaign to raise £10,000 to employ a Development Worker to help us deliver Phase 1 of our business plan:
Phase 2 of our business plan will deliver the full aim of purchasing farmland funded by community share offers, in order to provide the best & longest term tenancies for our farmers. We will then scale this up with the aim to purchase & rent out 10 farms in 10 years.
What we hope to raise with our crowdfunding campaign
The more money we can raise, the more impact we can have. Here is a breakdown of what we plan to do depending on how much money we can raise:
Support us, and DONATE TODAY! Our campaign will run until 29th November 2019
All are welcome to come along to the Scottish Farm Land Trust AGM at Blackhaugh Farm, Perthshire. Find out about what we've been doing over the last year to build the foundations of our organisation, and the exciting plans for next year
The Scottish Land Commission have published a research paper on increasing access to farm land for new entrants. Written by the James Hutton Institute, the report sought to look into joint ventures, tax interventions, land matching services and farm incubators. The Scottish Farm Land Trust (SFLT) featured as a “new model to increase land availability for new entrants.”
The report aimed to highlight some ways forward in a land system which is blocked to new entrants to farming. McKee et al. state that “access to land is consistently found to be the largest barrier to new entrants to farming across Europe,” and that in Scotland “the price of agricultural land is typically higher than could generate a return from agricultural production.”
This clearly shows that new and alternative models are needed in order to make land available for new entrants to farming in Scotland. Farm land trusts are providing such an alternative throughout Europe, which SFLT has experienced first hand in a recent European learning exchange. We visited France and Germany to learn first hand from established land trusts as well as exchanging experiences with emerging land trusts in Czech and Greece. We came back inspired by the tangible impact these organisations are making to new entrants.
The Hutton report also suggested a possible ‘Land Matching Service’ as a way of pairing landowner up with new entrants looking for land. They highlighted the need for trust and relationship building in gaining support of landowners, a sentiment which was shared by European Land Trusts. There is potential for SFLT to manage such a land matching service and we are exploring how we could develop a brokering service in the near future.
Thanks for everyone who came along to our AGM! We had a great afternoon and evening and the Queens Park Bowling Club in Glasgow. Thanks to Clem for the awesome food, and our volunteers for helping wash up and take minutes.
For those of you who didn’t make it along, a big focus of the AGM was to discuss becoming a Community Benefit Society (Bencom). Our feasibility study, including research from Community Enterprise and Nourish Scotland, concluded that being a Bencom would support our aspirations to be democratic and community driven as well as raising money from the general public. We split into two groups to consider the proposed Bencom rules, one to review the objectives, and one to consider the shares and finance. The SFLT board is now hard at work ironing out the changes and we will apply for registration soon!
We also elected board members on the day. The voluntary board will become the founding members of SFLT and are:
If you couldn’t make it along and are interested in joining the board, please get in touch. We will update you with progress on registration and we will also be applying for funding to set up and develop the Scottish Farm Land Trust.
SFLT board of directors.
As part of our feasibility study we commissioned Nourish Scotland to compare farm land trusts elsewhere in the world and Community Enterprise to consider legal, financial and governance options for Scottish Farm Land Trust. Read them both here.
Nourish report - Comparison of different farm land trusts
Community Enterprise report - Options appraisal of legal, financial and governance models