This study, written by Robert Fraser (Real Farming Trust) explores the various financial / investment models and other related initiatives that could help with access to land for agroecological farming and growing. It reviews the current situation in the UK and the various initiatives being developed both here and in the rest of Europe and the USA, and comes up with some recommendations for supporting those seeking access to land in the UK.
The study looks at various models, including land trusts, a national ‘farmland investment fund’, bridging finance and the potential for attracting social investment into land and land-based projects, as well as other initiatives that support new entrants, but do not rely on the purchase of the land itself.
The key questions needing to be addressed can be summarised as follows:
- What lessons can we learn from other countries and initiatives?
- How can we funnel more investment into land for agroecological farming?
- Is there room for a new farmland trust or fund?
- How can the existing organisations work more closely together?
- Can land be secured for agroecological farming, without having to buy it?
- What else needs to change to help with access to land (e.g. policy, advice, etc.)?
The study sets out to:
- understand the current situation in the UK from the perspective of existing organisations
- learn from other countries, finding key exemplars,
- summarise the key lessons learned from these case studies
- review the various ideas, initiatives and business models that might work in the UK
- develop a set of recommendations and next steps.