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Starting a Community Supported Agriculture Project Transition Heeley Meersbrook Public Meeting 10 th May 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Starting a Community Supported Agriculture Project Transition Heeley Meersbrook Public Meeting 10 th May 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Starting a Community Supported Agriculture Project Transition Heeley Meersbrook Public Meeting 10 th May 2010

2 Tonight's Meeting.... Introduction and update Recommendations from founding members: Name, purpose, rules, business planning (60 mins) ‏ Working groups (45 mins ) ‏ Progress on the land Events Oral history World café: Get involved (15 mins) ‏ Next Steps...

3 Update... Find Land Agree Sale Partnerships & Support Set Up CSA Co-Op Option to Purchase (Norton Evans Ltd & CSA Co-Op) ‏ Land Purchase I (Norton Evans Ltd) Organic Conversion –proposals Share Issue Raise Finance (@£200k) ‏ Land Purchase II (CSA Co-Op) ‏ Basic Infrastructure Growing Team

4 Hazelhurst CSA Coop Ltd “The objects of the coop shall be community supported agriculture which aims to grow and distribute organic, healthy, affordable food for the benefit of the community using ecological and cooperative principles and renewable energy and through this contribute to a more resilient and inclusive food system for Sheffield and surrounding area.”

5 Principles 1 1.We aim to provide land for organic food production for the explicit purpose of a community supported agriculture project, for the benefit of the local communities of Sheffield and surrounding area. 2.For the medium term the focus will be on horticulture production. 3.We will grow and trade healthy, affordable, organic food using ecologically sound methods. 4.We will minimize the use of oil consumption and develop renewable energy sources. 5.The project will be developed in ways that protect and encourage biodiversity and wildlife. 6.It will provide local employment at fair rates of pay in safe working conditions. 7.We will work to become financially sustainable.

6 Principles 2 1.To pioneer a new economic model based on mutual benefit and shared risk and ensure that the farmers have a decent livelihood. 2.We will encourage community involvement and engagement in food growing and distribution, promoting a sense of community around the project. 3.This community will be fully inclusive. People from all backgrounds, abilities, income groups and experiences are welcome to join. 4.We will promote education in projects running on the site emphasizing the importance of localised food production. 5.We will be open and transparent in our affairs, making decisions on the basis of consensus wherever possible and striving towards social justice. 6.We will promote community supported agriculture to other communities and farms, learn from established CSAs and in the future share our learning (both economic and farming). 7.We will work co-operatively with neighbouring farms and other enterprises that share our principles.

7 Legal Form Industrial and Provident Society There are two main types of IPS: bona-fide co- operatives and societies run for the benefit of the community. Jim Brown "Community Investment — Using Industrial and Provident Society Legislation"

8 Community benefit societies Community benefit societies are run primarily for the benefit of the community at large, rather than just for the members of the society. This means they must have an overarching community purpose reaching beyond their membership. Applicant enterprises must also have a special reason for being a community benefit society rather than a company, such as wanting to have democratic decision-making built into their structure. Although community benefit societies have the power to pay interest on members’ share capital, they cannot distribute surpluses to members in the form of a dividend.

9 Co-operatives Co-operatives are run for the mutual benefit of members who ‘use’ the services of their society. This is based upon common economic, social and cultural needs or interests amongst the members. Typically, this common need or interest will define their relationship with the co-operative as a service user, customer, employee or supplier. Co-operatives have open membership – there should be no artificial restrictions on membership, and it should be open to anyone who meets the criteria for membership. Recent guidance from the FSA says that co ‐ operatives can have investor- members who are not otherwise users of the society’s services. Co-operatives can pay interest on member share capital and a share of the surplus, or dividend, based on the level of transactions with the society.

10 The Somerset Rules Co-operative Community Supported Agriculture Based around the Seven Cooperative Principles: 1. Voluntary and Open Membership 2. Democratic Member Control 3. Members' Economic Participation 4. Autonomy and Independence 5. Education, Training and Information 6. Co-operation among Co-operatives 7. Concern for Community

11 1. Voluntary and Open Membership Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

12 2. Democratic Member Control Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co- operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co- operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.

13 3. Members' Economic Participation Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

14 4. Autonomy and Independence Co-operatives are autonomous, self- help organisations controlled by their members. If they enter to agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co- operative autonomy.

15 5. Education, Training and Information Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

16 6. Co-operation among Co- operatives Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co- operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

17 7. Concern for Community Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

18 Key Aspects of the Rules 3 membership classes, users (people buying the produce), producers (people growing the produce, in this case probably employees) and investors (people putting money in but not involved in any other way) and the decision making is split 50/50 between the users and the producers as soon as there are at least 3 producers.

19 Have provision for the production of social accounts. Have an asset lock in the rules which makes up for the fact that a ISP Co­op doesn't have the ability to have as asset lock enforced by the FSA as a IPS BenCom does. Make provision for consensus decision making details to be agreed at members meetings. Have provision for a Commonweath Council to provide oversight for 'key decisions' and dispute resolution.

20 Dividends There is a great deal of flexibility about how user-members dividends can be paid, for example there could be: Dividends for consumers - a dividend paid on the basis of the quantity of food purchased. Dividends for producers - a dividend paid on the basis of the numbers of hours worked. Dividends for volunteers - a dividend paid on the basis of the numbers of hours of voluntary work undertaken.

21 Soil Association and Other Training Soil Association events and training courses attended by Hazelhurst CSA members as part of the establishment of the Project The challenges of climate change, resource depletion, population growth, diet-related ill-health and meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets means that business as usual in our food and farming systems is no longer an option.

22 The Soil Association presented a series of challenging debates and events about the role of science, politics, farming and food sectors and their respective roles in the action, innovation and transition to sustainable models that is needed to meet an 80% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and feed the world. All the following training events organised by the Soil Association as part of the Making Local Food Work programme:

23 Marketing is all about building relationships; it doesn't have to be complicated, and it needn't involve spending loads of money, but you do need to think things through. Thinking those things through will help you to come up with some key messages - and then (and only then) you can think about what's often called 'marketing' e.g. websites, flyers, PR, word of mouth recommendations etc. Marketing for CSAs

24 Getting your CSA finances straight This day covers tools and terms for managing your CSA's finances including an introduction to financial jargon – margin/ net profit/ gross profit, budgeting – cash flow and profit and loss templates will be provided, financial control – basic bookkeeping/ accounting and a look at production costs.

25 Building Community and CSA Administration How to run effective CSA meetings How to communicate with the whole CSA membership Administration systems for running a CSA smoothly Additional social activities to help build community in your CSA

26 Crop planning, pig and poultry-keeping Crop planning for CSAs Rearing organic hens Rearing pigs for pork

27 SMART Objectives Hazelhurst CSA To formalise the Mission and Key Aims of the CSA To agree the legal name of the CSA To produce an Options position on the various ways to take the CSA proposition forward To explore and formalise the various legal structures appropriate for the CSA To constitute the CSA

28 To work with Huw and the Property Company with regard to the land purchase To agree a draft Options agreement and legals To redevelop the land and look at issues regarding energy, permaculture, water, soil etc. To participate and advise on events and promotion of the CSA To develop prospectus for share issue To draft business plan

29 Content of the Business Plan The Summary The business The structure Key people External relations Products and services Market

30 Content of the Business Plan (continued) ‏ Social purpose Social impact Trading environment Sector analysis Critical success factors Sustainability Sales and marketing

31 Content of the Business Plan (continued) ‏ Premises Suppliers Production

32 Developing the Land Growing Biodiversity Conservation

33 Preparing for Growing A borehole and wind pump will supply us with water We need to improve the natural fertility and humus content of the soil and control weeds without using chemical sprays. We have surveyed and mapped the soil conditions. This will enable us to plan where crops and structures should best be located We are planning to plough 2 acres of the best ground, harrow, spread compost and then sow a green manure crop to improve the soil Our first vegetable crops could be planted this autumn

34 Permaculture Permaculture employs principles of earth care, people care and fair shares and takes account of ecological relationships in designing sustainable human environments. We aim to develop a permaculture design for the site and plan to host permaculture courses on the land Gathering information is the first step in creating a design for the project.

35 Soil Depth Contour Map 3 Acre Field KEY Up to 21 cm 22 – 25 cm 26 – 29 cm > 29 cm

36 Biodiversity We are doing surveys to provide base line data about what wildlife is present on the land. This will allow us to monitor the effect of our management. We hope we can encourage more diversity by improving habitats and using environmentally friendly methods. You can join in.

37 Ecological Surveys

38 Conservation Tasks Hedge laying, before and after


40 Habitat Restoration Pond dredging Planting Tree pruning Rebuilding the bank wall And more…..

41 Oral History Working Group Interview neighboring farmers and families. Tap into and respect local knowledge of farming practices, past and present. Develop understanding, good relations and possible collaborations.

42 Hazelhurst Farm



45 Shared concerns and interests

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