The food and farming sector offers great opportunities for social enterprises. And smaller scale environmentally sensitive approaches could bring a range of benefits including fresher foods with shorter food chains, less carbon, more jobs. The Lottery and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation have been big funders of projects in this sector, and we want to help the sorts of projects that they have been funding beyond the start up stage, by providing advice on funding and investment and helping them towards investment readiness.
We are working with the Real Farming Trust to provide a support service to food and farming projects, helping organisations as diverse as a breeder of a blight-resistant potato and the founders of a new type of supermarket which will concentrate on affordable, local and largely organic produce to urban mushroom growing and vertical vegetables. The programme includes Just Growth, which provides advice and loans to community-based projects, and the A-Team Challenge Each year the programme which supports another 8 ventures.
Campaign for Real Farming http://www.feanetwork.org/who-we-are/real-farming-trust
Funding for Enlightened Agriculture: http://www.feanetwork.org