The Dean Organic Fund

The Dean Organic Fund

Interest free loans for organic/agroecological farmers, producers and food businesses

Meet the DOF volunteers

Meet the DOF committee

Applications have now closed

We expect to reopen applications later in 2022

If you have any questions about the application form or process, please email

Sign up to ORC’s e-bulletin to be first to hear when the application process re-opens

Image Caption: Trevelyan Farm Organics, a DOF beneficiary

The Organic Research Centre is originating and managing a programme of small loans, all made out of the Dean Organic Fund. Our loans support small scale organic/agroecological farmers, producers and food businesses.

These are unsecured loans without any interest cost to finance investments in equipment or stock or other forms of working capital (not land).

To date loan sizes have been between £5,000 and £25,000, repayable in instalments up to 5 years. We are able to lend companies, sole traders, community/social enterprises or  charity owned businesses, including ones that are not certified organic but operate on principles closely aligned with organic principles.

What is the Dean Organic Fund?

The Dean Organic Fund was established following a large bequest of over £500,000 from the late Jennie Bone to the ORC, accompanied by the transfer to the ORC of the former Dean Organic Trust which she established in 1993. Her idea was to support the conservation in the farmed environment by providing interest free loans to organic producers. ORC is committed to continuing this process with the new Fund.

Launched at the Oxford Real Farming Conference in 2018, Round 1 of Dean Organic Fund applications involved ORC in making loans totalling £260,000.  A wide range of businesses were supported, from crofts planning meat processing operations in Scotland to growers expanding their vegetable production and protected cropping facilities in eastern and southwest England. Other farms and food businesses used the funds to develop farm shops, nano-dairy production, vineyard management equipment, and organic chicken production systems.

How the Dean Organic Fund helped me

Grazing matters – Find out how the Dean Organic Fund helped Sally Hempsell with a conservation grazing enterprise.

Case studies of previous DOF borrowers

Click here to view a map of the new DOF businesses!

For more help with organic farming and growing visit Farming Organically

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