Setting up a cooperative share farming business

A big question for many new entrants to agriculture and horticulture is what to do when their apprenticeship or temporary employment comes to an end. Stable em-ployment can be hard to find, buying land with planning permission is hugely expensive, and CSAs, while attractive, take a major initial commitment from a large group of people. Land partnerships offer an attractive way for would-be farmers and growers to start their own business on a tight budget. These arrangements vary in terms of the landlord’s level of involvement, but they generally involves a tenant renting part of a farm to set up their own business, and can also involve rental or shared use of infrastructure and equipment, and even branding. I will discuss my collective’s own experience of negotiating and starting a tenancy at Ragmans Lane Farm, as well as general issues to be aware of when thrashing out an agreement. I will also explore the great benefits such arrangements can have for both tenants and landlords, and the wider potential of land partnerships as a viable means for many more people to gain access to land.


Theme: business markets
Published: 26th November 2014
Author: Jon Goodman