• From as little as £200, everyday people across the UK can become part-owners of a pioneering sustainable community-owned farm whilst targeting a financial return of 3%

Ethex, the leading impact investing platform, has launched a new opportunity to invest in a Community Share Offer to fund the purchase of Kindling Farm, a community-owned agroforestry farm in Greater Manchester that will help shape the future of better food production.

The offer aims to raise £650,000 (with a minimum raise of £390,000) by 3rd July 2021 and will fund the purchase of Kindling Farm, an area of 128 acres of farmland near Greater Manchester that the Kindling Trust plans to develop into a community-owned farm producing organic fruit and vegetables.

During the COVID pandemic, the importance of healthy, organic and local food was recognised by many, and the desire for the UK to recover from the crisis means there are more opportunities for change within our existing food-production system. In recent years, an awareness of the impact of our food system on the climate has risen dramatically, making this a perfect time to invest in developing a fairer and more sustainable food production system.

Since 2013, The Kindling Trust has worked to establish and nurture initiatives and enterprises that tackle some of the most pressing issues in food and farming, such as organic veg boxes and sustainable farming training. Their work is helping to tackle the crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and economic inequity by creating a better system for growing and supplying good, local food.

Kindling Farm is their response to an unsustainable and unjust food system, by creating a food economy that places fairness, sustainability and health at its heart. One that values the growers and producers of the food we eat, respects and nurtures the land and puts the health and well-being of communities centre stage.

The vision for the farm is to support a new generation of farmers, increase access to healthy organic fruit and vegetables using pioneering, sustainable farming methods that respect wildlife and provide a blueprint for the future of ecological food production and build stronger communities.

Kindling have begun establishing the agroforestry system for the farm – agroforestry is essentially combining agriculture with productive trees, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two. Thanks, in part, to a grant from the DEFRA Green Recovery Challenge, they were able to grow 12,000 fruit and nut trees, half of which are destined for the farm itself, the other half of which will be donated to local community orchards.

Helen Woodcock, co-founder of Kindling Farm“In response to an industrialised and unsustainable food system, Kindling Farm will value the growers and producers of our food and create a farming blueprint for the future while looking after the land and the wider environment in the North West. Kindling Farm is about growing food, but it is also about growing hope. It is about creating a food economy rooted in fairness and sustainability; one that values the farmers and producers of our food, respects and nurtures the land and wildlife, and puts the health and well-being of our communities at its heart.”

“To buy this farm we are launching this Community Share Offer – to establish a farm owned by you, its community. Kindling Farm is about coming together to find practical solutions to the ecological crisis we are in. It is about hope, it is about social change and it is about creating a farming blueprint for our future, right here in the Northwest of England.” 

Lisa Ashford, CEO, Ethex: “This is an excellent project and we’re delighted to be supporting Kindling Farm. Issues such as air miles and use of pesticides are important, but we’re also seeing more people interested in how food is farmed and how we can support the next generation of local growers.”

Already, over £100,000 has been invested and this has been matched pound-for-pound by Co-ops UK thanks to The Community Shares Booster programme, giving them a total of over £200,000 towards their target. Investments start at £200 and target a return of 3%.