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Ecological Land Cooperative

Governance and people

The Ecological Land Cooperative is registered with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) as a Community Benefit Society (registered number: 30770R).



Legal Structure

The Ecologicial Land Cooperative is a membership organisation: on joining, members become part of the group of people who collectively own the cooperative and decide how it should be run.

Members can stand for election to the Board of Directors, attend and vote at their AGM, elect directors, and (through the Board of Directors and decisions passed at the AGM) decide how the organisation should be run. The Ecological Land Cooperative is registered with the FCA as a community benefit society (registered number: 30770R).

Their rules are available to view here.


Multistakeholder Co-operative

The ELC is a multi-stakeholder cooperative. They have three types of membership each of which share a proportion of voting rights:

  • Investor Members have invested money in the cooperative share 25% of voting rights and receive returns on their investment. There are currently (in March 2020) 257 Investor Members holding £805,000 in shares.
  • Worker Members are those people that work for the cooperative. Like Investor Members, they also share 25% of voting rights. Worker Members are employees and volunteers that work at least 15 days each year. There are currently eight Worker Members.
  • Steward Members are ecological land managers and share the remaining 50% of voting rights. Voting rights were awarded primarily to Steward Members as they are the principal beneficiaries of the ELC’s work but often do not have the time to both run their smallholding and serve on the Board of Directors. This category of membership was designed principally for the cooperative’s smallholders but can be applied for by ecological land users who farm on their own land. There are currently have 24 Steward Members.

Membership

ELC has a high level of member involvement and participation. AGMs are held near their sites and turnout is typically good.

Members have historically been involved in producing their annual social impact report and practical involvement is encouraged through their popular programme of volunteer workdays and tree planting events. ELC keep members up to date with work progress with a quarterly email newsletter and through social media.

The ELC has a strong team of directors and staff with experience from across the cooperative and ecological growing sectors.

The cooperative uses contractors for financial examinations, soil analysis, ecological surveys and footprinting, and other professional services. They work with established growers and farmers to provide advice and support to their stewards.


Directors and Staff

Board Members

The Cooperative devolves the day to day running of the organisation to the board of directors and the staff team. This team has a wealth of talent, experience and commitment relevant to the work of the Cooperative.

The Staff Team

Working alongside directors, the ELC have a talented group of part-time staff supported by a full-time operations manager. Together they make a strong team with the skills and experience needed to carry out the work of the Cooperative and to prepare the ground for growth, partnership and success in the future.

Conflict of interest

The Ecological Land Cooperative has a Conflict of Interest Policy. The Policy states that:

All directors will, on taking office, indicate in a register of interests any material interests they have, or positions that they hold in other organisations, that might cause conflict with the objects of the cooperative. All directors will declare any such conflict of interest that they have in respect of any business before the Board and will withdraw from votes in respect of that matter unless:

i) so many directors are conflicted on an issue that the Board would not be quorate, or

ii) the Commonwealth Council determines that the interest will not lead to significant conflict.

Directors' remuneration

Executive Directors are also workers and are paid at the staff rate of £14.21 per hour. Non Executive Directors are paid expenses and a small stipend of £50 per quarter.

Directors' holdings

All directors currently hold £1 worth of shares except Oliver Rodker who holds £303.90 worth of shares.

Employee satisfaction

The Ecological Land Cooperative reports on employee satisfaction as part of their annual social impact report

Diversity

2 out of 6 directors are female.

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