Ecological Land Co-operative - OFFER CLOSED

Social performance

The Ecological Land Co-operative develops affordable, low impact, smallholdings for ecological agriculture.

Key Social Performance Indicators (KSPIs)

KSPIs are a measure of how the business is performing on delivering its main social or environmental purpose. Read more

KSPI 1 - Ecological impact

The Ecological Land Co-operative already has 40.5 acres of once marginal farmland under ecological management, on two sites with 3 established smallholdings and 3 in development. By the end of this project we will have four greenfield sites with the infrastructure for 12 ecologically managed, off grid, low impact smallholdings ready for new farmers to produce good, healthy food for local markets.


KSPI 2 - Community development

We will be supporting 9 more new entrants to farming to make a success of their farm businesses.


KSPI 3 - Renewing the land

We will be able to demonstrate through our site monitoring process and reports that the ecology and biodiversity of the land that we own and manage has been improved in a number of key areas including soil management, grey water management, composting and the introduction of organic matter into the soil, tree and hedge planting, and increasing numbers and diversity of wild flora and fauna.


Common environmental performance indicators (CEPIs)

CEPIs are environmental performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Carbon emissions

The ELC's farms operate in a low impact, off grid model. We collect energy through solar panels and a wind turbine on site and return some energy to the grid. We also promote carbon sequestration through tree and perennial planting and we use human labour over machines wherever possible, reducing fuel use. The use of vehicles to and from the site is restricted and we monitor this to make sure we are not exceeding our own targets for vehicle use.

Staff travel to work

We are a home working, dispersed team and we conduct two thirds of our meetings on the telephone and via electronic media to reduce travel costs. We have a small office at the Brighton Eco-Centre, close to Brighton station transport links and our Operations Manager walks to work. We encourage train travel over car to attend meetings and for work travel wherever possible.

Waste and recycling

We generate very little waste and have recycling facilities at the Brighton Eco-Centre. Our farms are ecologically managed, use composting toilets, and a grey water management system that ensures optimum use of resources.

Common Social Performance Indicators (CSPIs)

CSPIs are social performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Community involvement

ELC serves several communities; members, the broader networks of environmental and agricultural activists, stewards (smallholders), the physical communities in which smallholding sites are located and the wider public benefitting from access to volunteering opportunities on the land; the general benefits of better ecological balance, biodiversity and access to locally grown food; and the increase in resilience brought about by the success of a new model for farming.

Our smallholders are encouraged to manage the shared site infrastructure and activity together, creating a community of support for each other. ELC provides regular facilitation at their meetings and assists with business planning to improve their chances of success.

In the communities where smallholding sites are located or where we intend to develop, we work intensively with local people to ensure that a proposed development reflects community needs, addressing fears and obstacles so that those communities become our advocates. In Devon this approach led to smallholders integrating into the local community, improving their business opportunities and providing a resource for the community to gain access to the land for volunteer work days, school visits and public open days. In Sussex we have gained the support of the parish council for our planning application.

Ethical procurement

We seek to ensure that we support community benefit organisations in our procurement and work with co-operatives and ethically aware companies for our organisation's needs.

Local employment

We advertise any opportunities for volunteering and employment in our local press and encourage applications from the communities that we are working in. As we are all remote working we are able to be flexible about the locality in which our staff are based.

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