This website uses cookies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, and assist with our promotional and marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy

Farming and Climate Change - Is There a Better Way?

                                                                                                                                  Photo credit: Stockwood CBS

If there is one thing we can take away from the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, it is that action needs to be taken fast. No wonder, the report highlights the devastating effects that a global increase in temperature of 1.5°C will have on the planet, our ecosystems and our survival.
The report urges us all to take urgent action to restrict climate change - and we could have as little as 12 years to do this, as it states "At the current rate of warming, the world is likely to reach 1.5° between 2030 and 2052”.

A plan of action

But the report is also practical in providing recommendations for action that all of us can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avert disaster. 

The role of agriculture

There is little doubt that modern farming methods are one of the key contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. It’s clear that we will have to rethink the way we farm if we are to turn back the tide of climate change.
From overuse of land and water to emissions from intensively managed livestock, agriculture has a key part to play in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The soil itself is integral to this. The world’s soils contain about 3,500bn tons of carbon and conventional intensive industrial farming releases CO2 from the soil into the atmosphere. These methods are doubly damaging because they use fossil fuels in the creation and application of fertilisers and pesticides, and then force the life cycles of the soil and animals too hard which releases more greenhouse gases.

A different approach to farming

Not all farms are the same. The concept of regenerative farming, or biodynamic farming, was conceived of in the1920s as a way of reversing declining fertility and the threat of global starvation. The basic concept behind it is that farmers treat the soil as a living, organic part of the ecosystem, using processes that nurture and respect the soil thus developing fertility and growing more crops. Biodynamic farming shuns the agri-chemical industry and works in harmony with nature, recognizing that biodiversity is the basis of biohealth, and ensures that farmers must devote significant areas to wilderness habitat—for example woodland groves, wet areas, river banks, hedges and biodiverse grassland.

Among the multiple benefits that come from biodynamic farming methods is that the respected and nurtured soil not only produces better crops in a sustainable way, not only emits less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional and factory farming methods, but positively locks them up in the soil humus. Better crops, better food, healthier humans, healthier planet. 

Biodynamic farming in action

A great example of biodynamic farming in the UK is Rush Farm, founded by the Parsons family and now owned and run by the Stockwood Community Benefit Society.
This thriving organic and biodynamic farm in Worcestershire has been run using biodynamic methods for generations.

They believe these methods benefit the land, the environment, the livestock and the end customers of the produce. They say:

We use biodynamic methods because they nurture and develop the life of the soil. A rich soil biodiversity provides more nutrition to the farm and more resilience against the weather – be it too dry or too wet. A healthy nurtured living soil provides long-term security for the farm and everyone it feeds.

A Community Benefit Society

Rush Farm was sold into community ownership and is now owned by Stockwood CBS. The farm provides employment for local people, supplies organic produce, provides an educational resource and the Society also runs an eco-business park that provides 50 local rural jobs and is heated entirely by renewable energy generated from solar panels and heat from the ground. All in all, it is a farm for the future, with sustainability at the heart of everything it does.

An opportunity to own a slice

Stockwood CBS’s first share offer in 2015, raised enough capital to buy the farm. A second share offer raised the capital to install renewable energy for the entire farm and business units. With over 300 investors and over £1,000,000 of invested capital the Society has opened its third share offer, to help epand the renewable energy project and expand the community ownership.
Stockwood provides a return to its investors, projected to continue at the level of 5% it has returned to its investors each of its four operational years so far.

The share offer is open to investments from as little as £100, and all investors have 1 vote each, no matter how much they have invested. Fans of The Archers will be interested to know that Rush Farm was also the inspiration for the show. Godfrey Baseley, who was a friend of the Hillman family that lived at Rush Farm for most of the Twentieth Century. By the 1950s various siblings ran diverse agricultural enterprises and , was inspired by their bustling, rural life inspired Godfrey to write the Archers storyline. Early episodes were written and recorded at the farm itself, and the cast was photographed around the Rush Farm hearth!

Invest for good

At Ethex we believe that how we use our money is one of the most important ways we can help create a better future. By investing in businesses like Stockwood CBS, we are helping them build a better vision of the future of agriculture and inspiring other farms to move to regenerative farming methods.

With Ethex you can invest with confidence that your money is having a positive impact, so browse our platform today and start taking control of your money. Capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

Invest and save with Ethex to

make money do good

You can browse, compare and invest in a range of products on Ethex platform from bank accounts and ISAs to equity investments and charity bonds that offer a social/environmental as well as a financial return. All you need to do is get started...

Need help?

The Ethex team are here to help from 9am to 5pm