A new co-operative farm is being set up in Larne, County Antrim, with the aim of providing “good food for all forever”.
It will offer Northern Ireland’s first co-operative community-supported agricultural scheme (CSA).
Founded by an inter-denominational group of Christians, the farm will partner with people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
“As an inter-denominational group, we’re setting up Jubilee Farm because we want to show that Christians can and should care for the environment,” said Jonny Hanson of Jubilee Farm.
“Not only that, but we want to ground this conviction in a particular place and to serve a particular community, including those with different backgrounds and beliefs. Ultimately, we’re setting up Jubilee Farm because we have hope for this wonderful world.”
Mr Hanson added that they chose the co-operative model as the fairest way to set up the enterprise.
“We like the ethos of co-operation and therefore allowing interested people to have a say in how the organisation is run, and in raising capital, via a community share offer at a late date,” he said.
The new co-op aims to provide good, affordable seasonal food to members and non-members, and selling surplus produce and Fairtrade food, hot drinks and products via the farm shop on the premises.
The co-op is still in the early stages of development and plans to launch in the winter, but its first fundraising event has been organised on 9 September from 4-6pm with a barbecue, live music and tours of the walled garden. Booking at bit.ly/jubileefarmbbq
“This will be one of the first few examples of CSA in Northern Ireland where farmers and consumers share the risks, the responsibility and the rewards of farming,” said Tiziana O’Hara of Co-operative Alternatives.
Jubilee Farm also aims to provide practical, positive, and therapeutic opportunities related to food production for vulnerable individuals and groups in the local area, particularly adults with special needs, by selling care farming services four mornings per week.
It will also offer conservation education and engagement providing agricultural and environmental learning sessions for individuals, families, schools, churches and community groups.
For further information on co-operative development in Northern Ireland contact Tiziana O’Hara at [email protected]