Co-operative approaches to small-scale food production will benefit from the extension of a nationwide programme to create viable livelihoods in farming. The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has agreed a grant to extend the number of Growing Livelihoods pilot projects from five to ten.
Growing Livelihoods is working to create, test and promote new opportunities in food growing for young people, newcomers to the sector or those seeking a new direction. Each pilot receives a small grant and access to specialist support and becomes part of a learning network by linking up with other pilots and groups with similar aims. A new film introduces the five existing Growing Livelihoods pilots.
Mike Perry, head of development and policy at the Plunkett Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that such a respected organisation as the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has offered the Growing Livelihoods partnership a grant to extend our pilot programme. Through this work we aim to help support the development of co-operative approaches that assist smaller scale growers while helping to build a learning network.”
The Growing Livelihoods partnership comprises the Plunkett Foundation, Carnegie UK Trust and the Land Settlement Association (LSA). It builds on a connection starting in 1934 through the LSA, which provided new careers for unemployed workers from heavy industries like mining and shipbuilding. Between 1934 and 1939, the LSA established 1,100 smallholdings on 26 estates, all run as co-ops.