8. Farm and food businesses

Please be aware that the below is not a definite statement of intent – please think of it as a word document or googledoc which is open for you and us to comment on. That way we can all see what the ideas up for discussion are, write down new ones and debate whether or not they’re good ideas.


We aim to create an enabling environment which attracts creative and innovative people with experience, skills and resource to establish a variety of farm and food enterprises which test and generate new ideas and replicable solutions for real world challenges in line with an overarching agroecological approach.

  • To be replicable do all enterprises need to be financially viable?
  • Work to identify funding and support for innovative projects which may carry greater risks but ultimately provide learning outcomes for the common good.
  • Undertake new initiatives as the Trust, either entirely at our own risk or in collaboration with other parties.
  • We are open and willing to explore, innovate and offer unconventional tenancies and tenancies to unconventional business models.

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2 thoughts on “8. Farm and food businesses

  1. Hi,
    Re farm businesses:
    Is it possible to specify that new farming tennants operate closed-loop systems as key principles of their production?
    If unable to within their business model alone, that they be paired with other complementary projects in order to achieve this as a final goal?
    Fulfilling their own/each others fertilisation needs is key to ultimate food sovereignty for Dartington and beyond.

  2. I would say that not all enterprises need to show economic viability, certainly at the outset. Many land-based projects have income sources extra to those directly from the land. In terms of food producers, the cost of food is so low it is difficult to produce food soundly and sustainably (usually without accessing the grant system that unsustainable farms use) and be economic.
    I think the DHT should take more risk to encourage new projects. Innovation entails some risk, and so what if a project fails in time – it isn’t the end of the world.
    It sounds like there may be many more tree-based agroforestry/forestry projects in the future. It is essential that the DHT realises that these long term projects need long term tenancies (20 years ) otherwise you will exclude many of the best potential projects.

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