5,000 signatures reached
To: The Board of Co-operative Group
Halt Sale of Co-operative Group Farms
Delay the sale of the Co-operative Group farms to enable like minded groups, such as co-operatives and Community Farmland Trusts, the opportunity to organise finance to purchase the land so that the founding principles of the Co-operative are maintained, and to create opportunities for new co-operative farm businesses to start up.
Why is this important?
The rushed sale of the Co-operative Group Farms to the highest bidder would almost certainly mean that the land would be bought by venture capital or pension funds, who would have no interest in managing the land using co-operative principles and sustainable techniques.
However, as the biggest UK land sale for decades - over 50,000 acres of land - this is also a unique opportunity to make a major contribution to sustainable UK food production and help young new farmers to access land.
Like minded groups interested in buying the land (such as co-operatives and Community Farmland Trusts) will require time to put the necessary finances in place, to arrange a sale, and to find suitable tenants. The Co-operative Group board should allow time for initiatives to be planned and organised so that the co-operative management of the Co-op's farmland can continue.
The founding values of the Co-operative are at stake here, and the Group will lose all credibility if it simply sells its farms to the highest bidder.
Tell the Co-op board to remember its roots: "Don’t sell the soil from under our feet - fertilise the future instead!"