Covid-19 has shone a light on the vulnerability of our global food supply chain and put extra demand and pressure on food producers in the UK. We want to support our members during this time to make sure that our local food and agroecological land use systems can keep growing.
In these unprecedented times we want to build resources for mutual aid, and so we’re launching a Solidarity Pot to support our members facing difficult circumstances. We are using income from membership, merchandise and events to create this fund – it’s not a huge amount of money (up to £10,000 to begin with) but we hope that it can help.
The purpose of our Solidarity Pot is to help members bridge an urgent gap and to respond quickly to changing circumstances with a loan of up to £500. The two priorities are:
- Cover for staff sickness (including for the duration of self-isolation) or for staff who need to take care leave, especially where workers are self-employed and have a time lag in applying for Universal Credit or Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme
- Capital costs for: equipment to adapt business for hygiene, health and safety requirements; investments necessary to respond to changes in markets; or assist in getting produce to those most in need.
We are particularly keen to support members who are newly established businesses and/or with a small number of employees where the impact of the loan might be more significant.
We are only able to offer a modest amount (up to £500) as a loan, and we know that the amount we can offer will not meet the full needs of some of our members. We recognise that for some, the Covid-19 outbreak will have significant medium and long-term impacts, and we’re lobbying the government for longer-term financial support packages for smaller-scale producers and landworkers. In the meantime we can also help advise and signpost members to other sources of aid and assistance – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.
We are operating this scheme on trust and in the spirit of solidarity. We do not expect any reporting, but welcome feedback on how you have used the money and how it has helped. This will help us build the case for running our Solidarity Pot over a longer-term period, and sharing learning and inspiration amongst our members.
We are accepting donations to the Solidarity Pot to allow us to support more landworkers through current and future challenging times. To donate, please fill in the box on this webpage. Any donations will only be used to support our members through the Solidarity Pot.After the Covid-19 crisis we plan to continue the solidarity pot to support our members.