A future-proof and community-funded farming on Samsoe.
A small group of citizens at Samsoe founded in April 2013 the association Økologisk Samsø, which now has almost 300 paying members. The purpose is to communicate ecology and sustainability, as well as to closely link farmers and consumers.
We have an active association with many volunteers, and are visible all year round, for example. Samsø Råvarefestival, Høstmarked, Kastanjefestival, Bæredygtig Festival, and ongoing member events with workshops, community dining, lectures, etc. We have several subgroups working with other aspects of sustainability, eg. permaculture, plastic reduction, waste sorting, living community, etc. The association has a strong foundation both for permanent residents and others throughout the country, interested in our model.
In 2014, the association founded the non-profit-making fund, the Jordbrugsfonden Samsøkologisk. The foundation has since founded the subsidiary Samsø Økojord A/S, which provides for the purchase and lease of properties for young organic farmers. The goal is to help young families start and maintain their country life. In addition, we want to promote processing, marketing and entrepreneurship.
In addition to promoting ecology and multiplying the organic cultivation area on Samsoe, the Foundation will facilitate the change of generations in agriculture. This extensive work has so far been driven by voluntary forces and a part-time secretary employee. We have been able to attract highly competent board members also outside Samsoe, including former minister Kirsten Brosbøl.
In May 2016, the fund acquired its first farm, Yduns Have in Alstrup, Samsoe, where tenants have started Samsø’s first Community Supported Agriculture, where approx. 65 families every week pick up the vegetables of the season, etc. In 2017 we established, together with other stakeholders on Samsoe, a local slaughterhouse, where a tenant is currently seeking. In the longer term, the goal is also to establish local dairy.
The Agricultural Fund expects significant growth in activities in the coming years and wishes to develop our ambitious model for future-oriented and community-funded agriculture and entrepreneurship at Samsoe. The model is developed to be able to be used nationally and internationally, as the generational shift problem and agricultural indebtedness are also highly outside the borders of Denmark.
The Agricultural Fund is working to buy 2-3 more farms in the next year. On December 1, 2017 we will open a share issue of up to DKK 7 million. Our goal is to offer shares of approx. DKK 7 million every year through 2022. By that time, we expect to own 15-20 farms corresponding to 5-600 hectares. In addition, the establishment of a dairy on Samsoe. The share capital, together with credit unions, must be used to acquire land and real estate, which gives shareholders good security for their investments.
The foundation also wishes to establish a knowledge center on Samsoe (teaching, courses, conferences) that will convey and maintain our knowledge and experience for the benefit of the whole country and for future tenants, in cooperation with other “green” actors on Samsoe.
Marianne Koldby Økologisk Samsø