The Agroecology Land Trust (ALT) is an organisation that provides aspiring landworkers with a means to learn the skills and knowledge required to create resilient agroecological land-based livelihoods while at the same time earning an income and securing equity to invest in their future. Our purpose is to steward land, technology and resources towards the development of co-sufficient community farms that support our members in their efforts to build a home, founded on the principles of food sovereignty and agroecology.
The ALT is a Community Benefit Society registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
The Community Benefit society model has several features that allow for wider community involvement and the possibility of community investment through a co-operative governance and legal structure that is responsive to the needs and capacities of different stakeholders.
This multi-stakeholder aspect of the organisation allows us to define different classes of members. We have created three stakeholder classes, these are:
- Colleague Members
- Investor Members
- Advisor Members
For more information see here: membership.
As a society regulated by FCA we can raise finance through withdrawable share offers.
We can issue different types of shares for different purposes. Shareholding members have just one vote, regardless of how many shares they hold, and there are limits on how much they can invest, to prevent the society being dependent on a handful of large investors.
The shares are withdrawbale but not transferable. This means that members can request the value of their shares to be repaid to them but the cannot sell them to other parties.
This type of investment also qualifies for social investment tax relief for the investor, currently at 30%.
Statutory asset lock
The rules of the society have a statutory asset lock under The Community Benefit Societies (Restriction on Use of Assets) Regulations 2006.
An asset lock prevents the distribution of residual assets to members if the co-operative is dissolved. It ensures that the community benefit of any retained surplus or residual value if the co-operative and cannot be appropriated for private benefit of members. Asset locks also remove the scope for members to make speculative capital gains resulting from the dissolution, disposal or conversion of the society into a company