CASE Study - Imarksætter

How can small scale farm startups be supported through community involvement and new forms of ownership and access to farm land and machinery?

WHY

Throughout Denmark in the last decades numerous strategies have emerged to support local and organic food production especially backed policy that municipalities and public schools and institutions buy locall and organic.

But buying local is difficult, when the nation’s traditional farming to a high degree is monocultural concentrated around pigs and cows. On Bornholm it is estimated that less than 10% of the island’s food consumption is produced locally. And when it comes to organic foods less than 5% of the region’s local produce is certified organic.

To change this situation the project Imarksætter (“Farm Startups”) was formulated to attract and boost a new generation of farm entrepreneurs on Bornholm.

HOW

The two-year experimental project had as key target to develop a working prototype of an organic development zone with easy access to land and farm technology for attracting new small-scale organic growers.

A codesign process with involvement of existing farmers, landowners, food and farming organisation, the regional municipality and local citizens was executed through a series of workshops, meetings and public events.

To reach target groups outside Bornholm a roadshow was carried out with talks and events in different food- and farming hotspots and educations throughout Denmark.

As additional activities business models for community supported agriculture (CSA) were sketched out and adviced towards existing farm startups on Bornholm. Also, the work included contributions to establishing an organic farming organisation for Bornholm to buy community-owned land.

WHAT

The projected resulted in the launch of Denmark’s first food startup zone in Melsted where growers and small scale farmers can rent a piece of land of up to 10 years duration for a low cost. In addition a digital platform was built connecting other pieces of available land across the whole of Bornholm to potential.

The branding and communication of the Imarksætter concept has attracted a series of new farm and food startups to the Bornholm. Also the concept has continued to grow being today cobranded together with the Organic Bornholm Assocation.

For more information about the project the full Imarksætter report can downloaded (in Danish) documenting the project and providing policy recommendations for future actions.

Client: LAG Bornholm

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