Chagford Community Farm CIC is a new not-for-profit Community Interest Company nestled on the northeast edge of Dartmoor in Devon. Chagfarm is one of the UK’s first community-supported micro-dairies and started operating in April 2013. It primarily produces goats’ milk dairy but also high-quality meat and honey.
After successfully achieving its first year targets of turning over £12,000 from 35 local members, the social enterprise has a tougher second year ahead. To secure the farm’s financial stability, the founders Sylvan and Davon Friend have an ambitious, yet achievable target of recruiting an additional 25 new members by April 2014. Below they explain why they’ve turned to Crowdfunder for help!
Jenny and Fran - two of Chagfarm's milking goats
Why are we looking for crowdfunding?
The capital start-up costs required in farming are significantly higher than in other business sectors as we need tools, facilities, breeding stock and the annual rent on the farmland. Last year we spent over £35,000 of our own money on the farm and installed essential drainage systems, a spring water supply, built new facilities for bottling milk and making cheese, bought our first animals and erected all the necessary fencing.
Now we’re coming into our second year of farming, we need a final capital investment of £15,000 for more equipment and facilities, so we’re hoping we can raise this through the wonderful world of Crowdfunder.co.uk.
We hope that through our 8-week Crowdfunder campaign we’ll be able to raise the magic £15,000 figure to:
1. Build a milking parlour for our goats
2. Build a cheese cave to start producing our very own uniquely flavoured cheese
3. Repair some farm roofs to keep all our animals happy and healthy
4. Invest in solar panels as we currently have no mains electricity on the farm
Why should we support you?
Davon and Sylvan Friend - Founders of Chagfarm
We’re brothers with a passion for local food and are on a mission to make the local community more resilient in terms of its food supply. After growing up on a beautiful smallholding on the bank of the River Avon in South Devon, Sylvan decided to return to his farming heritage last year and with a little help from Davon, Chagfarm was born.
We’re acutely aware that the modern convenience culture shaped by supermarkets means that more and more people are detached from the actual origin of their food, and we want this to change. We think food miles and animal welfare should be a priority and want to be part of a thriving local economy with a high proportion of local food producers.
What’s so special about Chagfarm?
1. We work with and complement Chagfood, another local food enterprise, by adding goat dairy, meat and honey to their current range of vegetable produce.
2. We raise awareness of the differing welfare standards and production systems in the food industry. For example, is it necessary to pasteurise and homogenise milk?
3. We operate as a subscription farm where customers signup as members and commit to buy a certain amount of produce over a period of at least a year.
4. We are certified organic with the Soil Association but do not add a premium to our products, as our certification costs are very low.
5. Our members are people local to our collection points in Chagford, Drewsteignton and Moretonhampstead.
Visit our website for more info: www.chagfarm.org
Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/chagfordcommunityfarm
Find us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/chagfarm
Below are some photos of our rewards and produce.
All pledges will be entered into a prize draw to win an Ashburton Cookery School voucher, meal for two including wine at Parke Café in Bovey Tracey or Rod Friend's pastel artwork called The Lane. Further details on these prizes below.
Pastel artwork included in the prize draw called The Lane
Pastel artwork open as a £150.00 reward called The Barns at Chagfarm