Banc Organics produce organic fruit and vegetables on a small farm in Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire. We have been hit hard by the Covid pandemic, and we need your help.
We want to continue being a force for good in our corner of the world. We find ourselves in a financial crisis because Covid restrictions prevented us from growing our business the way we planned. We have an incredible new site in Kidwelly, and an abundance of crops are growing there as we speak. They are ready for those customers that we have been unable to reach due to lockdowns over the past 18 months. Any donation, great or small, will help us spread the word of our mission so that we can engage new supporters, provide more locally grown organic fruit and veg, and hold more events like potluck meals, documentary screenings and host talks and debates. We also have plans to keep bees, plant an orchard, provide training in organic growing and run fun and educational courses for the public.
I imagine you’re here because of a belief in something. That could be shopping with local businesses, supporting organic farming, contributing to the community, an interest in protecting the environment and biodiversity, or very simply that food should be good and nutritious. At Banc Organics, we’re passionate about all these things, which is why we’ve dedicated ourselves to growing and delivering organic veg in our local community for the past eleven years. Like so many others over the past 15 months, we now find ourselves in difficulty, and so we’re calling out to kindred spirits, supporters, people who love food and people who love people. We’d love you to be a part of our journey towards a better future for Carmarthenshire and Swansea.
At Banc Organics we planted our first seeds in the ground in 2009. We worked with Ty’r Eithin, a local charity who provided the land, and a lovely group of volunteers. At the very beginning of last year, Ty’r Eithin was wound up, and so we decided to set up a Community Interest Company to take our Banc Organics vision further. We were aware of the challenges ahead – we needed to find new land and expand our supporter base to support the new jobs we were creating – but we had planned a 2020 where we would start our Community Interest Company off with a bang: events, markets, volunteering days, shared meals and so much more. Little did we know how we’d be immersed in a change that would transform the world as we know it.
Instead of celebrations and community gatherings, we found ourselves in a very different, a very crucial role: supplying food to those in need when shelves elsewhere were bare. Our waiting list grew exponentially as people feared that they would not be able to find food. The fragile supply chains of the supermarkets were laid bare, and, rather than a meal at the weekend or a spring time walk, community work took the shape of a free delivery for a vulnerable person, a guarantee of food on a Friday, a friendly word to someone who hadn’t had any contact for days. We are proud of our response to the pandemic, and in some ways we feel closer to our customers and supporters than ever before. But the pandemic combined with other challenges mean that we need help to fulfil our potential.
We recently secured land at a new site that will allow us to grow more of our own organic crops and involve more volunteers, and we created new jobs that support the local economy - we employ 5 people on a permanent basis, 3-4 workers on contract (depending on the season) and we have a dedicated group of around 10 volunteers.
We now have a committed, passionate and talented team, a wonderful growing site and a detailed plan of how we’re going to bring our vision to fruition. The easing of restrictions means that we are finally able to step out into the community in the way that we originally envisioned.
However, the launch of the company in 2020 came with various increased costs – most significantly the creation of those five jobs over the course of the year. Under Covid restrictions, we couldn’t get out into the community to spread our message, to meet new people, to share our passion. As a result we have been unable to engage people in the numbers needed to make the operation as a whole viable. This, combined with a very cold and wet start to the growing season, means that we now find ourselves in a crisis.
We know in our hearts that something isn’t right with our food systems. Supermarkets sell food at the lowest possible price for the highest possible profit, often squeezing the life out of the smaller scale growers and producers. Agricultural systems based on monocultures follow the same model – the highest crop yield in the smallest space.
Our flora and fauna, the delicate balance our planet has perfected over millennia, are abandoned so that these profit-driven systems can continue to dominate.
It’s not just a matter of what goes in your basket and on your plate, it’s a thread that connects people, that roots memories in place and time. Shared meals, birthday cakes, picnics, mythologies, ice cream on the beach with the sand between your toes. We want to continue being a part of all of this, to contribute to the movement towards a more sustainable and responsible way of farming, eating and living so that we leave a safer, kinder, more stable world for the ones that come after us.
There’s a lot of passion here, and a lot of potential here, and if we reach our targets with the fundraising, we have no doubt that we can go from strength to strength in being a hub for food, education and connection in our community. Any help you can give is so very much appreciated. Thank you.