The Real Farming Trust (RFT) is a UK charity that supports enlightened agriculture – farming that provides good food for everyone forever, without cruelty or injustice and without adversely affecting other people and the biosphere.
Enlightened Agriculture (aka ‘Real Farming’) is based on three key concepts: (1) agroecology, where individual farms are conceived as ecosystems, and agriculture as a whole is seen as a key component of the biosphere; (2) economic democracy, in practice rooted primarily in small to medium-sized enterprises that are generally conceived as social enterprises and are often cooperative in nature and community-owned; and (3) food sovereignty, the idea that individuals and communities everywhere must have control over their own food supply.
The charitable objectives of the RFT, as set out in the objects contained in its Articles of Association, are that “the Trust supports farming and food production projects that are economically sound, democratic, socially just, humane to animals, and promote the long-term protection of the biosphere”.
In service of these objectives, the RFT’s mission is to ‘to facilitate, support and encourage a fair and just agricultural transition by rethinking food and farming from first principles and engaging people from all backgrounds to provide good food for everyone forever’.
In pursuit of this mission, the RFT advocates and supports the three component parts of Enlightened Agriculture, namely economic democracy, agroecology and food sovereignty. One on its own will not work. They must be considered together, and this is why the RFT’s mission extends well beyond farming. As well as encouraging and supporting changes to farm practice through agroecology, the RFT focuses on the wider economic framework, supporting small local food enterprises, community ownership, cooperatives and social enterprises. It also sees the concept of food citizenship as central to its mission, and will encourage, welcome, accommodate and value different food citizens and facilitate opportunities to strengthen community interactions through food.