Terre-en-vue emerged from a national but predominantly French-speaking network supporting peasant agriculture in Belgium (The Network for the Defence of Peasant Agriculture). In 2011, this network set access to land and seed sovereignty as its priorities and assigned a working group the task of setting up an initiative that would offer a structural solution to new and existing farms struggling with access to land. After visiting several EU countries and analysing, in particular, the work of Terre de Liens, Regionalwert AG and later on Xarxa, a proposal was submitted to a forum of more than 70 citizens, of which almost half were farmers. After some changes, they accepted the proposal. A social movement arose and a non-profit was formed in 2011.
Our main aim is to restore the commons as a way of managing farm land. This implies a close collaboration between citizens, public bodies and farmers. Citizens finance farmland acquisitions through shares and donations. Terre-en-vue’s team works with a network of volunteers in supporting farms in their access to land and their longer-term development. Upcoming elections in 2024 are the next strategic goal : ensuring a constructive and realistic lobby in order to regulate the land market and its soaring prices & working with partners to facilitate farm transmissions from one generation to the next.
The non-profit allows funding from public authorities (subsidies, mainly). The cooperative allows citizens to invest, effectively becoming co-decision makers and shareholders. The foundation allows for donations (as well as including TEV in a testament). The non-profit hosts the team, whereas the cooperative is the exclusive land owner. A series of volunteers form ’local groups’ around each farm receiving Terre-en-vue’s support.
Our core business is access to land. Since the beginning of Terre-en-vue we have looked for the right partners who can facilitate other access issues, such as access to the market, know-how and capital. Our mission is to help all farmers with professional, sustainable farming projects that aim to nourish the local population while respecting the principles of organic agriculture on human scale farms. We do this by supporting new entrant farmers, existing farmers who need more land in order to diversify or gain more autonomy, and farmers who are looking for successors.
To citizens, we offer training courses to better grasp the complexity of farming, the food system, and access to land. This gives them enough background to talk to other citizens who wish to better understand before investing in our projects. We also offer them communication tools such as folders, posters, banners, flags and videos.
Public and private actors are given advice on how to develop their properties and owners and farmers are put into contact so that they can collaborate.
We actively lobby for the regulation of the land market, which is a victim of immense speculation (as no regulations exist today).