Terre de Liens is a civil society organisation created in 2003 to address the difficulties faced by agroecological farmers in securing agricultural land, due to high land prices and competitive land market.
It started by supporting collective ownership schemes, wherein farmers receive contributions from kin, consumers or local community to set up an investment business to buy their land. Since 2007, Terre de liens also directly acquires farmland, which it holds in perpetuity for the sake of current and future generations. To that end, it has created:
la Foncière, a solidarity investment company, in which anybody can invest savings (100€-share); and
la Fondation, a private charity which collects donations from individuals, companies and public authorities.
Terre de liens’ land is let to organic and biodynamic farmers, under an environmental farm lease.
The foundation for Terre de liens’ work and success lies in informing and mobilising citizens and local stakeholders about the importance of preserving farmland and of ensuring access to land for a new generation of agroecological farmers, to foster local food systems, lively rural areas, balanced territorial development and environment protection.
As of December 2014, Terre de liens owns 102 farm estates, amounting to 2500 hectares, where 150 farmers are working. This has been made possible by the support of 12 500 members and investors, bringing over 44,000,000 Euros, as well as local inhabitants and local authorities. For 10 years, Terre de liens has experimented with ways of preserving and managing farmland as a commons.