Terre de Liens was created in 2003 from the convergence of several movements linking popular education, organic and biodynamic agriculture, ethical finance, solidarity economy and rural development.
To mobilize citizens and farmers, the movement invented new working tools to stop the disappearance of land and make it easier for new farming projects to have access to agricultural land. These tools are within everyone's reach, so that everyone can be effectively involved in the future of our farms and our agriculture.
Local agriculture, through its local roots, is at the heart of the reconstruction of a network of activities and social ties that bring the countryside back to life. This agriculture is based on farms on a human scale and makes it possible to build relationships between the citizens and the farmers who produce our food. This is why Terre de Liens has invented solutions to free up agricultural land, rehabilitate its status as a common good and make it a place open to the creation of new economic and ecological activities.
The main action of Terre de Liens is the acquisition of farms and land that will join the Terre de Liens farm network. These acquired lands are not intended to be "conserved" or protected, but to help regain social and economic utility, while having their place within a territory. These lands host projects for small-holdings, organic or biodynamic agriculture and generate human dynamics and social ties.
Terre de Liens also supports farmers in the setting-up process. The movement intervenes to help access to rural land and thus facilitates the emergence of projects that give life to rural areas and strongly participate in recreating social ties.
Terre de Liens makes information accessible and mobilization possible everywhere across the territory: debates, film screenings, festive marches, open doors on Terre de Liens farms, stands at fairs, local markets or events, publications, etc. are organized daily so people can understand, take an interest in and initiate real change for the future of our land.
Since 2003, Terre de Liens has listed:
- Over 24,000 citizens mobilized
- Over 430 farmers settled
- Over 185 farms acquired
- More than 4,600 hectares dedicated to organic or small-scale farming
- Nearly 1,800 candidates who wish to set up in agriculture installation advised each year
Members, shareholders, donors, farmers, volunteers, employees, the list goes on at Terre de Liens : there are so many actors participating in this great adventure.
The Terre de Liens movement functions around a triple articulation:
- an associative network: mobilized throughout France (19 regional associations over the country), the associative network is the foundation of the movement. It welcomes and supports farmers for their access to land; informs and gathers the public around land and agricultural issues; and anchors the Terre de Liens project in a citizen and local dynamic.
- La Foncière (real estate) : a solidarity investment company open to citizens. La Foncière real estate company allows everyone to invest their savings in a project with high social and ecological value. La Foncière collects solidarity savings from citizens and private institutions and acquires real estate in rural areas to ensure, over the long term, social and ecological management in accordance with the Terre de Liens charter. The accumulated capital is used to buy farms to establish diversified agri-rural activities. La Foncière rents these farms to farmers engaged in local, organic and human-scale agriculture. To find out more about La Foncière's missions, principles and values, you can consult this page.
- The Foundation: How to respond to people or communities who wish to preserve the agricultural vocation of an agricultural property, a farm or a land in the long term? The foundation is authorized to receive bequests and donations of farms. It also buys land that risks losing its agricultural use. In all cases, the Foundation guarantees very long-term environmentally friendly agricultural practices on these lands.
The Little Extra
Whether you are an employee or a volunteer, Terre de Liens offers training throughout the year to its members who want to learn more about land, common goods, agroecology and even urban planning law. Novices or initiates, training courses are open to everyone. Beyond the acquisition of new skills, they are an opportunity to meet other members of the movement and exchange on the variety of farming practices in different regions. Download the 2020 training catalog to discover all the training offered for the year to come.
Written by Lise Oudda, LFC volunteer - March 2020.
Last modification : 05 Apr 2020.
Terre de liens
Access to agricultural land is a problem that concerns everyone. Without agricultural land, there are no farmers or local agriculture that is respectful of the environment and creates social ties. For Terre de Liens, the erosion of our agricultural wealth, the loss of biodiversity and the decline of the countryside is by no means inevitable: the future may offer many other prospects for farming land and small-holding agriculture. If we create ways to do so….