At the end of October 2013, applications opened for The A Team Challenge. Food and agricultural projects who adopt an ‘enlightened’ agroecology approach to their work, were invited to apply to take part in the innovative match funding scheme. Those successful would launch a crowdfunding campaign to part-fund their venture and, provided they could raise an agreed amount through this channel, would receive match funding from The A Team Foundation.
In the short space of 4 weeks, the Challenge received nearly 40 applications, the quality of which were very high. Through a difficult and rigorous selection process, we are now delighted to announce the final selection of projects to participate in the Challenge.
These six fantastic projects were selected for their agroecological credentials, the thoroughness and feasibility of their project plan and their potential for impact both more immediately and in the future.
The A Team Challengers
Vertical Veg - Vertical Veg inspires and supports food growing in small urban spaces. It helps people without gardens to grow food organically, affordably and sustainably in containers.
Fungi Fruits – The Fungi Fruits project is an urban mushroom farm, using coffee grounds to grow the mushrooms in Bath. Fungi Fruits want to raise awareness of the need to reduce our carbon footprint and provide the opportunity for people to do so by providing low-carbon food.
Groby Road Market Garden - This project will establish a market garden on a derelict piece of land in Leicester. The business will produce fresh fruit and vegetables and sell them locally. Production of the crops will aim to minimise all inputs, practise crop rotation, provide habitats to encourage biodiversity and will not use artificial fertilisers or pesticides.
Sarpo Potatoes, The Sárvári Research Trust - The Sárvári Research Trust breed Sárpo potatoes, resistant to late-blight disease. The Trust are looking to set up and run a limited company, Sarpo Potatoes Ltd, which will allow them to multiply, market and sell their seed.
Whippletree Farm – Whippletree Farm want to start a club for city dwellers to develop a connection with the countryside by providing the opportunity to stay and help on the farm. By encouraging city folk to directly support farming, the sustainability of small-scale agriculture becomes more feasible.
School Farm CSA - School Farm CSA is the UK’s only no-dig, certified-organic, community farm. Their aim is to grow food in a way that strengthens the local environment while promoting well-being, offering volunteer and training opportunities, and enriching the community.
The next stage
The selected projects will now work closely with us to put together their crowdfunding campaigns and launch them by the end of March. You can keep an eye on the progress of these wonderful initiatives and support them here.