Our food system is broken. We waste almost half the food that is produced whilst at the same time millions go hungry and diet related illness have reached epidemic proportions. The way we grow food is causing huge environmental damage, jeopardising the ability of future generations to feed themselves. An urgent resetting of our relationship with food and the biosphere on which it depends is needed. We believe that the answer lies in reconnecting people and producers, revitalising and supporting small mixed farms, who practice agroecologically and provide good food to everyone in their community.
The Real Farming Trust (RFT) works to rethink food and farming from first principles; to build and support a new generation of farmers, food producers and sellers; and to establish “Enlightened Agriculture” – farming that provides good food for everyone forever, without cruelty or injustice and without adversely affecting other people and the biosphere – as the global norm. We do this through several complementary programmes, including the Oxford Real Farming Conference, Funding Enlightened Agriculture, the College for Real Farming, and as the Secretariat for the APPG on Agroecology.
The RFT is a small charity, but is entering an exciting period of development and growth. The need to change our food system has never been greater, but as we have seen over the last 7 days at ORFC Global, the tide is turning and the movement is gaining momentum and optimism. Yet there is much still to do; we need to deepen our ambition and impact if we are to bring about the changes that are really needed. To help us grow we are looking for two new Board members who share our commitment, energy and passion for meaningful change and can help direct the RFT towards achieving its mission and ensure the organisation is effectively managed. You would need to be able to make a commitment to the RFT and be motivated by our values and mission, have strategic vision, independent judgement, and an ability to think creatively. You will be expected to contribute roughly a day and a half of your time each quarter.
We are looking for trustees with skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:
- Agroecology or regenerative agriculture
- Community food businesses, community ownership and community engagement
- Further education and online learning
- High level organisational management and strategic development experience
- Charity governance and financial management, including fundraising and income generation.
With respect to agricultural practice and community business, we are particularly keen to encourage applications from experienced practitioners who can bring their lived experience to our board.
We want our board to reflect the range of people and voices in the alternative food movement but who also have the experience through their personal circumstances or through their work to contribute to RFT’s aim to improve inclusion and diversity both within RFT, our work and the wider movement.
The RFT is a registered charity operated as a company limited by guarantee. The board of directors of the company are also trustees of the charity. Board meetings are held quarterly using Zoom, although we try to meet physically at least once a year. The Board is responsible for setting the strategy and policies of the Real Farming Trust and guides and supports the Senior Management Team.
This is a voluntary position, but we will pay trustees’ travel expenses and provide an induction into the RFT’s work.
To find out more about joining the Board please download our Trustee recruitment pack. If you would like to have an informal discussion, or need any more information, please contact Robert Fraser by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply, please send a CV and covering letter. The closing date for applications is 14th February 2021. Interviews will be held in late February. Applicants should be based in the UK.