Cultivate is all about bringing people together to create a better food system for Oxford. Better for everyone who eats food, better for everyone who grows food, and better for the planet.

We have previous experience running a market garden on 10 acres of land just outside Oxford on the Earth Trust farm, but now focus on partnering with local growers, producers and farmers to provide the people of Oxford with local, ethical delicious produce via our our weekly market stops.

We work to involve more people in local food by building new routes to market for local producers and creating a vibrant and wide-ranging movement for local food in Oxford.

 

Local, Ethical and Delicious – Our Sourcing Principals

We focus on stocking local, ethical and delicious produce, to learn more about how we source our veg click here.

 

Get involved!

Cultivate is a cooperative organisation owned and funded by the community. There are many ways that you can get involved. You can become a member to get more involved in what we do or join us as a volunteer . We want to help people create a local food system Oxford can be proud of, so if you’ve got an idea you want to take forward – Visit our get involved page for more info.

Contact us at info@cultivateoxford.org for any more info.

 

We’re a Co-operative

For more info on Cultivate as a co-operative please see below.

 

Cultivate is a co-op with over 400 members from in and around Oxford (and a few enthusiastic supporters from further afield!). Members support running the co-op with their time and resources and can get stuck into everything Cultivate does by volunteering, coming along to and organising events.

Cultivate is run by a small team of one full-time and several part-time employees. We also have a bank of regular volunteers, some of whom work with Cultivate weekly or several times a week, and help keep the organisation running.

Cultivate’s Board of Directors oversee the direction and progress of the co-op.

1. Make good local food fairly-priced, convenient and accessible for more people

We want to take local food to more people, working with others to increase direct sales of local food from 0.2% to 10% or more. Cultivate will take local food on the road with the VegVan mobile greengrocery, running pop-up markets in neighbourhoods and workplaces in and around Oxford. In addition we will enter into partnerships to supply forward-looking restaurants and caterers. 

2. Support the growth of ecologically-friendly and sustainable farming

We need to encourage ecological farming and provide more models of how it can be done. The VegVan and Cultivate Online only stock produce that we are happy has been produced under such conditions and by working with other local organic producers we will strengthen the network for a local agrarian renaissance.

3. Bring people together to push local food forward in practical ways

Moving towards our vision in Oxfordshire depends on a movement of growers, consumers and citizens coming together to support a vibrant local food culture. As a co-operative, Cultivate will act as a bridge between these groups by providing a platform for action, as well as engaging people through retail, outreach, farm visits, volunteering opportunities and an active civil society presence.

4. Create training and education opportunities for a new generation of growers

We need to equip a new generation with the knowledge and skills necessary for a sustainable food system. We are investing in our own education and will pass on our learning through new partnerships with other local growers and organisations. 

5. Do business in new ways that benefit and strengthen our community

We are joining a growing movement of social enterprises embedded in the productive economy but guided by the community and run for the greater good. We aim to be a model of co-operative enterprise, strengthening the local food economy by complementing and collaborating with other local food businesses in order to increase our collective reach and capacity.

Cultivate is a co-operative social enterprise formally registered in England as an Industrial and Provident Society for Community Benefit, number 31487R. Our registered address is Pipers Wait, The Ridings, Stonesfield, Oxon, OX29 8EB.

We are a group of people working together to achieve something in our community by means of creating a functioning business. We encourage anyone with an interest in improving Oxford’s food system to join the co-operative as a member. Members make important decisions about the direction and objectives of the enterprise, and elect a Board of Directors every year to oversee its operations. Some members are shareholders, having invested in a time-bound community share offer that ran from January to April 2012, while others are supporter members paying an annual subscription or workshare members committing to 1/2 day work every month. There is no functional differentiation between membership types.

Cultivate’s governing document or ‘rules’ are the cornerstone of our governance arrangements. The rules set out how Cultivate is owned and managed. You can download them from here: Cultivate Oxfordshire Limited Rules. The rules say that Cultivate operates “for the benefit of the community by empowering members to take joint strategic action in Oxfordshire to work towards a more socially beneficial and environmentally sustainable food system.”

Please get in touch at info@cultivateoxford.org if you have any questions.

Cultivate’s start-up funding came from the local community via a community share offer. The following information is from the Community Shares web site:

There is no legal definition of community shares. The term is used here to refer to a unique form of share capital called ‘withdrawable shares’ which can only be issued by co-operatives or community benefit societies registered with the Financial Services Authority.

Withdrawable shares are very different from ‘transferable shares’, which are the type of shares normally issued by companies. To cash-in transferable shares you must first find a buyer to whom you can ‘transfer’ (i.e. sell) your shares, at an agreed price. Shares in larger companies are bought and sold through stock markets, but these markets do not cater for smaller companies where there are very few buyers or sellers. Finding someone willing to buy shares in a small venture can be very difficult. A withdrawable share can be withdrawn from investment, subject to the terms and conditions of the society concerned. This provides a straightforward way of getting your money back when you want to cash-in your shares.

The main reason for buying community shares is to support the social aims of the venture concerned. Unlike shares in private companies, where personal financial gain is the main motive, community shares are subject to laws that limit financial gain and emphasise social benefit.

Investing money, by purchasing shares, makes you a part-owner in the venture. It entitles you to have a say in how the organisation is run, and you may also be offered interest on your investment and the scope to cash-in your shares and get your money back.

Cultivate believes that diversity is a positive asset and values the contribution made by all members of society. We are committed to principles and practices that support equality of opportunity in all of our activities.

Cultivate strives to ensure that we do not discriminate against any person on the grounds of:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity, nationality or colour
  • Marital status
  • Disability
  • Sexuality
  • Religion
  • Responsibilities for dependants
  • Unrelated criminal convictions

We strive to tackle discrimination in any form where it arises, in a way that provides a positive example to those with whom we work.

This policy will be expressed in all our activities including:

Project Delivery

  • We will ensure that our equal opportunities policy is reflected in our approach to project work and we will recognise and respond to issues of equal opportunities as and when they arise.
  • We will make every effort in our work to involve and engage under-represented groups and to ensure that their needs are taken into account.

Membership

  • No person shall be denied membership of Cultivate on any of the grounds noted above.
  • We will make efforts over time to broaden our membership to include under-represented groups and to ensure that their needs are taken into account.

Employment and volunteering

  • Cultivate staff and volunteers will be selected against fair and specified criteria and no person will receive less favourable treatment with regards to
  • Recruitment
  • Salary
  • Conditions of service
  • Promotion
  • Training
  • Discipline
  • Dismissal
  • Cultivate employees will be asked to agree to this Equal Opportunities Policy and its implementation as a condition of their employment and discussion of equal opportunities will form a part of induction training.

Implementation and Monitoring

On receipt of an equal opportunities complaint the Board of Directors will acknowledge the complaint and investigate by collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. A report on the findings and recommendations will be made available to the complainant and any other person involved. Where a complaint is justified, appropriate action will be taken.

This policy will be reviewed every year.