Bundgård Sharemilker I/S
SOCIALLY BENEFICIAL AGRICULTURE’S (SBA) INVOLVEMENT IN BUNDGAARD SHAREMILKER
Together with Per Bundgaard, Organic Denmark prepared a plan for finding two young farmers who wanted to be organic share-milkers at Bundgaard. We were looking for young, in-terested farmers in various media and hosting an open house viewing. Many young farmers came by, but none returned. Per met Patrick Brosze Bertelsen and Tobias Flensted simply by chance. The two young men had given up on the dream of be-ing able to finance their own farm. They spotted an opportunity at Bundgaard.
Together, we prepared the content of their cooperation and reviewed the situations where the parties would cooperate. SBA financed the preparation of a budget for I/S Bundgaard Sharemilker. With the goal that I/S Bundgaard Sharemilker would be able to accumulate equity after a couple of years, a proposal for a financial agreement was prepared where Pat-rick and Tobias would pay rent to Per and where they shared the profits and losses relative to the budgeted milk price. SBA provided financing for a lawyer to prepare an I/S (General Part-nership) agreement between Patrick and Tobias as well as a cooperation agreement between Per and the I/S company. A meeting structure was then prepared for the cooperation, and SBA financed a mentor scheme for Bundgaard Sharemilker.
Together, Patrick Brosze Bertelsen and Tobias Flensted found-ed the company I/S Bundgaard Sharemilker. The I/S (General Partnership) company entered into a cooperation agreement with Per Bundgaard.
The agreements concerning Bundgaard Sharemilker were entered into a contract that ensured good terms for both Per Bundgaard and the two young share-milkers.
I/S Bundgaard Sharemilker owns the livestock and the ma-terials used for feeding and taking care of them. The general partnership company rents the buildings and buys fodder from Per Bundgaard. Agreements in this area include cooperation practice, payment terms, termination notices, etc.
An important element of the agreement basis is the agree-ment on a common economy: they share profits or losses when the milk price rises or falls.
The day-to-day cooperation cannot be described in an agreement – it is a culture that must be created and adapted to the individual parties in the collaboration. However, an agree-ment has been reached concerning a meeting structure and for how communication between the parties should take place.
Overall, the combination of plant cultivation and milk produc-tion is expected to contribute towards better exploitation of re-sources, better crop rotation and higher returns at Bundgaard.
I/S Bundgaard Sharemilker is accumulating equity on an ongoing basis, in terms of livestock and materials, which can be used to either continue collaboration as share-milkers or to establish a more ordinary type of business as independent farmers. The strength of this form of a shared economy is that the young farmers can rent before owning.
The cooperation agreement reduces the financial risk for I/S Bundgaard Sharemilker since they have an established farmer with whom to share the good and, particularly, the bad times.
The organisation ensures that it is financially possible for the individual share-milker to withdraw from the agreement.
EXPERIENCE AND LEARNING
Share farming is based on agreements for the common good, based on the notion that if an agreement is to last in the long-term, it must be beneficial for all parties.
The very close financial, practical and social cooperation requires the right match; the chemistry needs to be there. If possible, a trial period should be implemented, where the par-ties can see how their collaboration would work in practice. Regardless of chemistry, it is important not to underestimate what it takes to establish good cooperation. A lot of time and energy has been spent in the project to facilitate a process that supports the establishment of trust and a culture of cooper-ation. This applies mutually between the share-milkers, be-tween the share-milkers and Per Bundgaard and with respect to external advisers, suppliers and partners. Share farming requires a new culture and practice, both internally as well as in relation to external actors. These actors must also possess the understanding and will to work towards the common good.
• Per Bundgaard owns Bundgård and runs organic plant cultivation on approx. 1000 ha.
• A 1,200 m2 barn with room for about 120 cows and a mobile milking bail was rented out to the two young share-milkers, who formed an I/S (General Partnership) company.
• The share-milkers owned cows and feeding machines.
• The share-milkers rented the building, space and machines from Per Bundgaard, they bought feed from him and they entered into grazing agreements and agreements on straw and fertilizer with him.
• The collaboration between Per Bundgaard and I/S Bundgaard Sharemilker can be termi-nated with one year’s notice.
• Socially Beneficial Agriculture facilitated the cooperation in order to consider everyone’s interests.