Terre de Liens works to preserve agricultural land, support access to land for peasant agroecological farmers, promote community connections and solidarity in rural and urban areas, and foster public debate on land ownership, management, and use.
Since 2003, Terre de Liens has grown into a multi-faceted movement composed of not-for-profit associations (1 national federation, 20 regional associations), a private company limited by shares La Foncière (it collects savings from the public to buy agricultural land and buildings, which are rented out to farmers on long-term leases), and a land trust La Fondation (it collects donations in cash and in kind, buys and rents farms, and assumes a general mission of informing and mobilising citizens). These Terre de Liens structures develop a range of activities including:
- information and mobilisation: building public awareness and support for access to land ;
- advisory services: assisting future farmers to find land, set up collective land ownership schemes, etc.;
- direct land management: acquiring land and renting it, establishing long-term leases with farmers, managing buildings;
- land stewardship: acquiring farmland for organic agriculture, developing sustainable farming practices, advocacy work;
- collaborations with local authorities: informing and providing tools on farmland management, cooperating to establish local farmers, etc.
In a little over 15 years, Terre de Liens has raised over €70 million in investment and donations, acquired 203 farms, preserved 5000 ha of farmland, and involved over 25000 citizens in land work as volunteers, members, donors, and investors. On the European level, since 2012, Terre de Liens has been coordinating the Access to Land Network, which gathers about 15 organisations working to secure land for agroecological farming across Europe. The network organises experience-sharing, communication and awareness-raising, research and documentation, and networking and advocacy to promote access to land for generational renewal and for an agroecological transition in Europe.
The staff of Terre de Liens involved in RURALIZATION is based in the national federation (direction, administrative and financial services, and thematic and policy officers) as well as in the 20 regional Terre de Liens associations, which count over 50 staff working hand-in-hand with new entrants, local authorities, and other partners in all regions of France. Véronique Rioufol and Alice Martin-Prével, of the national federation’s European Mission, are in charge of coordinating the staff work on the RURALIZATION project.
Véronique Rioufol holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Sciences Po Paris, a master’s degree in African Studies from the University of Cape Town, and a postgraduate degree in political studies from the EHESS in Paris. She has worked in social justice and human rights organisations. She joined Terre de Liens in 2010 as the coordinator of the European mission, where she contributed to the creation of the European Access to Land network. Véronique has extensive experience in project management, network coordination, and research and advocacy on land issues in Europe.
Alice Martin-Prével was recruited in September 2019 as the dedicated RURALIZATION project officer. She holds a master’s degree in International Public Management from the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs and has experience in research and advocacy on land and rural development issues. Prior to joining the national federation, Alice worked with a regional Terre de Liens association on a research-action project with researchers from the National Institute for Agricultural Research.