Connect with us


Why I invested in Stockwood CBS



Private investor Catherine Ayres explains her motivations for investing £10,000 in Stockwood Community Benefit Society (CBS), a trust created to put Rush Farm and Stockwood Business Park in Worcestershire into the hands of the local community.

When asked why I invested in the Stockwood CBS, the answer comes to me very easily: both my head and my heart knew it was a sound investment.

I had been weighing up various investment options when I serendipitously stumbled across a link to Stockwood CBS on Twitter (somewhat restoring my faith in all things Twitter: social media is such a mixed blessing at times).

I have had the enormous fortune to visit Rush Farm in my capacity as a Dr Hauschka brand ambassador (Elysia Natural Skin Care, based in Stockwood Business Park, is the sole importer and distributor for the Dr Hauschka range of skincare products within the UK).

I have also had the good fortune to attend talks by Sebastian Parsons, Elysia CEO and founder of Stockwood CBS. He really is an amazing person; a rare mix of business flare and environmental vision, a far cry from the image of biodynamic farming sometimes portrayed by the media (any mention of moonlight and they disappear into the realms of witchcraft, sorcery and voodoo).

One of the key things that I have learnt via my involvement with Elysia is that as individuals we have the power to make a difference, or to put it in rather clichéd terms, “Every drop makes an ocean”.

I knew that whether I invested £100 or £20,000, my investment would count; that I would be a valued member of the community.

This was a chance not only to make a profit (my head is sternly telling me this is an important consideration) – 5% return is a pretty competitive rate – but to make a real difference in terms of education and environment. Goodness knows I bang on enough about the these topics; it’s nice to have a chance to put my money where my heart is for a change.

Stockwood CBS is holding an open day, the Rush Farm Fete, on August 3. For more information, see here. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in investing in the business, you can do so through Ethex.

Further reading:

Ethex: empowering education into ethical investment

Sustainability at the heart of food and agriculture

Rob Hopkins: Transition Towns is the only ethically defensible thing to do

Harnessing the power of a community

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2013