Local Food System Financing Models

Article at Energy Bulletin about Tompkins County NY initiatives to connect investors interested in growing local food farmers & markets, with farmers and markets in need of capital:

Envisioning a new investment paradigm is difficult theoretical work, but actually implementing a system that directs flows of investment cash into local food systems is even more difficult…

…Slow Money group members seek to meet two very different kinds of needs with one suite of mechanisms.

First, investors want to move beyond socially-responsible investment opportunities and now want to invest their money in businesses that have a triple-bottom-line benefit: businesses that are socially responsible and environmentally appropriate while also making some profit. People who understand the inevitability of energy decline may well want their money invested in shortening the supply chains for essentials like foodstuffs.

Second, small farm and food businesses need access to capital to grow and process the foodstuff supplies that we need in a more localized or regionalized food system. Traditional financing, still stuck in a global market worldview, is often disinclined to channel investment into the type of enterprise that could help smooth the adjustment to a world with a lot less oil…

 

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