Farm to Institution Research Under Way

Healthy, Local Food

Not Just for the Farmers Market

Slow Money NW research project aims to invest in bringing farm fresh food to local institutions

SEATTLE, Wash. (March 25, 2013) – Washington is one of the largest agricultural states in the nation, yet the majority of food served in our hospitals, schools and other institutions is not locally produced. Slow Money NW is working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a broad set of regional partners to highlight opportunities for connecting statewide food with local institutions. Institutions and their customers are demanding it, and investors are seeking to fund businesses that can meet that demand.

“I work with many hospitals in the region that are interested in finding the right food producers and suppliers,” said Kathy Pryor, Program Director of the Washington Healthy Food in Health Care Initiative. “ Twenty-two Washington State hospitals have signed our Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge, and many of them are now trying to source local and sustainable food for their cafeterias and patient meals. These hospitals want to support businesses in their communities, especially local farms.”

Slow Money NW is researching investment opportunities in agricultural production, aggregation, processing and distribution that can serve the institutional market, and bring healthy regional food to those who need it most. Tim Crosby, director of Slow Money NW, points out that private investors, foundations and institutional investors are eager to invest in this market, but there is a shortage of high quality investment deals. “We are already aware of over $40 million interested in financing our regional economy. It’s just a question of proving the market and highlighting some investment opportunities. This is what our current research is about.”

The goals of the effort are to grow a vibrant regional food economy while helping businesses thrive and supporting better nutrition and community health. To engage in this conversation or to refer a business or institution, visit slowmoneynw.org or contact Slow Money NW’s business research specialist, Peter Battisti at peter@slowmoneynw.org or call 206-395-5623.

About Slow Money Northwest
Slow Money Northwest catalyzes growth of the Pacific Northwest’s regional food economy by connecting socially and environmentally responsible food and farm businesses in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana with like-minded investors. The organization also provides technical assistance to startup businesses and strategic infrastructure, offering practical support for the growth of the sustainable food economy in the Pacific Northwest.

Correction: A few announcements went out declaring Washington State as being the third largest agriculture producing state. According to some WA State records, WA State has been ranked as the third largest agricultural exporting state,  and the 12th largest agriculture producing state.

One thought on “Farm to Institution Research Under Way”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *