CFFP moves to Philanthropy Northwest

Slow Money Northwest has been successful in developing innovative approaches to financing regional food and farm businesses. Our latest innovation, the Cascadia Foodshed Funding Project (CFFP), has brought different types of investors together, particularly foundations and individual impact investors, to focus on using market-based strategies to grow the regional food economy. Our innovation and action-based strategies has garnered the interest of Philanthropy Northwest to help facilitate growth of project.

Slow Money Northwest is excited to hand the project over to Philanthropy Northwest to expand the success of what is now called the Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project. From their announcementWe are excited to introduce Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project, the latest project to join Philanthropy Northwest’s incubation platform and regional impact investing network. So what is it, and why does it matter? In his first of many blog post for our readers, Tim Crosby, CFFP’s founder, explains how this project has come together with support from a range of Northwest funders, and what they aim to achieve.

CFFP has become the main focus of Slow Money Northwest’s tight resources. The core SMNW players will continue to connect sustainable food and farming business to sources of business development and financing assistance. If you would like to help advance these efforts and help steer SMNW forward please contact Tim Crosby via email: tim*at*slowmoneynw.org.

Thank you for helping move the nexus of food/farm/financing/philanthropy forward!

Food Investor Network Businesses – Spring 2013

We are pleased to announce a spring harvest of exciting businesses that will be making presentations to accredited investors at our Spring Food Investor Network Showcase on May 20th in Seattle.  Per Securities and Exchange Commission Rules, these meetings are not open to the public.  Please contact us directly for more information about our showcase events and to learn about investing in local farm and food businesses.

AST

Advanced Symbiotic Technologies is a potential game-changing startup. AST has created an organic-grade natural seed coating to improve crop yields in drought conditions. They are in field studies and with patents pending. More info …

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BetterBean

Better Bean has been producing and selling ready-to-eat premium refrigerated beans since 2010.  They have received much acclaim and press for their exciting new product line and rolled out to high-end and regional groceries in select markets across the country. More info …

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BrittsPickles

Kansha Natural Foods is a Seattle based producer of handmade and live cultured, naturally fermented foods including pickles, kimchi and kraut sold through the Britt’s Pickles brand.  Britt’s has sold through select grocery chains in the Seattle area since opening a year ago and in September 2012 inaugurated a retail store in the historic Pike’s Place Market. More info …

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farm raiser_next

Say goodbye to candy bars, cookie dough and other unhealthy, mass-produced products that kids are asked to sell each year.  Say hello to a new way to boost your local economy, where wholesome food comes direct from the farm or local business to you.  Farmraiser is reinventing the school fundraiser by connecting schools with local farms and healthy food products using an innovative online storytelling platform.  More info …

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Suncrest-Logo

Suncrest Farms is a clean tech, Seattle-based company that grows lettuce that is
“Always Local. Always Fresh.™” To do this Suncrest uses advanced hydroponic
technology that decreases water consumption by 90%, reduces greenhouse
energy consumption by 50% and has a “zero” long-haul distribution footprint. More info …

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.

Rockefeller Reports

The Rockefeller Foundation has been investigating the Social and Economic Equity in US Food and Agriculture Systems. As part of this work they have generated a series of intriguing reports with the most relevant beingBridging the Gap: Funding and Social Equity Across the Food System Supply Chain. As explained at their website, “This report examines the current state of funding for addressing the problems in the food system and promotes the goals and the vision for a healthier food system. It analyzes where capital is flowing and where it is not flowing, and what kinds of approaches are needed to increase the flow and effectiveness of capital where gaps currently exist. RSF Social Finance, a Slow Money ally, managed the report. View the report …

Job Opportunities at Angelic Organics

carman

Angelic Organics, a farm incubator and training program in Caledonia, Illinois, has two openings for motivated organic farm professionals.

Half-time Farm Finance Program Coordinator to help beginning farmers improve the economic viability of their farms through increased access to capital and financial products as well as supporting farmers in building business and financial management skills.

 

Go to http://www.learngrowconnect.org/ for more information and to apply.

New Matching Funds Available for Beginning Farmers

We have teamed up with our friends at Cascade Harvest Coalition to create Seeds of Success, a program for beginning farmers to help beginning farmers and ranchers build assets and grow their businesses.
Nationwide, we’re facing an aging farming population, rising demand for local food, and scarcity of opportunity in rural communities. In order to change the system, we need to support and empower beginning farmers and ranchers in achieving their financial. We believe that this program will be a step in the right direction.  Participating farmers and ranchers can receive up to $5,000 in matching funds which can be used to purchase farm equipment, livestock and land. Please check out our Seeds of Success Program Page to learn more about becoming a participant, partner, or sponsor.

Biodiversity

Although industrial agriculture sounds easier, is it really? Is it easier harming the biodiversity of our planet just to produce livestock and crops on a large scale basis? To me, Sustainable Agriculture is the right choice and can keep up with the rapid growth of the global human population. Knowing your food was grown in a clean and humane way is very reassuring to anyone. Biodiversity is what the human life depends on and if we continue with our ways will our demise soon follow?
Work Cited:
1.) Practicial Steps to Preserve Barnyard Diversity: CGIAR, September 2007
2.) Farm Animal Diversity Under Threat: Beurkle, Teresa, June 2007http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000598/index.html
3.) Factory Farming and Industrial Agriculture: April 3, 2009http://www.sustainabletable.org/2009/04/factory-farming/
4.) What is Sustainable Agriculture? April 3, 2009
5.) Life on Earth- The Importance of Biodiversity: April 10, 2010http://youthink.worldbank.org/issues/environment/life-earth-importance-biodiversity
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