Growing Good Food Enterprises through Impact Investing – Part 1
Part 1: Developing the Fair Food Fund
This blog is the first in a four-part series titled Growing Good Food Enterprises through Impact Investing. In this post, we’ll introduce our ideas for the Fair Food Fund. Future blogs in the series will discuss the growing consumer demand for local food, describe some of the key food and agriculture impact investors, and distill our thoughts on the future of food and agriculture impact investing.
As part of our work to grow a healthy, sustainable food system, Fair Food Network is developing the Fair Food Fund to invest in enterprises that connect sustainable New England farms with the growing demand for local/regional, sustainably-produced food. In doing so, we will join a growing legion of impact investors seeking to capitalize on this demand by investing in enterprises that help restore vibrant local and regional food economies. Impact investing comes in many forms, with the goal falling somewhere between conventional investing, which seeks to maximize financial returns, and philanthropy, which seeks to maximize public benefit.
While the missions of food system impact investors vary considerably, our goal for the Fair Food Fund is to make investments that enhance the financial viability of small and medium-sized New England farms. To accomplish this goal, we plan to provide flexible financial capital and business assistance to enterprises that connect these farmers with the growing demand for local, sustainably-produced food. It is our belief that growing these good food enterprises is a crucial step toward the development of a healthy, sustainable food system, and our hope is to support and build on the work of pioneering food and agriculture impact investors including RSF Social Finance, Slow Money, and others.
The next blog in this series will discuss the growing demand for local food and how it has set the stage for food and agriculture impact investing. In the meantime, for a great overview of the state of food and agriculture impact investing, check out The Springcreek Foundation’s report Promoting Sustainable Food Systems Through Impact Investing.