Fair Food Fund
Fair Food Fund provides financing & business assistance to good food enterprises that are growing vibrant local food systems.
By filling these two critical gaps, we are helping entrepreneurs succeed and fueling the good food economy with direct benefits to American farmers.
The demand for local and sustainably grown food is soaring.
Yet, in many places across the nation, the infrastructure that connects family farmers to this growing demand—including aggregation, distribution, processing, and marketing—no longer exists.
Fair Food Network launched the Fair Food Fund in 2012 to grow this “missing middle” and build local food systems that support the health of people, the environment, and the economy.
Fair Food Fund provides financing to good food enterprises that support vibrant working farms and resilient local food economies in the Northeastern United States. We bring a unique mission-driven lens and work with borrowers to match their needs with the right product including loans, royalty financing, or equity investments.
We fund enterprises that meet the following criteria:
- Committed to building vibrant regional food systems in the Northeastern United States
- Incorporated in the U.S.
- Financing needs of $50,000 or more
- Annual revenue of at least $100,000
- One or more years of operating history
- Profitable or can demonstrate a path to profitability
- Strong, committed management team
- Able to provide financial projections for three years (five years preferred) including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements
Enterprise qualifications are reviewed based on mission fit, management strength, business model, risk, and potential for financial return. Investments are offered as stand-alone investments ranging from $50,000 to $350,000 or as part of a larger financing package. Read about businesses we supported last year in our 2016 Annual Report.
Five Acre Farms meets customers where they are—the grocery store—with farm fresh, sustainably produced food.
Building business acumen.
Fair Food Fund lending is bolstered by business assistance. This support helps entrepreneurs translate their passion into success in the marketplace. It is also critical for building the Fund’s investment pipeline and supporting entrepreneurial capacity in the food system.
The Fund offers two business assistance services including one-on-one Consulting Corps support and an annual Business Boot Camp.
The Consulting Corps provides one-on-one, targeted assistance. Consulting services include business planning, financial management, food-safety compliance, marketing, operations management, and more.
The Fund covers up to 80% of total project cost or up to $10,000 per project. Apply for Consulting Corps support today.
Business Boot Camp
This annual three-day event includes skill building sessions with industry mentors and fellow entrepreneurs to help entrepreneurs refine their business model, solidify plans, and accelerate growth. Topics include marketing, telling your story, break-even analysis, understanding financial statements, fundraising, and more.
The boot camp is free for selected entrepreneurs with the chance to win $10,000 in cash prizes at the final pitch competition. Mark your calendar for this year’s public Pitch Competition on December 7.
How we helped an organic farm tidy up its business (and its barn).
Fueling the good food economy.
Focused on the Northeastern United States, we continue to make incredible strides since the Fund’s 2012 launch including committing more than $2 million in financing and $500,000 in business assistance to good food entrepreneurs. Dig deeper for latest results in our 2016 Annual Report.
This work is helping innovative businesses succeed, building a pipeline of investment-ready projects, and providing a vehicle for funders looking to make a difference in our food system.