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CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series
April 16, May 28, July 30, September 29
2:00 PM Eastern

-Overview

The CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series is a free, exclusive online series connecting businesses and projects within the food system to development finance tools, such as bonds, tax increment finance, tax credits, revolving loan funds, and more, to create equitable local and regional food systems. This series will showcase how development finance agencies from across the country are investing in local food systems. Development finance agencies will present case studies of projects – from farmers’ markets, food processors, farmers, restaurants, food hubs, and more – explaining how the financing tool works and why that financing tool was chosen for each project. Each installment of this series will explore how the development finance toolbox can be used to generate investment for different focus areas, such as disaster relief, neighborhood redevelopment, entrepreneurs, and more. This year’s webinars include:


§ Disaster Recovery for the Food System – April 16, 2020
§ The Landscape of Food Systems Finance – May 28, 2020
§ Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance – July 30, 2020
§ Financing Food Systems Entrepreneurs – September 29, 2020

With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, CDFA is researching how development finance agencies can become more engaged in developing localized food systems through traditional finance approaches. The premise of this project is to suggest and then prove that, if organized and defined properly, the food system can become a defined asset class worthy of traditional investment. Through this work, CDFA aims to advance opportunities and leverage existing capital financing streams that scale local and regional food systems and increase access to better food while creating new living wage jobs in communities across the country.

>>> Learn more about CDFA’s initiative to define the food system asset class

Webinars will be recorded and available online afterward. Attendees who register for the webinar receive an email with the recordings as well.

-Agenda

CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Thu 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Disaster Recovery for the Food System
Disasters of all kinds induce stress on small businesses and nonprofits throughout the food system. Farmers, food hubs, restaurants, food processors, grocers, and others throughout the supply chain can be immensely impacted. In today’s global medical crisis with COVID-19, institutions and restaurants are shutting their doors for an uncertain amount of time, disrupting supply chains and causing financial anxiety; yet others continue vigorously working to produce necessary food products and providing services to keep our system healthy. During the first installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will explore creative financing efforts being launched to support our local food economies during this time of unprecedented crisis.
Moderator(s)
  • Allison Rowland, Manager, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Speaker(s)
  • Jen Faigel, Executive Director, CommonWealth Kitchen
  • Jonathan Kennedy, Director - Transportation, Logistics & Infrastructure, New Jersey Economic Development Authority
  • Johanna Nelson, Strategic Program Development, New Mexico Economic Development Department
  • Toby Rittner, President & CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
  • Dafina Williams, Vice President, Public Policy, Opportunity Finance Network

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thu 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
The Landscape of Food Systems Finance
Over the past several years, CDFA has been researching the ways traditional development finance tools can be used to support food-related businesses and projects, leveraging further investment to catalyze local and regional food systems. CDFA has discovered nearly $1 billion in innovative financing for the food system, from historic tax credits and industrial development bonds to tax increment finance and revolving loan funds. However, this just scratches the surface. Despite the fact that financing for food-related endeavors is fragmented, there are many more food systems projects demonstrating that their work is worthy of traditional financing tools. CDFA is proving that localized food systems and economies can be strengthened with development finance. For the second installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will present key initiatives and programs being used to finance local food systems, and how CDFA is continuing to prove the food system as an asset class.
Moderator(s)
  • Ariel Miller, Coordinator, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Speaker(s)
  • Gray Harris, Senior Vice President, Food Systems, Coastal Enterprises Inc.
  • Toby Rittner, President & CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
  • Allison Rowland, Manager, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies
  • Rodney Wendt, Executive Director, Washington Economic Development Finance Authority

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thu 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance
Food can be a powerful tool for revitalization, in terms of both economic growth and improvements to the built environment. Many food-related enterprises are small businesses that keep dollars local and create jobs. Restaurants, farmers’ markets, food halls, food trucks, and urban agriculture energize public space and encourage social interaction. Restoring food markets and preserving other historic structures serves the purposes of food systems infrastructure. Celebrating local food culture can draw visitors from near and far, while also improving economic and social conditions for residents. This installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series will illustrate the many positive impacts that result from financing food systems at a neighborhood scale, with speakers to showcase the versatility of projects and financing approaches.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Financing Food Systems Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs are a key part of local economies, yet they face many challenges in establishing and growing their enterprises. In the food system, entrepreneurs are working to make their own business successful while often collaborating across the value chain. Small business owners engaged in the food system include farmers, grocers, restaurateurs, caterers, small-scale manufacturers and processors, brewers and distillers, chefs, and more. During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, development finance professionals from around the country will describe their strategies for supporting local entrepreneurs in moving their business from idea to execution.

-Registration

This webinar series is free to attend. Webinars will be recorded and available online afterward. Attendees who register for the webinar receive an email with the recordings as well.

Register