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Food Systems Finance Resource Center

Food system finance is becoming an increasingly important local development focus. Communities throughout the country are reimagining the food system with various strategies aimed at creating new food enterprises, providing access to capital for establish food industry participants, supporting local farming, investing in the food deliver infrastructure and financing food scarcity challenges with innovative funding. While food system financing continues to present myriad challenges to local development agencies significant process is being made in this area.

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+Understanding Food Systems Finance

CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Financing Food Systems - Old Problems, New Approaches
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, listen to Joe Bute of Hollymead Capital, Larry Yee of the Food Commons, and David Safer of The Bank of New York Mellon discuss food systems finance. From food hubs to experimental local food sourcing programs this webcast will tackle old problems with some new approaches.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Financing Food Systems
During this CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast, hear from food systems experts as they share financing options available for development in the local and sustainable food industry.
Healthy Food and Small Stores
Access to nutritious, affordable food is a key factor in improving health outcomes, combating diet-related diseases and creating healthy communities. However, for small stores—including corner stores, bodegas, convenience stores, fuel-based retail and rural grocers—providing access to healthy food can be challenging. In October 2015, more than 40 public health leaders and national experts in food retail, agriculture, distribution and marketing convened in Philadelphia for Healthy Food in Small Stores: Distribution Opportunities to Improve Community Health. This national conference tackled challenges and best practices for distributing healthy food to small stores across the United States. Co-hosted by The Food Trust and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this meeting sought to build connections among experts and identify ways to overcome distribution challenges in ways that are profitable for businesses and provide better access to healthy food in stores. The Healthy Food and Small Stores report was produced based on this conference.
Investing in Local Food Systems
Karen Rich, Program Director for the USDA, gives a comprehensive look at local food system investment practices.
Melinda Clemons Growing Michigan's Good Food Future
Melinda Clemsons, from Michigan Good Food Fund, presented an overview of Michigan Good Food Fund financing and strategies and eligibility of projects that the fund supports.
More Food Systems Finance

+Programs

NextGen Agribusiness Economic Development Strategy
The intention of this NWC NextGen Agribusiness Economic Development Strategy is to expand the NWC conversation beyond entertainment, competition, and education and into research and innovation.
USDA Food System Audio Interviews
Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan looks back at the start of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative and discusses building local food systems into the USDA culture. David Deloach, owner of Freshfields, talks about operating locally grown meat and produce stores in Florida. And Celerah Hewes, Chief Foodie at Delicious New Mexico, talks about creating sustainable food businesses through partnering with USDA in New Mexico.
Farm to Plate Investment Program: A 10-Year Roadmap to Revitalizing VT's Food System
This profile highlights the Farm to Plate (F2P) Investment Program, which was designed to strategically strengthen the state’s food and farm sector and encourage the purchasing of local foods.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Financing Food Systems - Old Problems, New Approaches
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, listen to Joe Bute of Hollymead Capital, Larry Yee of the Food Commons, and David Safer of The Bank of New York Mellon discuss food systems finance. From food hubs to experimental local food sourcing programs this webcast will tackle old problems with some new approaches.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Financing Food Systems
During this CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast, hear from food systems experts as they share financing options available for development in the local and sustainable food industry.
More Programs

+Headlines

+Training Courses

The Intro Food Systems Finance Webcourse examines the development finance programs that sustain a local food system and how investments in that system can drive economic development on a broader scale. Topics covered include federal, state, and local sources of capital, stakeholders involved in the financing process, and case study examples that showcase the variety of financing programs.

This course will explore how bonds, tax credits, loan programs, foundation grants, and other financing tools can be used to support a local food system and encourage follow-on investment, small business development, and sustainable growth. In particular, this course will address the financing challenges associated with growing, processing, distributing, marketing, and selling food.

+Webcasts

CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Financing Food Systems - Old Problems, New Approaches
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, listen to Joe Bute of Hollymead Capital, Larry Yee of the Food Commons, and David Safer of The Bank of New York Mellon discuss food systems finance. From food hubs to experimental local food sourcing programs this webcast will tackle old problems with some new approaches.
CDFA USDA Rural Project Marketplace Information Session
As part of the CDFA & USDA Rural Finance Partnership, a Project Marketplace will be created. This informational video helps explain the partnership and marketplace.
CDFA-Stifel Webcast: Food Systems Investments Driving New Markets
The third installment of the CDFA-Stifel Rural Community Development Finance Solutions Webcast Series focused on how food systems investments can be used to drive other markets, benefitting the economy of small and rural towns throughout America.

CDFA National Sponsors

  • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • Ballard Spahr LLP
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • MB Financial Bank, NA
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • Miles & Stockbridge P.C.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Squire Patton Boggs
  • Stern Brothers & Co.
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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