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CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series
February 28, April 25, June 27, August 29 & November 28, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern

-Overview

The CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series is a free online series demonstrating how businesses and projects within the food system can be connected to development finance tools, such as bonds, tax increment finance, tax credits, and revolving loan funds, 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. Speakers will present case studies on a range of food systems projects – including production, processing, distribution, retail, storage, and more – to explain why various financing tools were chosen for the specific project and how those financing tools work. Each installment of this series will explore how the development finance toolbox can be used to drive investment across the food supply chain.


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.


>>> Visit the CDFA Food Systems Finance Resource Center to View Previous Webinars

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-Agenda

CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Bonds & Food Systems
Food system businesses need access to capital at an affordable price, while investors expect a return on their investments. Few financing tools meet both of these needs as well as bonds, a longstanding staple of public development finance that offers flexible, low-cost capital for the borrower and tax-free returns for the investor. During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we take a deeper look at a method of financing that has been building infrastructure, industry, and agriculture for over a century and explore its applications within the food system.
Moderator(s)
  • Angela Blatt, Director, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Speaker(s)
  • Rodney Wendt, Executive Director, Washington Economic Development Finance Authority

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Access to Capital Tools & Food Systems
Regardless of size or industry, businesses require reliable capital to finance startup costs, day-to-day operations, and future growth opportunities. Access to capital tools - such as revolving loan funds, microlending, and loan guarantees - provide ways for food and agriculture-related businesses to begin, maintain, and expand operations. During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will explore how these tools can be used in strengthening local and regional food systems and address some of the challenges that come with financing this sector.
Moderator(s)
  • Anneliese McClurg, Coordinator, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Targeted Tools & Food Systems
Restoring and developing local and regional food systems requires that the unique needs of individual communities be taken into account. Targeted tools - such as tax increment financing (TIF), property assessed clean energy (PACE), and special assessment districts - address specific geographic areas and difficult-to-finance sectors within a community. In this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will highlight unique financing structures that drive food systems investment within a geographic footprint.
Moderator(s)
  • Anneliese McClurg, Coordinator, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Investment Tools & Food Systems
Investment tools encourage private sector engagement in food-related projects and businesses by attracting investors. Programs at the state and federal levels reduce financial barriers and provide incentives for funding new machinery, technology, and construction. In this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we explore how these programs can offer unique financing solutions and catalyze investment in local and regional food systems.
Moderator(s)
  • Max Schell, Intern, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Restoring Local Food Systems Through Finance
Restoring local and regional food systems is a complex undertaking and one that resists a one-size-fits-all approach when the unique needs of individual communities are taken into account. Cohesive principles and philosophies are essential for the continued development of this sector. In this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we illustrate the Reframe, Build, Plan framework which outlines three key success factors to expand financing and drive capital into local food systems.
Moderator(s)
  • Angela Blatt, Director, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies

-Location

The CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series will take place on Zoom.

Webinars will be recorded and placed online for participants to access afterwards. Attendees who miss a webinar will have access to the online recordings as well.

-Registration

Register in advance to confirm your participation and receive login information. Registration is free and open for CDFA members and non-members.

Register