sustainable agriculture investment
Last week Seedstock had the pleasure of attending the 3rd annual Slow Money National Gathering held in San Francisco, CA. The event, designed to drive investment in sustainable agriculture and small food enterprises as well as promote the principles of Slow Money, brought together investors, entrepreneurs, activists and farmers from all over the world.
The conference sought to build upon the momentum and increased investment in small food enterprises generated by the previous year’s national gathering held at Shelburne Farms in Vermont.
SAN FRANCISCO – Press Release – The Slow Money movement, cited by Entrepreneur.com as “one of the top five trends in finance in 2011” is coming to San Francisco October 12- 14; bringing together small food business entrepreneurs, conscious investors, stars from food, finance and the green living worlds, and a diverse constituency who want to know where their food comes from and where their money goes. By popular demand, one day passes are now available for purchase along with the full 3 day package.
The Third Annual Slow Money National Gathering (www.slowmoney.org/national-gathering/) is part venture fair, part farm to table celebration, part forum on the future of the economy.
With unprecedented drought resulting in strife, famine and sky high food prices in East Africa, prominent foundation investors have joined with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Impact Investing Network to create a first-of-its-kind private investment fund that will focus exclusively on developing small and medium-sized agricultural businesses in the region.
Global Impact Investing Network members, including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Gatsby Foundation, have teamed up with USAID and JP Morgan to create the $25 million African Agriculture Capital Fund (AACF).
Small and medium-sized organic and fair trade agricultural businesses are expanding despite sputtering economies and the slowdown in global economic growth, thanks in part to organizations such as Root Capital, a non-profit whose mission is to pioneer finance, build stronger market connections and provide financial training for grassroots businesses in rural areas.
Having recently been awarded a $4.9 million loan package from the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), Root Capital is investing $3 million to expand its lending program for sustainable co-ops and agricultural SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Researchers at the Huntington Ranch are experimenting with innovative farming techniques focused on ecosystem-based growing and using multi-level polyculture to create “edible landscapes.” Such landscape systems require less upkeep, have a lower environmental impact, and are less expensive in the long run.
Located on fifteen undeveloped acres of land at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA, the Ranch features a vegetable garden, dozens of fruit trees, an avocado grove, a “food forest,” and a half-acre zone featuring demonstration spaces for container gardening and pruning workshops. The Ranch functions as an outdoor classroom, demonstration garden, and research lab for sustainable urban agriculture.