Creative Financing Strategies to Catalyze Food Systems Transformation

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Proposed by Global Alliance for the Future of Food

Creative Financing Strategies to Catalyze Food Systems Transformation

May 24, 2022 /CSRwire/ — The Global Alliance for the Future of Food and the Transformational Investment in Food Systems (TIFS) initiative today released a comprehensive new report that gives investors a route of creative funding strategies that support entrepreneurs, farmers, activists and social movements and help transform food economies into healthy, equitable and renewable systems.

The report, Mobilizing Money and Movements: Creative Finance for Food Systems Transformation, features six food-focused initiatives that have incorporated unique investment strategies that combine a range of financial capital to drive social enterprise and achieve food systems. sustainable, fair and safe food. Launched to coincide with the opening of the African Agroecological Entrepreneurship and Territorial Markets conference in Kampala, Uganda, the report also draws on the Global Alliance’s Beacons of Hope project, which showcases initiatives organizations working to achieve sustainable, equitable and resilient goals. food systems.

Initiatives highlighted in the new report include:

  • Cooperative Education: A Mexican beekeeping cooperative applies fair trade and organic certifications and values ​​to enable its 750 member beekeepers to thrive. The cooperative has strategically used external funding to advance its social, economic and environmental mission.
  • Municipality of Copenhagen: The Danish capital is managing its public food budget to boost the consumption and production of organic food. Nearly 90% of the food purchased and served in the city’s public kitchens is now organic, a conversion that has occurred within existing budgets.
  • Northern Cooperative Development Bank: An institution that finances local food production cooperatives and boosts rural development in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, a region where residents are burdened with debt and wary of predatory loan systems.
  • Company from organic farming: The first North American company to use stewardship ownership as a business model to protect the sanctity of its vision and benefit a range of stakeholders: employees, farmers, customers, community allies and investors.
  • Pun Pun Center for Self-Reliance: A farm, learning center and social enterprise in northern Thailand trains farmers to cultivate a diversity of crops and cultivates a spirit of self-sufficiency. It’s a different business model, driven by independence, fair pricing and true cost accounting, and a renewed sense of community.
  • Sylva Food Solutions: A pioneering Zambian entrepreneur is proving that it is possible to popularize traditional foods by partnering with over 25,000 smallholder farmers. With tenacity and creativity, founder Sylvia Banda is an unstoppable business force.

Creative finance strategies and levers of change

The report details five strategies that organizations are using to catalyze transformative change in food systems, including:

  1. Mobilize financial, in-kind and social investments to generate multiple returns.
  2. Provide guaranteed markets
  3. Seek fair and inclusive funding and returns
  4. Adopt shared ownership models
  5. Use existing resources to create self-contained systems.

It also describes the “levers of change” initiatives deployed to inspire action and direct funding from a range of policy makers, social entrepreneurs, bilateral and multilateral donors, social purpose investors, philanthropists and others interested in contributing to food systems change. They are:

  • Accounting for co-benefits from circular and solidarity economies
  • Investing in local agroecological knowledge
  • Build local processing infrastructure to create value for nearby farmers
  • Use purchases to stimulate the production of healthy foods.

Rex Raimond, Director, Transformational Investment in Food Systems (TIFS) Initiative mentioned: “In recent years, there has been a vital transformation within the financial sector, driven by the net zero commitment of the Paris Agreement, the rapid growth of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments and the promise of “A growing number of investors to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. While this progress is welcome, finance leaders must go further. This report calls on the investment community – impact investors, fund managers , public donors and philanthropic funders – to think in new and different ways about how to bring about the urgent and transformative change we need.

Lauren Baker, Deputy Director, Global Alliance for the Future of Food, said: “As the world faces interrelated crises – from conflict and climate change to biodiversity loss and food insecurity – the stories in this report provide hope and prove that it is possible to generate social, environmental and economic value at the forefront of transforming food systems These initiatives are visionary, but also very practical and rooted in place and culture.

“And they illustrate the nature of investments that can create healthy and nutritious food systems, promote soil health and curb climate change. They urge us to ensure that financial flows and investment dollars prioritize holistic and cooperative approaches that meaningfully engage all actors in food production, distribution and consumption.

Global Alliance for the Future of Food

Global Alliance for the Future of Food

The Global Alliance for Food Futures is a strategic alliance of philanthropic foundations working together and with others to transform global food systems now and for future generations. www.futureoffood.org

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