Fall Farm and Food Enterprise Funding Forum Recap
Local Loans for Local Foods: A Slow Money Group (LL4LF) held its 8th networking mixer on October 25th at Peterloon, drawing 35 enthusiastic community members and food producers together to discuss funding needs for local farms and food businesses. The event began with introductions from everyone attending, and then three attendees gave informal presentations:
Kristen Barker presented about the work Our Harvest Cooperative has been doing related to sustainable farming, local food distribution, and food access — and invited anyone interested in learning how they can support those efforts to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marilyn Wilson discussed her family farm in eastern Indiana, which she would like to see kept as a farm, particularly one employing sustainable growing practices. A portion of the farm will be auctioned on December 5th, and her family is still working to determine what will happen with the other portion. Farmers and others interested in farming the land or helping protect it from development should contact Marilyn at email@example.com.
Tameca Ballard with the Incline District Community Marketplace in Price Hill discussed how she is currently developing her brand, and also seeking funding and a marketplace location. She is also fostering community connection and hoping to locate local vendors, farmers, and artists whose products and services can supply her store. Tameca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the informal presentations, the group listened to two formal presentations from:
Andrew Hermann of Better World Beans: Founded in 2015, Better World Beans is a direct trade coffee company that strives to empower a community of small farmers in the Dominican Republic through creating a just and fair alternative economics model of paying small farmers a “living wage.” A direct trade relationship will be established with a democratically run cooperative. Through increased education, resources, and awareness the coffee farmers of Better World Beans can improve the quality of their coffee without environmental sacrifice and increase their own quality of life. Better World Beans pays our farmers more than Fair Trade and Equal Exchange pay their farmers, an impressive $3.50 per pound of coffee almost 3.5 times the amount they were paid before, $.90 per pound. By making such a financial commitment to this community, farmers will be able to pay the true cost of living being able to pay for their children’s education and paying off debts both of which are serious and continual problems. The increased salaries for these farmers, coupled with strategies for implementing lower input farming with sustainable agriculture approaches such as permaculture, perennial planting, and agroecology, will give farmers more funds and time to start their own businesses and create more sustainable economic development in the community. To find out more, contact Andrew at email@example.com.
Ben and Maureen Redman of Harvest Market: Harvest Market, in the heart of Milford’s Main Street, intends to make itself a premiere market for Milford, Terrace Park, and Indian Hill. With a strong emphasis on whole foods, the market aims to be a general store for customers to have access to local/seasonal fruits and vegetables, eggs, artisan meat and cheese, and local and specialty beer, as well as a wide range of organic grocery staples, natural cleaning supplies, natural toiletries, and artisan gifts. Harvest Market will strive to be an extension of the local farmer’s markets, carrying fresh, local produce and providing access to regionally made and wildcrafted goods. Harvest Market will set itself apart from big box grocery markets in the area with its focus on quality-artisanal goods, and will strive for nothing less than a complete offering with knowledgeable, friendly service that will inspire costumers to keep coming back. To find out more, contact Ben and Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appetizers and networking followed the formal presentations, with local food from:
- Mi Artisano Foods
- Finn Meadows Farm
- Lola’s Botanicals
- Organic Farm at Bear Creek
- Bee Haven Honey
- Grandola Granola
- Sixteen Bricks Artisan Bakehouse
- Rue Farms Rustic Potato Chips
- Mt. Kolfinas
- Hickory King Collective
- Summuh Hummus
- Angie’s Authentic Malaysian