Food Systems Finance
Farmer-Owned Hub and Co-op: A Perfect Match
Two Self-Help investments—a farmer-owned food hub and a neighborhood cooperative grocery—work symbiotically to create a sustainable food system:
Eastern Carolina Organics (ECO), a wholesale distributor of local organic produce, has been instrumental in transitioning tobacco farmers to organic produce. ECO returns 80% of every retail dollar to family farms in the region.
The Durham Co-op Market and its 2,000 members buy their produce from ECO. Plus the Co-op gets its meat from a sustainable niche meat aggregator that rents space and shares infrastructure with ECO.
Learn more about our food system loans.
Equitable Food Systems Capital Initiative
With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Self-Help aims to increase capital access across the food system spectrum. We seek to fill in lending gaps for innovative borrowers most in need. Success means helping food entrepreneurs achieve economic security for their own families while also expanding the delivery of healthy food, with all its benefits, in their local communities.
Our strategy is to complement Self-Help’s financing experience with the strengths of partner organizations. We are connected with a national web of lenders and organizations that also have capabilities for improving capital access to underserved food entrepreneurs. Working with other community development financial institutions (CDFIs), we seek to expand the impact of healthy food initiatives by delivering capital to the broader chain of people who make it happen—aggregators, processors, distributors, schools and other key anchor institutions. For more information, check out this Healthy Food System Capital Initiative Overview
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