The mission of Virginia Foodshed Capital is to provide financial stewardship for small-to-mid-scale organically run farms and food enterprises in the local foodshed, including both urban and rural areas. We do this through a 0% revolving loan fund called SOIL. It’s for farmers and food enterprises that need capital and are dedicated to using resilient, eco-friendly practices that produce healthy, nutritious food for our local communities. In conjunction with our loan fund, we also provide financial and business consultation to our borrowers and ongoing training for farms and food enterprises throughout Virginia.
Why we do what we do is all about strengthening our local communities. Right now our communities are not resilient at all when it comes to food. In fact, they’re quite vulnerable. Our changing climate is threatening our global food supply, and we believe those communities that can feed themselves will be better able to absorb the shocks. A robust regenerative local food system can heal the wounds we’ve created through our modern industrial food supply. Regenerative agriculture can build healthy soil, foster biodiversity, and encourage natural photosynthetic cycles that capture and sequester carbon. It can also heal injustice. The truth is, we need a strong local food system, yet most if not all our small and mid-scale local farms are disenfranchised and shut out from the traditional financial system. As a result, they don’t have access to the capital they need to grow and improve their businesses. Our organization is dedicated to changing that narrative in Virginia and building resiliency and equity into our local communities for the benefit of future generations.
Virginia Foodshed Capital was founded in 2018. We began as a project of the Slow Money Institute. Slow Money is a non-profit dedicated to catalyzing the flow of capital to local food systems, connecting investors to the places where they live and promoting new principles of fiduciary responsibility that “bring money back down to earth.”
Originally named Slow Money Central Virginia, our organization focused primarily on the Charlottesville/Richmond region. We quickly grew throughout the state and became Slow Money Virginia is early 2019.
We formed our own 501(c)(3) in spring 2019 and soon began the transition to our new name, Virginia Foodshed Capital.