FamilyFarmed is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food, in order to enhance the social, economic, and environmental health of our communities.
“FamilyFarmed and the Good Food Festival & Conference have been key to our success. They introduced us to Whole Foods who became our biggest customer and also made an early loan to help finance a grow system. FamilyFarmed.org also helped with other investors including Farm Credit who made a pioneering large loan to our vertical farm.” – Jolanta Hardej, President, FarmedHere
“FamilyFarmed has been great for our business. When we had a bumper crop of blueberries, they helped us land the financing to get them processed so we could provide them to our customers throughout the year. Sure beat leaving them on the vines!” – Frank Corrado, Owner, Joe’s Blues
“Our business would not be here without the help of FamilyFarmed and the Good Food Festival & Conference. Through these relationships, we built our network of trade buyers, raised over $1 million in financing, and even hired our ‘Chief Poperating Officer.’ Heck, they even helped us be featured in a two-page spread in a New York Times Food Section cover story.” – Gene Mealhow, CEO, Tiny But Mighty Popcorn
The Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference is part of FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference. This conference — which will next be held on Thursday, March 24, 2016 — brings together national and regional leaders in farming, food production, and finance to create channels for small-acreage farmers and food business entrepreneurs to access capital and finance growth.
Launched in partnership with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, this conference helps attendees gain new insights and inspiration from successful farmers, food entrepreneurs, and investors, and learn strategies to grow their businesses.
The event also includes a Financing Fair where promising businesses exhibit and selected businesses pitch directly to potential funders, investors, and bankers who have interest in small farms and growing Good Food businesses. In 2015, members of the first class of Fellows participating in FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator program also pitched their business plans at the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference.
SLoFIG, a Chicago-based angel investment group focused on sustainable food businesses, debuted at the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference, and the Angel Food Network first participated in the 2014 conference. Together, these groups have 40 angel investors. Participating businesses in the past two conferences have raised $11 million in debt and equity capital. One of the best examples of success is FarmedHere, a 90,000 square foot indoor organic farm in Bedford Park, Illinois. It now employs more than 35 people, many of whom were homeless, formerly incarcerated, or at-risk youth.