Understanding and Financing Your Food Hub’s Working Capital Needs
Led by lenders from RSF Social Finance and Self-Help Credit Union, this workshop will focus on understanding and addressing working capital needs as critical to cash flow management. Through a hands-on exercise, participants will learn to calculate how much working capital a food hub needs and understand the difference between permanent and temporary working capital. We will also discuss financing tools to support you in managing your cash flow.
Darrow Isaacman-VanWertz, Commercial Lending at Self-Help; Meredith Storton, RSF Social Finance
Food Hubs and Lenders: Meeting in the Middle
This session will be a facilitated discussion between food hub managers and lenders to increase awareness of the issues inherent in the financing of food hubs, and to develop feedback to creditors on possible reforms to existing credit programs to better serve the needs of food hubs. Using fishbowl facilitation and small group discussions, the session participants will develop findings and recommendations on both operating and ownership capitol for food hubs, as well as experience with existing federal business financing programs. We will discuss both how food hubs can better approach credit institutions, and how lenders can better serve food hubs.
Scott Marlow, Senior Policy Specialist at the Rural Advancement Foundation International USA; Steve Saltzman, Healthy Food System Initiative, Self-Help
Intersection of Food Justice and Finance
Access to affordable, healthy, culturally appropriate food is a measure of resource allocation. With ownership of capital in the food chain being primarily white and male and with Black and Latino households more than twice as likely to be food insecure as White non-Hispanic households, food access is an issue of racial and economic equity. More paths for food system ownership, leadership and influence are needed for people of color. Combined with this fact is the reality that communities of color have faced persistent financial discrimination. While policies have been passed to protect consumers from redlining, unfair credit scoring systems and predatory loans, the practices continue. For this reason, the California FreshWorks program, a program at the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), have enabled the development of innovative financial tools and approaches that to promote equitable access to healthy food and an equitable food system in California.
Esperanza Pallana; Cat Howard, Northern California Community Loan Fund
Book Smart: Using Benchmark Data for Better Bottom-Line Performance
Once the books are in order, it’s time to stop working IN your business and start working ON your business. Led by Erin Pirro and Gary Matteson of Farm Credit, this interactive workshop demonstrates how food businesses can use their financial statements to examine key performance indicators and identify opportunities as well as problem areas. Whether you’re a food hub manager owner or a community-based organizer, this workshop will provide the skills necessary to use benchmarking and analysis effectively to improve business performance.
Erin Pirro, Farm Credit East; Gary Matteson, Farm Credit Council
Hub Be Nimble, Hub Be Quick
Food hubs operate under various business models to suit the needs of their communities while determining their pathway to viability. You’ll hear from food hub operations who have continually refined their model (in a broad range of ways) to better address the needs of their value chain and operate more efficiently, all while being able to continually conduct businessness. Panelists will share how knowing your customer, what the customer values, how to deliver value at an appropriate margin to generate revenue, and setting sustainable business goals help lead the way to success.
Thomas Nelson, Capay Valley Farm Shop; Erica Christensen, Corbin Hill Food Project; Tracy Harding, Capay Valley Farm Shop; Teddy Gamache, Intervale Food Hub