The demand for local food is growing - here's why investors should pay attention | Summary
The demand for local food is growing – here’s why investors should pay attention.
Oran B Hesterman, PhD and Daniel Horan, Business Insider
As local investors in the food space, we at CFFP experience the hard work of food production, infrastructure, funding, and financing. We see local farm operations struggling or closing, and we see the community-level effects of net decreases in farm income. It’s easy to feel isolated in our mission to build the PNW regional food system. However, this article presents solid evidence for an increase in consumer demand, especially within the last 2-3 years that CFFP has been incubating, that gives momentum to our mission. As this article brings to the mainstream a statement that CFFP members have felt to be self-evident: “Investors that deploy patient capital in successful food and farming enterprises are in a position not only to garner financial returns but also to create value for other stakeholders, making positive social impact supporting healthy communities, strong local economies, and environmental resilience”
Demand for local food is growing. In 2016, there was a 20% increase in food and beverage deals made by venture capital funds according to Dow Jones VentureSource, and the list of food-focused accelerators and incubators continues to grow. Local food sales grew from $5 billion to $12 billion between 2008 and 2014, and sales are predicted to jump to $20 billion by 2019. The number of farmers markets in the nation has increased by 380% in the last two decades. As this article points out, however, “it’s not as simple as it should be” mainly due to issues of scale and infrastructure for small and midsize farms. Still, growing attention and momentum from investors presents potential for an influx in capital leverage to address these challenges.
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