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Whole Foods Producer Loan Program

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Did you know Whole Foods have a producer loan program? I noticed this while I was at the Art & Wine Festival in Fremont, CA last weekend. There are some other places where you can find loans and grants.

Dollars want me..to do Good
Dollars want me..to do Good

While doing some research on the Whole Foods Producer Program is actually a loan program to support local producers, they have providing this program since 2007. Why haven’t I heard of it before?

Low-interest loans to help local producers flourish. In addition to featuring local products in our stores, we’re putting our money where our mouths are by providing up to $10 million in low-interest loans to independent local farmers and food artisans. We’re proud to support small producers who need a hand, not a handout, to help them make their dreams reality.

The loan program, which began in 2006 and awarded its first loans in 2007, hit the $2.5 million mark in late May. And the global economic situation will not affect the company’s ability — or commitment — to loan money to local producers. Read more about their loan program.

The Slow Money Alliance is a national network and a family of local networks.
Slow Money is bringing people together around a shared vision about what it means to be an investor in the 21st Century.

It starts with the soil. The soil teaches us that we must put back as much as we take out to ensure long term health and a strong, secure, restorative economy. Life in the soil is all about diversity and regeneration, a large number of small organisms working together in a healthy system. When we erode our soil, we erode our social capital, we erode community.

Through Slow Money national gatherings, regional events and local activities, more than $30 million has been invested in over 220 small food enterprises since mid-2010.
Read about some of the people who have received loans

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.

NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.

NSAC member groups advance common positions to support small and mid-size family farms, protect natural resources, promote healthy rural communities, and ensure access to healthy, nutritious foods by everyone. By bringing grassroots perspectives to the table normally dominated by big business, NSAC levels the playing field and gives voice to sustainable and organic farmers. Read more..

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) is a USDA-wide effort to their plans to strengthening local and regional food systems.
A surge in consumer demand for locally-produced food is creating jobs and opportunity throughout rural America. Beginning farmers are finding an entry point into agriculture through local markets. Experienced farmers are diversifying their sales to capture added value through local branding. Small businesses are developing new packing, processing, distribution and retail opportunities. And consumers are learning more about where their food comes from and gaining access to fresh, local foods. Read more

You just never know where you can find great information..even when you aren’t expecting to see it. Keep your eyes and ears open…

Mari-Lyn Harris

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